The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation has announced a three-year, $13 million grant to accelerate the implementation of the state wildlife action plans in Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, and Wyoming.
The New York City-based foundation awarded the grant to the Nature Conservancy, which will work in partnership with other organizations across the region, including the Trust for Public Land, the Conservation Fund, and the Colorado Conservation Trust, to identify and implement projects. Roughly $11 million of the grant will be used to protect habitat identified as a priority in the wildlife action plans of the five states. The remaining $2 million will support educational efforts and the building of partnerships that advance the implementation of the plans. As part of the agreement, the Nature Conservancy and its partners will match the capital funds on a five-to-one basis, representing a total commitment of more than $55 million to wildlife action plan priorities in the five states over the next three years.
Mandated by Congress and approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, state wildlife action plans are comprehensive strategies that take into account the broad range of a state's wildlife, including game, non-game, and common and endangered species. Created with input from multiple stakeholders, they establish a common conservation agenda that can achieve broad acceptance within each state. "The wildlife action plans identify the areas that state officials — working in consultation with scientists, conservationists, ranchers, hunters, anglers, and others — determined to be the top priorities for action now, while much of our wildlife is still abundant and habitat conservation is still cost-effective," said Mark Shaffer, director of the DDCF Environment Program. "The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is pleased to put its support behind these proactive plans and this collaborative approach."