Federal grants to help eiders and brown bears

Posted: Monday, May 07, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Federal grants will go toward helping the Steller's and spectacled eiders near Barrow and brown bears on the Kenai Peninsula.

The Barrow Eider Conservation Plan will receive $82,000 to help the North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management to develop a conservation plan and conduct outreach activities with the public. Both the Steller's and spectacled eiders are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

The funds will be used to hire a planner to help draft the conservation plan and to hire an outreach coordinator to build support for conservation strategies.

The National Audubon Society and The Nature Conservancy will receive $136,581 to implement recommendations of the Kenai Peninsula Brown Bear Conservation Strategy. The plan was developed last year by a group appointed by the mayor of the Kenai Borough, the commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the special assistant to the U.S. Department of the Interior.

It focuses on how the Kenai's small brown bear population, which meets criteria used in the Lower 48 to classify it as threatened, and the peninsula's growing human population can best co-exist.

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