WASHINGTON , D.C. -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Dan Ashe announced that the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission has approved more than $1.3 million from the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund to protect an estimated 1,368 acres of waterfowl habitat on three units of the National Wildlife Refuge System.
The commission also approved more than $25 million in federal grants through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act to support public-private partnership activities that will conserve more than 144,000 acres of wetlands and associated habitats in the United States and Canada.
“With these acquisitions and grants, we are strengthening our wetlands protection though the National Wildlife Refuge System and in other key waterfowl and wildlife habitat throughout North America,” said Salazar. “Thanks to the contributions of hunters and others who purchase Duck Stamps, our National Wildlife Refuge System continues to the best in the world and keeps important habitat ‘open for business’ for our nation’s wildlife.”
“Wetlands are vital landscapes for our nation’s birds and other wildlife who rest, feed and breed there throughout the year,” said Ashe. “In addition to benefiting wildlife, wetlands provide countless benefits to people, including water quality maintenance, erosion control, flood protection, and recreational opportunities for public and private landowners.”
The commission approved the protection of wetland habitat through land acquisition and purchase of easements on three units of the National Wildlife Refuge System as breeding, resting and feeding habitat, as well as the disposal of 35 acres of easement.
These acquisitions and approvals to continue to lease wetland habitat parcels are funded with proceeds from sales of the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, otherwise known as the Federal Duck Stamp.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of the Interior