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Rhode Island Division of Fish and Wildlife
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The long awaited implementation of the congressional Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Act established the State Wildlife Grants program (SWG). This grants program was created to provide federal financial assistance to the states for the development, revision, and implementation of wildlife conservation strategies to prevent species and habitats from becoming endangered. This program is intended to complement the existing Federal Aid to Wildlife and Sportfish Restoration Programs. In order to be eligible for State Wildlife Grants (SWG) each state is required to develop a Wildlife Conservation Strategy to be completed by October 2005. The action plans set forth in these strategies would mean millions of federal funds to states annually for implementation. The RI Division of Fish and Wildlife is now soliciting input and technical expertise in assessing the existing status and conservation needs of wildlife and its habitat so a plan can be developed to most effectively address these needs. This is the most comprehensive program in history with the potential for funding critical research, education, survey and monitoring efforts guided by science. It will provide a state-coordinated approach to species and habitat conservation and support important local and regional conservation efforts involving a wide coalition of citizens and partnerships.
The pro-active objective is to define and implement a strategy that will identify, monitor, and thus prevent species of greatest conservation need and habitats from becoming endangered. It will save millions of tax dollars by saving species before they become endangered. The combined efforts of stakeholders, partners, conservation groups, private landowners, and state and federal agencies are essential to the development and execution of the plan.
Congress requires eight elements be included in this prescription for a healthy wildlife future. Those are:
You Can Help Shape
Wildlife Conservation Strategy!
RI Fish and Wildlife is leading this effort. Rhode Island's plan will identify species of greatest conservation need and their affiliated habitats including an action plan for addressing those needs. In order to implement these steps, we are soliciting input from stakeholders that will share responsibilities for this project, including a collaborative partnership of organizations that helped support federal (CARA) legislation, and teams of technical specialists and scientists to analyze data and provide scientific recommendations. We have secured the assistance of a conservation and communications consultant, Terwilliger Consulting, Inc., to develop an effective plan and process. Your experience, expertise, and ideas are important to us in developing Rhode Island's Wildlife Conservation Strategy. To give your suggestions, areas of concern, or comments please contact: Christine Dudley for freshwater species; Jason McNamee: for marine species; or Jay Osenkowski for wildlife species, and for non specific and all other comments contact: Karen Terwilliger, TCI