Last updated:

Bureau of Land Management
For Release: Tuesday, October 5, 2004
Contacts:
Dwight Fielder
(202) 452-7761
Heather Feeney
(202) 452-5031
 

BLM and States Develop Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategies

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is collaborating with state wildlife management agencies to create the first nationwide approach to wildlife management.

Under legislation passed by Congress in 2001, all states and six U.S. territories must complete comprehensive wildlife conservation strategies for species found within their borders in order to remain eligible for Federal funding through the State Wildlife Grant (SWG) program. The legislation directs states to gather input for their plans from Federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, conservation groups and other state agencies. The BLM is working at both the national and State Office levels to make recommendations on species and habitats that should be addressed in each plan, to identify threats to these species and habitats, and to recommend conservation actions.

“Cooperating with state wildlife managers as they create these plans will enable us to take a more proactive approach to protecting wildlife,” said Fran Cherry, Deputy Director of the BLM.

“Because the plans will give a statewide perspective,” Cherry added, “they will provide crucial up-to-date information on species and habitats at risk, regardless of ownership of the land containing the habitat and related species.”

Congress requires that each plan include eight elements and that completed plans be submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by October 1, 2005. Strategies will be reviewed every ten years and updated as necessary.

States have the lead in wildlife management because the law generally recognizes states’ primacy in managing both game and non-game species. Surface owners, including the BLM—which manages 261 million acres of public land in 12 Western states—are generally responsible for habitat conditions.

The BLM, an agency of the U.S. Department of the Interior, manages more land than any other Federal agency. The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on the public lands.

Details on Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategies are available at www.teaming.com/state_wildlife_strategies.htm. The Instructional Memorandum encouraging BLM’s active involvement in developing the strategies is available at www.blm.gov/nhp/efoia/wo/fy04/im2004-256.htm.