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News Release

NRCS Announces New Partnership to Preserve Working Lands and Protect At-Risk Species

Contact:
Galon Hall
(804) 287-1669


 

Richmond, March 28, 2012 – Virginia landowners can now benefit from a new partnership between USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to help keep at-risk species off the endangered list and hasten the recovery of those that are already on it. 

The Working Lands for Wildlife project is including the Commonwealth in a 10-state focus area for the golden-winged warbler. These migratory songbirds depend on shrubby, early successional habitats at high elevations for breeding and populations in the Appalachian region have experienced significant declines. 

Interested producers and landowners can sign up for funding through the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) to create and maintain the habitat needed to sustain breeding populations within and adjacent to their current range.  All or portions of the following counties are located within the target area: 

Augusta

Botetourt

Dickenson

Highland

Pulaski

Scott

Wise

Alleghany

Buchanan

Floyd

Lee

Roanoke

Smyth

Wythe

Bath

Carroll

Giles

Montgomery

Rockbridge

Tazewell

 

Bland

Craig

Grayson

Patrick

Russell

Washington

 

Funding will be available for practices to implement the restoration and management of rare and declining habitats, upland wildlife habitat management, and early successional habitat development/management. Though enrollment is continuous, the first and second evaluation periods end on April 30 and May 30

Other states included in the golden-winged warbler restoration effort include Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and West Virginia. A total of $33 million is available for this national campaign that includes six other species: the New England cottontail, bog turtle, gopher tortoise, greater sage-grouse, lesser prairie-chicken and the Southwestern willow flycatcher.

To learn more, contact your local NRCS field office or private lands biologists Andy Rosenberger (Christiansburg) at 540-381-4221, ext. 128 or Debbie Wright (Verona) at 540-248-6218, ext. 108.