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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 18, 2004

Contact: Karen Hershey
(609) 984-1795

DEP OFFERS GRANTS TO PROTECT THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES

(04/95) TRENTON -- Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell announced today that financial assistance is available to landowners interested in conserving threatened and endangered species on their properties. DEP is taking applications now under its Landowner Incentive Program (LIP).

"These grants support habitat protection on private lands, recognizing that landowners are often the best stewards of our natural resources," said Commissioner Campbell. "The grants will help New Jersey preserve the richness and diversity of its natural resources and rare species, while recognizing the interests of private owners."

Most rare species in New Jersey are found on privately owned lands. As development increases, so does the possibility that critical wildlife habitat will be lost. There are over 70 species listed on the Department's threatened and endangered species list.

LIP encourages creative, innovative and cost-effective projects for conserving rare species. The types of projects that might qualify for the Landowner Incentive Program are as diverse as the many rare species and habitats they depend upon. Some examples of potential projects that could enhance habitat for rare New Jersey species include:

Habitat Improvements

  • Native vegetation restoration
  • Vernal pool restoration
  • Invasive species control

Habitat Management

  • Changing haying or grazing regimes
  • Prescribed burns
  • Implementing sustainable forestry practices

Habitat Protection

  • Constructing enclosure fences
  • Gating caves
  • Fencing off streams

To apply, the following criteria must be met:

  • The project must contribute to the enhancement of at least one rare species or its habitat in a significant way. Rare species include animal and plant species that are federally or state listed as threatened or endangered, as well as species of special concern in New Jersey.

  • Results of the project must be measurable. You must agree to allow biologists onto your property for both a pre-agreement survey and periodic progress checks.

  • Applicant must sign a project agreement and management plan with the Division of Fish and Wildlife. Each agreement/management plan will be designed to meet the individual landowner's unique conservation and land use needs and objectives.

  • There is a required 25 percent cost share provided by the landowner. Typically this cost share is labor and materials.

  • The property must be owned by a private landowner.

While there is no minimum acreage requirement, most projects will require larger acreage (greater than six acres) to achieve the desired management objectives. There are some projects that LIP will not fund including pond dredging, research efforts and mitigation projects that are required by any land use regulatory program.

The Landowner Incentive Program is an annual competitive grant program fully funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and appropriated by Congress. In New Jersey, LIP is administered by DEP's Division of Fish and Wildlife. A competitive grant process has been developed and proposals will be accepted until September 1, 2004. Applicants will be notified of an award by November 15, 2004.

To learn more about the LIP program, visit DEP's website at:
www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/ensp/pdf/lip_broch.pdf [PDF 134 Kb]

To qualify for LIP, individuals must first fill out an application, which can be obtained by visiting www.njfishandwildlife.com or by calling 609-292-9400.

 

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