NFWF Announces $1.2 Million in Funding to Protect and Restore Fish and Wildlife Habitat in New England
WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 3, 2017) – The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced more than $1.26 million in grants to restore and sustain healthy forests and rivers that provide habitat for diverse native bird and freshwater fish populations in the six New England states.
The grants were awarded through the New England Forests and Rivers Fund, a public-private partnership between NFWF, Eversource’s Partners for New Hampshire’s Fish and Wildlife, the American Forest Foundation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and U.S. Forest Service.
“In just three short years, the New England Forests and Rivers Fund has supported vital conservation work to restore over 2,500 acres of forest habitat, and over 550 miles of fish habitat,” said Amanda Bassow, NFWF’s northeastern regional director. “By working with federal organizations, along with Eversource and the American Forest Foundation, we have been able to pool $4.2 million in funding, empowering grantees to implement the most cost-effective conservation projects that are good for fish, wildlife and their surrounding communities.”
The projects supported by the 10 grants announced today will open 117 miles of streams for eastern brook trout, river herring and Atlantic salmon by modifying and replacing 24 failing culverts, and other barriers. The projects will also improve nearly 1,000 acres of forestland habitat for a suite of forest birds, engage at least 485 community volunteers in hands-on restoration and deliver technical assistance to over 2,500 landowners.
“Given that the majority of Northeastern forests are owned by families and individuals, the American Forest Foundation is thrilled to partner with NFWF and others to support the outreach and engagement of this critical landowner audience,” said Christine Cadigan, American Forest Foundation’s director of Northeastern woodlands. “Effective landscape-scale forest conservation in the Northeast must engage family woodland owners in sustainable forest stewardship.”
“With the majority of New England under private ownership, the land management decisions of farmers and forest landowners are important to a wide array of wildlife species,” said NRCS Acting Chief Leonard Jordan. “We’ve seen firsthand how stewardship-minded landowners are integrating wildlife-friendly practices onto working lands, evidenced in the rebound of many species, including the New England cottontail. These efforts not only help wildlife but make working lands and forests more productive and resilient.”
“These grant recipients have achieved incredible results, whether it is restoring river passages, seeking better management practices for forests, or fostering health habitats for New Hampshire’s wildlife,” said Eversource NH President Bill Quinlan. “The diversity of projects has allowed this program to both improve engagement and enjoyment of the land, as well as collect meaningful data that will inform future conservation and restoration efforts.”
“Both fish and wildlife are dependent on the habitat that forests provide in uplands, in riparian areas, and even in streams themselves. And private landowners are an important part of the equation in New Hampshire where most of the land is privately owned” said Constance Carpenter, Northeast area field representative for the U.S. Forest Service, State and Private Forestry Program.
To learn more about the New England Forests and Rivers Fund or to download the 2017 New England Forests and Rivers Fund Grant Slate, visit www.nfwf.org/newengland.
About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores the nation's fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal agencies, corporations, foundations and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 4,500 organizations and committed more than $3.8 billion to conservation projects. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.