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MORE INFORMATION ON INHOFE'S FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE CONSERVATION LEGISLATOR OF THE YEAR AWARD
March 5, 2007

Posted by Matthew_Dempsey@epw.senate.gov (12:30pm ET)

Link to Press Release

Last week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service honored Senator James Inhofe, Ranking Member of the EPW Committee, as the Conservation Legislator of the Year for his work in enacting the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Act (Public Law 109-294) in the 109th Congress. 

The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program is an example of Cooperative Conversation that protects private property rights and achieves important conversation goals.

President Bush issued Executive Order 13352 on August 26, 2004 which directed federal agencies to implement laws relating to the environment and natural resources in a manner that promotes Cooperative Conservation by collaborating with state, local, and tribal governments, private for-profit and nonprofit institutions, nongovernmental entities, and private individuals.

The Partners Program is a primary example of the President’s call for Cooperative Conservation creating positive incentives to protect species and while protecting private property ownership. 

The Program is a successful voluntary partnership program that helps private landowners restore fish and wildlife habitats on their own lands.  This Program has worked with over 37,700 private landowners establishing individual agreements with interested private landowners to restore 753,000 acres of wetland, 1.86 million acres of native grasslands and other uplands, and 6,806 miles of riparian and in-stream habitat throughout the country.  Each Partners Program agreement is funded through contributions from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service along with the vast majority of funding from cash and in-kind contributions from participating private landowners.   

The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Act secured statutory authority for the Partners Program for the first time and provided additional funding and added stability for the program.  The President’s Fiscal Year 2008 Budget Request contains a net programmatic increase of $5.7 million for the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program.

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