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Since 2002, Congress has annually appropriated funds for state nongame wildlife programs through the State Wildlife Grants, or SWG, program. Because this is only an annual appropriation, Congress must be lobbied extensively each year to assure funding is not cut. Money is awarded to each state on a project-by-project basis, with a requirement of 1:1 match using state or other non-federal sources. SWG funds may be used only for projects relating to "species of greatest conservation need" identified in the Iowa Wildlife Action Plan, and not for wildlife education or recreation projects. States have two years to seek approval for projects and obligate funding from each annual appropriation. While the need for continuing pressure on Congress and finding dollar-for-dollar match money is demanding, the program has nonetheless been extremely important
The State Wildlife Grants program has allowed the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and its partners to accomplish so much more for Iowa's Natural Resources than was possible before its inception. State Wildlife Grants is the nation's most important program in keeping species from becoming endangered. It has brought an average of $760,000 a year (~$6 million since '01) into the state which has been matched in kind by the Department of Natural Resources and multiple partners. The money has helped protect more public land to aid species conservation while providing additional recreational opportunities for Iowa's citizens. It has funded vital research which has helped our land managers make the best decisions for wildlife. Finally, the money has been used to directly fund better management on our public lands.
Summary of programs the State Wildlife Grants money has funded or is currently funding
Bobcat Population Study
Iowa Stream Fish
Iowa Stream Fish