Oregon receives grant to help protect threatened and endangered species

Elk feed Jan. 18 at the Wenaha Wildlife Area near Troy. A heavy snowfall this winter in the Pacific Northwest and other parts of the West has caused travel delays and other problems for people, but wildlife are also suffering, from deer and elk whose food sources are buried under snow and ice to cougars that had to forage in an Oregon town. (Keith Kohl/ Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife via AP)

OREGON - The Federal Government is aiming to protect Oregon's wildlife by giving the state a $750,000 federal grant to protect threatened and endangered species west of the Cascades.

The grant comes from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service, and the state has agreed to pair the funds with an additional $250,000 grant. The funding will go to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Oregon Department of Forestry.

The next step is for officials from both agencies to collect data to determine what is endangered in the Northwest forest lands.

"It's a begging of a process that will take a few years if the state goes forward with the habitat proposal," said Jason Cox, with the Oregon Department of Forestry. "The 2018 part of it is essentially doing a conservation and economic cost-benefit analysis to develop some baseline data."

Cox says that their habitat conservation plan will be the second phase, and the plan takes into account 30-50 years on how to protect threatened and endangered species while still allowing forest management.

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