The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced on Wednesday, May 25 more than $7 million in Tribal Wildlife Grants that will go to 37 Native American Tribes in 16 states to fund a wide range of conservation projects. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians will receive $200,000 for a Wildlife Action Plan Development and Implementation.
“Tribal lands provide important habitat for hundreds of species across the nation, and Tribal Wildlife Grants are a critical tool to help conserve them,” said Service Acting Director Rowan Gould. “These projects reflect our commitment to collaboration with Native American tribes and to our collective efforts to conserve fish, wildlife and plants for present and future generations.”
More than $54 million has gone to Native American tribes through the Tribal Wildlife Grants program since 2003, providing support for 335 conservation projects administered by participating Federally-recognized tribes. The grants provide technical and financial assistance for the development and implementation of projects that benefit fish and wildlife resources and their habitat, including non-game species.
The grants have enabled tribes to develop increased management capacity, improve and enhance relationships with partners (including state agencies), address cultural and environmental priorities and heighten tribal students’ interest in fisheries, wildlife and related fields of study. Some grants have been awarded to support recovery efforts for threatened and endangered species.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina possesses a rich cultural history interwoven with the diversity of species native to the southern Appalachian Mountains. The flora and fauna found on the Cherokee tribal lands support ancient subsistence traditions and a complex spiritual connection to the landscape. In partnership with the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Cherokee have greatly enhanced their understanding of the modern pressures brought about through development, invasive species, and habitat degradation.
The Wildlife Action Plan Tribal Grant supports the Tribe in sustaining ecosystem integrity and conserving native aquatic and terrestrial species and their associated habitats by building on this knowledge. With this award, the Tribe will build its ability to manage and conserve their precious fish and wildlife resources through long range integrated resource management planning. They will maintain viable populations of game and non-game species and manage their associated habitat to enhance game species. Finally, the Tribe will sustain and restore native fish populations of cultural and conservation concern.
The grants are provided exclusively to federally-recognized Indian tribal governments and are made possible under the Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2002 through the State and Tribal Wildlife Grant program. The Request for Proposals for the 2012 grant cycle will be open until September 2, 2011. For more information and a TWG Application Kit, visit https://www.fws.gov/nativeamerican/grants.html.