A project to help federally-listed aquatic species in Macon County has received $142,500 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The money will be used to acquire 39 acres, of which about 2,600 feet is frontage on the Little Tennessee River. The purchase aims to protect habitat and reduce sedimentation to benefit the threatened spotfin chub, the endangered littlewing pearlymussel and the endangered Appalachian elktoe.
The award was part of a recent round of nearly $32 million in grants given out in 20 states to help conserve rare species. The grants enable states to work with private landowners, conservation groups and other government agencies to initiate conservation planning and acquire and protect habitat that benefits threatened and endangered fish, wildlife and plants.
The competitive grants were issued through the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund.
“Private landowners play a vital role in conserving our most imperiled species, but they need our help,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. “These grants provide a lifeline to species on the brink [of extinction] by fostering partnerships between federal, state and local governments, private organizations, and individuals.”