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NORTH AMERICAN WATERFOWL MANAGEMENT PLAN AND THE NORTH AMERICAN WETLANDS CONSERVATION ACT

 TWIN CITIES, Minn., Jan. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The grass roots efforts taking place in the Cannon River Watershed Partnership (CRWP) are making steadfast contributions to the North American Waterfowl Management Plan's Upper Mississippi River/Great Lakes Joint Venture. The plan, signed by the American and Canadian governments in 1986, is a landscape- level action plan for restoring waterfowl and other migratory bird populations by protecting, enhancing and restoring wetlands and associated uplands. The plan uses waterfowl as an environmental barometer to gauge the health of the continent's wetlands and to establish habitat objectives for priority focus areas in the same way the CRWP uses aquatic insects to monitor the quality of the watershed over time.
 The CRWP's holistic approach to natural resources management via broad partnerships mirrors the plan's implementation efforts through Joint Ventures. Joint Ventures are unique partnerships comprised of federal, state, provincial and territorial governments, private individuals and conservation entities, all of whom play critical roles in accomplishing regional population and habitat goals. Both the CRWP and the Upper Mississippi River/Great Lakes Joint Venture rely on the grass roots and committed work of private individuals, conservation organizations, and cooperation between all facets of local, state and federal agencies to get the job done.
 They also have another common thread: the high cost of funding wetlands conservation projects with a limited budget. This is especially difficult when projects are approached from a watershed or landscape level such as the CRWP. To help conservationists tackle the high cost of doing business, the 101st Congress enacted the North American Wetlands Conservation Act in December 1989. The act encourages partnerships to protect and manage wetland habitats across the entire North American continent and to maintain and improve habitats for migratory birds and other wetland wildlife. Since initial funding, 168 wetlands conservation projects have been funded with $57.3 million in federal grants.
 Monies are available for wetlands protection, restoration and enhancement activities like those taking place in the CRWP, in the United States, Canada and Mexico through the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund. Wetlands conservation project proposals can be submitted by any individual, organization or agency with matching funds or in-kind services to contribute. Proposals are accepted twice yearly, on April 1 and Aug. 1. Grant application instructions are available to assist interested parties in the preparation of proposals.
 The North American Wetlands Conservation Council, established by the Secretary of the Interior, evaluates wetlands projects and assigns priorities for funding. The council considers each proposal's nongame benefits, wetlands values and special recognition, long-term wetlands conservation, endangered species, biological diversity, waterfowl benefits, partnerships and consistency with the plan. Project funding is determined by the cabinet-level Migratory Bird Conservation Commission.
 If you have a wetlands conservation project in mind and want to learn more about the North American Waterfowl Management Plan and the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund, call or write the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Upper Mississippi River/Great Lakes Region Joint Venture, Division of Refuges and Wildlife, Bishop Henry Whipple Federal Building, 1 Federal Drive, Fort Snelling, Minn., 55111, or call 612-725-3313 and ask for Jim Leach or Jerry Schotzko.
 -0- 1/8/93
 /CONTACT: Jerry Schotzko, 612-725-3313, Angie Graziano, 703-358-1784, or Susan Dreiband, 612-725-3519, all of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/


CO: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ST: Minnesota IN: SU:

KH -- MN004 -- 3097 01/08/93 14:50 EST
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Date:Jan 8, 1993
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