Wildlife Action Plan Gains Federal Approval

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Department of Natural Resources officials today announced that the state's Wildlife Action Plan has received federal approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The action plan will help guide future efforts for terrestrial and aquatic wildlife species of greatest conservation need and their habitats, said DNR Director Rebecca Humphries.

Humphries announced that the action plan had been approved by the federal government at today's Natural Resources Commission meeting in Lansing.

"If we invest in conserving wildlife now, we can protect species for future generations," said Humphries. "A proactive plan will benefit the health of wildlife and people, and conserve wildlife before they become rarer and more costly to protect."

The health of wildlife is often an early indicator of disease and pollution that affect people as well, Humphries noted. Michigan's plan identifies strategies for conserving wildlife and their habitats, protecting water and air, and enhancing the quality of life for both Michigan citizens and wildlife.

"Our plan will provide a common, strategic framework that will enable the DNR and its conservation partners to address wildlife of greatest conservation need and will provide a more holistic approach to wildlife management," Humphries said. "It will help us identify and prioritize conservation actions, research and survey needs and long-term monitoring of wildlife and their habitats."

To make best use of State Wildlife Grants funds, Congress mandated that each state and territory develop a plan. The plan is designed to address the future needs of wildlife in a state, and to help the regulating agencies and conservation organizations to think and act in a coordinated way on conservation efforts in each state. Michigan was the first state in the Midwest and one of the first in the nation to receive final approval from the USFWS for its plan.