The Huplits Wildlife Grants Committee of the Allegheny Group has announced the results of its 2012 annual grant competition. From seven initial proposals the committee awarded four grants worth $50,000 with the following goals.
- Provide for environmental review of oil and gas drilling operations on the Allegheny NF, as well as a Forest and Water Action campaign.
- Conduct a BioBlitz event in Bucks County.
- Continue a habitat management program to help recover and maintain populations of the endangered eastern massasauga rattlesnake.
- Introduce the national Audubon Society’s Forestry for the Birds Initiative into Pennsylvania,
Details of the six grants follow.
1. Allegheny Defense Project (ADP). To defend the settlement agreement reached between Sierra Club, ADP, Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics and the U.S. Forest Service to conduct environmental reviews pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act before authorizing surface access for private oil and gas drilling projects in the Allegheny National Forest. Funding will also support the Pennsylvania Forest and River Action campaign, the next natural step after a successful two years of the Allegheny Forest and River Watch project, which was funded by a previous Huplits Wildlife Grant. ….. ADP is awarded $25,000.
2. Heritage Conservancy. Heritage Conservancy’s BioBlitz is a 24-hour event in which a team of scientists, volunteers and community members find, identify, and learn about plant and animal species at the Bristol Marsh Preserve in Bucks County. Huplits previously supported the Bristol Marsh restoration and stewardship by awarding funding in 2009. ….. Heritage Conservancy is awarded $7,000.
3. Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC). Building on momentum from earlier WPC research and outreach to private landowners and public land managers, this WPC project focuses on providing critical habitat management to recover and maintain populations of the endangered eastern massasauga rattlesnake. This year’s award will continue allow WPC to provide critical habitat management for the endangered Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake in three Northwestern Pennsylvania counties. Huplits provided the initial funding for this project in 2011. ….. WPC is awarded $8,000.
4. Audubon Pennsylvania. Audubon Pennsylvania will bring the Forestry for the Birds Initiative to our Commonwealth. The Forestry for the Birds Initiative is a proven conservation program developed by Audubon Vermont. The project will combine modified print materials for Pennsylvania in tandem with educational program to teach professional service providers how to guide and advise landowners interested in managing their property for woodland-nesting birds. …… Audubon Pennsylvania is awarded $10,000.