Washington recently announced more than $5 million in funding to Native American tribes and state wildlife agencies through the Tribal Wildlife Grant (TWG) program. The funds, which are provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), give critical support for a diverse array of species and habitats across the country.
A local environmental firm, New Century Environmental (NCE) played a role in getting Santee the competitive grant award at a time where federal dollars are sparse for conservation work.
Nationwide, USFWS received a total of 102 proposals requesting more than $17 million. The proposals were reviewed by regional and national scoring panels and a total of 28 tribal wildlife grants are being awarded, totaling $5,058,496. The USFWS are honored to work with federally recognized tribes to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of tribal citizens and the American public.
Among those, is a project entitled “Representative Small Mammals in Minimally Disturbed Habitats of the Santee Sioux Indian Reservation, Nebraska” for $188,496 that staff scientists at New Century Environmental wrote in 2017.
The Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska under the direction of Alisha Bartling, Director, Office of Environmental Protection, proposes to conduct a study of the existing small mammal population presence in some of the most undisturbed areas on the reservation and document diversity and abundance of common, rare and sensitive small mammal species.
In October 2012 NCE documented the most endangered mammal in North America, the black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes), on Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North and South Dakota.
In October 2015 NCE scientists (Kurt Tooley and Chris Shank) also discovered the northern long eared bat, Myotis septentrionalis on Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota. The species is listed as threatened.
New Century Environmental LLC (NCE), an environmental consulting business based in Columbus, Nebraska, employs a team of environmental and ecological professionals who provide quality environmental services across the Great Plains. They provide wetland science expertise, and a broad spectrum of environmental impact assessment services related to rare plant and animal species.
Michael Gutzmer, principal and owner of the firm, has been in business for almost 12 years in the Columbus area. Currently Madeline Franks, biologist for NCE, is writing a USFWS grant to study amphibians and reptiles on reservation lands in North and South Dakota.