NRCS and FWS Extend Wildlife Conservation Efforts to Working
MORGANTOWN, WV, September 18, 2012—Natural Resources
Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced an
agreement providing long-term regulatory predictability for up to 30 years to
farmers and forest landowners participating in NRCS’s Working Lands for Wildlife
(WLFW) initiative. WLFW uses a voluntary, innovative and proactive approach with
farmers and forest managers to benefit high-priority habitat for seven species
of wildlife that are at-risk or candidate/listed under the Endangered Species
Act (ESA) while helping their operations remain viable and productive.
Working Lands for Wildlife gives peace of mind to farmers and forest landowners.
As long as they maintain proven conservation practices on their land that
benefit WLFW species, they can rest assured they will remain compliant with ESA
regulatory responsibilities for up to 30 years. Through WLFW, landowners can
receive technical and financial assistance by volunteering to restore habitat
for specific species on their land.
“We are working to remove the fear around the Endangered Species Act and to
empower private landowners across the country to keep working lands working
while simultaneously protecting and sustaining at-risk species,” said NRCS State
Conservationist Kevin Wickey.
WLFW is focusing on seven selected species throughout the country including the
golden-winged warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera) here in West Virginia.
||The golden-winged warbler and many other species, like ruffed grouse
or woodcock, use shrubby early successional habitats for breeding. These
areas include idle vegetated areas, forest clear-cuts, alder swamps,
areas harvested for timber, utility right-of ways, and similar areas.
The decline in the availability of these habitats may be caused by
development, re-forestation of farmland, fire suppression, and changes
in agricultural and forestry practices.
For more information about Working Lands for Wildlife, please
visit http://go.usa.gov/rsUj. Interested
producers and landowners in priority areas can enroll at their local
NRCS field office. Applications within the priority habitat areas (private
lands 2,000 to 3,200 feet in elevation) will receive highest consideration. High
priority counties are Greenbrier, Mercer, Monroe, Pocahontas, Randolph, and
Tucker. Medium priority counties are Barbour, Fayette, McDowell, Nicholas,
Preston, Raleigh, Summers, Taylor, Upshur, Webster, and Wyoming.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To
file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil
Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call
800-795-3272 (voice) or 202-720-6382 (TDD).
||Public Affairs Specialist
1550 Earl Core Road, Suite 200,
Morgantown, WV 26505
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