Secretary Haaland announces progress towards conserving and restoring wildlife corridors and habitat connectivity

Date: Thursday, April 7, 2022
Contact: [email protected]

WASHINGTON — Interior Secretary Deb Haaland today announced several actions the Department is taking to advance its work on wildlife corridors. The Department’s efforts will focus on conserving and restoring wildlife corridors and habitat connectivity in a manner that supports conservation outcomes, honors the rights of private property owners, and encourages collaboration with other federal agencies, state governments and local, tribal and other stakeholders.

“To maintain healthy species populations and ecosystems, fish and wildlife must be free to move and migrate. But as habitats and migration routes continue to be affected by climate change and fragmented by roads, fences, energy development and other man-made barriers, wildlife struggle to reach areas needed to feed, breed and find shelter,” he said. haland secretary. “Improving wildlife migration corridors and habitat connectivity is a top conservation priority, and we are committed to cultivating strong partnerships and providing the necessary resources and tools to support healthy populations of wildlife in the whole country”.

Secretary Haaland made today’s announcements during a virtual event with representatives from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resources Trust, the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society, and the Wyoming Foundation. National Fish and Wildlife.

Secretary Haaland announced $2.5 million in grants, which have been matched by another $7 million in contributions, to be distributed to seven states and three tribes for a total of 13 projects through the Improving habitat quality in western big game migration corridors and habitat connectivity Program. The grant program, initially established after Secretary’s Order 3362, is administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and receives funding from the Department of the Interior, the Department of Agriculture, and private partners.

The Secretary also announced a first-of-its-kind agreement between the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society to coordinate support, participation, and utilization of the National Conservation Training Center to meet conservation needs, such as improving wildlife corridors. and connectivity. The Service has committed to funding this work with an initial commitment of $450,000.

The US Geological Survey, in collaboration with state and tribal wildlife agencies, also published the second volume of their Hoofed Migrations of the Western United States report. The report provides detailed maps of winter corridors, stopovers, routes, and ranges for state and federal transportation officials, land and wildlife managers, planners, and other conservationists working to maintain big game migrations in the states. Westerners can take migration into account. .

During her remarks, Secretary Haaland also outlined how the Department of the Interior will advance its work on wildlife corridors through a series of steps, including:

  • Invest in collaborative conservation opportunities to support strategies that promote lasting conservation results. These collaborative efforts will support thriving connected lands, waters, fish and wildlife populations, reflect local needs and priorities, and improve people’s quality of life. This includes continued implementation of Secretary’s Order 3362 through support for state-led science, identification of priority migratory habitat for big game, technical assistance, and implementation of projects to promote the conservation of species of big game and the sagebrush ecosystem.
  • Prioritize research, data collection, analysis and mapping to identify key habitats, including seasonal ranges, stopover areas, migration routes, and bottlenecks.
  • Collaborating and supporting Tribal partners to conduct new wildlife migration movement studies and associated mapping, as well as use existing migration data to improve tribal wildlife corridor and habitat connectivity priorities.
  • Agency Policies Updatewhere appropriate, to identify and prioritize conservation and restoration of wildlife corridors, as well as other lands and waters that promote habitat connectivity in partnership with state and tribal wildlife managers and other stakeholders.

On May 6, 2021, the Biden-Harris administration outlined the America the BEAUTIFUL initiative, an ambitious vision of how the United States can work collaboratively to achieve a locally directed national goal of conserving 30 percent of US land and water by 2030. Enhance wildlife corridors and connectivity Habitat conservation is an initial focus of this effort and serves as an opportunity to embrace the voluntary conservation efforts of farmers, ranchers, and forest owners; the leadership of sovereign tribal nations; the contributions and stewardship traditions of America’s hunting, fishing, and fishing communities; and collaboration between states, local communities, and federal agency partners.

In addition, President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, the Great American Outdoors Act, and the Land and Water Conservation Fund provide important opportunities for collaborative conservation investments. These investments in restoration and conservation will expand the Department’s ability to enhance wildlife corridors and catalyze effective and meaningful conservation results, including migration corridors.

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