NMI gets $125K for wildlife conservation projects


More than $125,000 has been awarded to CNMI state wildlife agencies through the state wildlife grants program, according to a statement yesterday from the Office of the Governor.

The statement said that Interior deputy secretary David Bernhardt informed Gov. Ralph DLG Torres of the awarding of the grant.

Provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the state wildlife grants program provides federal funds to states and territories for the development and implementation of programs that benefit wildlife and their habitats, including species that are not hunted or fished. Projects funded through state wildlife grants program involve research, monitoring, wildlife surveys, species and habitat management and other activities.

Since their initial meeting in Washington, D.C., Torres said he has been in close contact with Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke regarding wildlife and environmental conservation funding for the Northern Mariana Islands.

“I am grateful to Secretary Zinke for his work in helping us secure these funds for the operations of our programs at [the Department of Lands and Natural Resources] and [Division of Fish and Wildlife]. It also allows to allocate additional resources toward the development of new programs that benefit our local ecosystem. I look forward to building on this relationship we have with the Department of Interior as we move forward,” Torres said in the statement.

A separate statement from the Department of the Interior quoted Bernhardt as saying: “The Trump administration is working hard with states and local communities to find solutions that are driven at the local level, rather than in Washington, D.C. As a hunter, I know the work of state wildlife agencies is absolutely critical to wildlife conservation in the United States. We’re thrilled to be able to collaborate with them, their local communities, and other partners to ensure important fish, wildlife, habitat and cultural needs are met. Tribal and state wildlife grants are foundational to protecting our nation’s wildlife legacy, including game and non-game species.”

State wildlife grants funds are administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program and are allocated to states and territories according to a congressionally mandated formula based on population and geographic area. Grant funds must be used to address conservation needs, such as research, wildlife surveys, species and habitat management, and monitoring identified within state wildlife action plans. The funds may also be used to update, revise or modify a state’s plan.

Saipan Tribune

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