Friday USDA Under Secretary Mark Rey awarded $4.1 million to fund 27 projects in 20 states to manage and control invasive plants, animals or insects that adversely affect private and tribal grazing lands.
"These grants will develop and strengthen partnerships among private landowners, organizations and state and local governments to prevent the spread of invasive species on our nation's valuable grazing lands," Rey says. "Farmers and ranchers take great care of the land and by working together we can maintain this national treasure."
Rey announced the grants in
Funding for the 27 grants was provided from USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service's Conservation Technical Assistance Program through the Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative. GLCI is a partnership of individuals and organizations whose objective is to maintain and improve the management, productivity and health of the nation's privately owned grazing land.
This is the first year USDA has offered these grants. USDA received 89 applications from 25 states totaling more than $20 million in requests. Twenty-seven grants, ranging from $50,000 to $300,000, were awarded to fund projects in 20 states.
Selected through national competition, the approved grants will fund one to three-year projects to control and manage invasive species. The grantees - state and local governments, tribes and non-governmental organizations - must provide at least 50% of the project cost with non-federal funds and/or in-kind contributions.
Approved projects will inventory, map, contain or eradicate invasive species affecting grazing lands on a local, watershed, state or regional basis. In another example, the Stillwater County Weed District in
Limited resource farmers and ranchers and federally-recognized Native American tribes also benefit from the grants. USDA will fund projects in eight states -
A state listing of the GLCI grants can be found at www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/glci/GLCI-tom.pdf. Additional information about the Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative can be found at www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/glci.