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Department of the Interior
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DOI manages 507 million acres of surface land, or about one-fifth of the land in the U.S.
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Old Faithful webcam is one of several webcams available in National Parks.
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Strengthening Citizen Stewardship and
Cooperative Conservation

Aldo Leopold, the visionary 20th century conservationist, eloquently imagined a Nation of citizen stewards. Environmental progress ultimately resides in the efforts of all of us to apply a caring hand to the landscape. It resides in our actions in our own backyards, at our places of work, on our farms and ranches, and in our communities.

To foster a Nation of citizen stewards, Secretary Norton is advancing a 4 C's philosophy - conservation through communication, consultation and cooperation. The Department is expanding the tools in the conservation "toolbox" available to private land owners and federal land mangers to enhance and achieve conservation. These tools include over $500 million in conservation grants, including $113 million proposed in FY 04 for the Cooperative Conservation Initiative (CCI), which includes funds for our highly successful Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, our Coastal Program, and cooperative conservation challenge cost-share grants. Our Private Stewardship Grant program and Landowner Incentive Program, founded on initiatives envisioned by President Bush when he was Governor of Texas, provide assistance to private land owners in their voluntary efforts to protect threatened, imperiled and endangered species.

These efforts are producing real results across the country. In summer 2003, the Department awarded $12.9 million in cooperative conservation challenge cost-share grants to land managers in Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service. The grants will fund 256 projects-ranging from invasive species eradication to water supply for big game elk to habitat restoration-in 40 states involving 749 partners, leveraging $24 million in partnered dollars.

Examples of cooperative conservation at work:
  • Dozens of farmers initiated a project to reclaim 100 miles of streams and riparian areas along Buffalo Creek in Pennsylvania. These farmers engage in conservation as willing partners and participants, not as coerced parties responding to Washington mandates.
  • Maine's Ducktrap River is being restored by over two-dozen federal, state, local and private partners.
We are also expanding the use of cooperative conservation tools such as conservation banking, stewardship contracting, enhanced use of Safe Harbor agreements under the Endangered Species Act, and use of consensus-based management for public lands.

Through cooperative conservation, we can achieve healthy lands, thriving communities and dynamic economies.

For more Information Visit:
Preserving Landscapes and Habitat for Wildlife
through Cooperative Conservation

Cooperative Conservation -
Success Through Partnerships Document

bulletCooperative Conservation Grant Projects and Funding for 2004 New
bulletDOI Cooperative Conservation Grants New
bulletA State-By-State Summary of Cooperative Conservation Cost Share Grants - Projects and Funding for 2003
bulletCooperative Conservation - FY 2004 Budget Priorities
bulletNatural Resource Assistance Grants
bulletPromoting Partnerships for Conservation - The Landowner Incentive Program
bulletSustaining Landscapes and Habitat for Wildlife through Cooperative Conservation
bulletU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Partners for Fish & Wildlife Program
bulletU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Private Stewardship Grants Program

News Releases for Cooperative Conservation Initiative

05/24/04 Secretary Norton Announces $21 Million in Grants To Support Conservation in 43 States
03/08/04 Interior Department Announces Modernized Procedures Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
02/25/04 Secretary Norton Announces $25.8 Million in Grants to Assist Cooperative Conservation Efforts on Private Lands
09/16/03 Secretary Norton Announces $12.9 Million in Grants to Support Conservation in 40 States and Puerto Rico
05/28/03 A Promise Fulfilled - - Landowners Receive More than $9.4 Million to Conserve Species Under New Grant Program
05/27/03 Interior Secretary Norton to Announce $82,000 Grant to Protect Long Island Shorebird
05/02/03 Interior Secretary Norton Says Rio Grande River Agreement is a Classic Example of Citizen Stewardship
02/25/03 Secretary Norton Announces $34.8 Million in Grants to Support Habitat Conservation for Imperiled Species on Private Lands
01/31/02 Questions and Answers on the Cooperative Conservation Initiative

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