The North American Wetland Conservation Act (NAWCA), like the Land Trust, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. NAWCA funding has resulted in over 2,950 projects and protected over 30 million acres of wetland habitat all over North America and Mexico. NAWCA was passed in part, to support activities under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, an international agreement that provides a strategy for the long-term protection of important habitat for waterfowl and other migratory birds.
NAWCA grants are a major catalyst for wetland conservation and restoration. Working with private landowners and partners across the region, the Land Trust has protected important habitat for wetland-dependent species including Long-billed Curlew, Greater Sandhill Crane, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Bald Eagle, and White-faced Ibis to name a few. These efforts have added to and buffered regionally and continentally important core conservation areas. Together with our partners, we have secured $9 million in NAWCA funding that has leveraged over $56 million in other conservation matching funds. These grants have protected over 14,500 acres of habitat and helped restore and enhance habitat on over 9,900 acres.
The goal of our most recent NAWCA grant is to strategically sustain and improve bird populations through the protection and enhancement of wetlands. Thirteen landowners, businesses, conservation organizations, and agencies partnered to provide over $2.4 million in cash and in-kind match. Over 1,800 acres of habitat will be protected and/or enhanced in the Upper Snake River Watershed.
The Huntsman Fox Creek property is a great example of the importance of NAWCA’s support. We are currently working on several other projects in the region with multiple federal and private partners. We are grateful for NAWCA, as well as all the state, regional, non-governmental, and private partners that have matched these important federal funds to see thousands of acres restored and protected.