Grants Available For Habitat Improvement

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The Department of Game and Fish is accepting grant applications until Sept.1, 2002 from landowners for projects that protect and restore habitat on private land. The habitat projects must benefit federal and/or state listed, proposed or candidate species or other species at risk as determined by the state and must be carried out on private land, defined as any non-government-owned land. The money comes from a congressional program approved this year, the Landowner Incentive Program, offering technical and financial assistance for habitat work on private land.

"It is a unique opportunity for this agency to partner with private landowners to benefit a variety of species," said Roberta Henry, Department assistant director.

There is a 25 percent match requirement that grant recipients may provide in the form of volunteer labor, equipment, materials or money. Eligible applicants include private landowners, landowner groups or organizations. Up to $1.56 million in federal funding is available in New Mexico for Landowner Incentive Programs. The money is allocated through quarterly reimbursement rather than advanced funds, and selected projects must provide documentation prior to reimbursement. The Department may require on-site visits to monitor progress.

Completed grant applications must be postmarked by Sept. 1, 2002 and successful applicants will be notified around Nov. 1, 2002. For applications or more information about project or species eligibility, contact Lisa Evans, federal grants manager, (505) 476-8012 or (505) 412-1085.