Fender's blue butterfly is one of Oregon's threatened native species that could be helped by federal grants to purchase and manage special habitats.
Now I like birds and bugs as well as any other animal but wild horses need to be protected too. Will somebody please tell these narrow minded tunnel-visioned eco-maniacs that it doesnt matter if horses are considered "native species" or not as they are part of our American History and Heritage regardless, and on that basis alone need to be protected & preserved. This is not just MHO it is the general concensus of the majority of the American People...so it is important that you listen to them. I hope you all do. If you are one of those environmentalist who thinks wild horses in America are an invasive species and you want them off of our publc lands,...this means YOU.
U.S. grants to help Oregon habitats, imperiled species
by Abby Haight, The Oregonian
Monday April 20, 2009, 8:13 PM
Oregon's threatened species and the special habitats they depend on got a $2.63 million lift Monday from the U.S. Department of Interior.
Five grants will help purchase or manage land in four counties and about 75,000 acres of state-managed highway rights-of-way.
Oregon's most imperiled species -- the northern spotted owl, coastal coho salmon, marbled murrelet, Oregon silverspot butterfly and several wildflowers -- could benefit from the grants, awarded through the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund, administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
"These are projects that fit into a bigger picture," said Phil Carroll, spokesman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Portland. "They fill in some significant gaps of land acquisition, lands that could go on the market and be lost forever to public ownership."
The projects tie together public lands to create larger habitat.
"They'll protect lots of different species that are not yet listed and help us to keep them from being listed," Carroll said.
Oregon's funding was part of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's announcement Monday that 27 states would receive $57 million in grants for conservation planning, land purchase and management.
"They provide state agencies with much needed resources to empower landowners and communities to protect habitat and foster environmental stewardship for future generations," Salazar said in a statement.
Competition for the yearly grants runs high. The winning Oregon projects benefited a wide range of threatened species and tied together important properties, Carroll said.
The largest grant, for more than $1 million, will allow The Nature Conservancy to purchase 193 acres at Big Creek in Lane County -- habitat that is crucial for the Oregon silverspot butterfly, northern spotted owl, marbled murrelet and coastal coho salmon.
The Nature Conservancy, working with the Oregon Department of State Lands, will receive $507,000 to help buy and manage 1,690 acres at Upper and Lower Table Rocks east of Gold Hill in southern Oregon. Seasonal ponds are home to the federally protected vernal pool fairy shrimp and the dwarf woolly meadowfoam. The mesa buttes also could be home to endangered large-flowered woolly meadowfoam and Gentner's fritillaria.
A $256,820 grant will purchase conservation easements for five parcels totaling 65.5 acres in the Cardwell Hill area of Benton County. The upland and riparian habitat protects Fender's blue butterfly and its host plant, Kincaid's lupine, and could be planted with Willamette daisy, Nelson's checkermallow and golden paintbrush.
Oregon departments of Agriculture and Transportation will use a $477,963 grant to inventory populations and create management plans for 28 listed and sensitive species on 75,000 acres of highway rights-of-way.
Yamhill County will use its $391,000 to provide long-term habitat conservation on county lands to minimize the impact of land use. Targeted species include the threatened Fender's blue butterfly and the streaked horned lark, a candidate for protective listing.
-- Abby Haight; firstname.lastname@example.org