Working with States
Defenders of Wildlife helped create the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants Program (SWG) to encourage proactive wildlife conservation by federal agencies, state agencies and Indian tribes. Congress designates approximately $68 million in funding grants to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and all 6 U.S. territories each year to help the states develop biodiversity conservation programs that will prevent species from becoming endangered.
State Wildlife Action Plans
Because the amount each state wildlife agency receives each year is not enough to meet all of its conservation goals, Defenders encouraged Congress to require each state to create a comprehensive wildlife conservation plan, also known as a State Wildlife Action Plan. These plans aim to identify the highest priority conservation needs and help coordinate conservation action within and between government and other organizations.
Defenders commented on every state plan as it was being written, and in some states our field staff actively participated in the development of the State Wildlife Action Plan. Today, every state and territory has completed a plan and they are required to update them by 2015. Part of that update is to include the impacts of climate change. Defenders is working in key states (Florida, California, Oregon and North Carolina) to provide guidance on incorporating climate change and to promote a national standard of practice for climate change adaptation planning for wildlife.