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Million-dollar grant to enhance migratory bird habitat

Spokane, Wash.: Avista, Ducks Unlimited (DU) and other partners have received a $1 million grant to protect and enhance wetland habitat for migratory birds in the Clark Fork-Pend Oreille watershed, located in northern Idaho and western Montana. The $1 million grant is the maximum amount awarded by the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) to any single project.

The project is a collaborative effort with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, The Conservation Fund, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Trout Unlimited, Clark Fork-Pend Oreille Conservancy, U.S. Forest Service, Green Mountain Conservation District, Sanders County Resource Advisory Committee, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and numerous private landowners.

Altogether, the associated projects of the partners and those implemented as part of the NAWCA grant will protect or enhance some 3,000 acres at a total cost of more than $8 million. The NAWCA funds will be used specifically to provide conservation easements on over 200 acres of key streams, marshes and associated uplands on the Bull River in Sanders County, Mont., and in the Pack River of Bonner County in north Idaho. In addition, over 600 acres of existing wetland habitat owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the Pack River Delta will be enhanced.

“This is an excellent example of what can be achieved when a diverse group of partners all focus on a common goal,” said Nate Hall, Avista’s Terrestrial Program leader.

The nation’s leading wetland conservation group, DU, combined forces with the partners to Avista’s nationally recognized Clark Fork Settlement Agreement and other collaborators to develop the grant application. The project was one of 21 selected nationally to receive funding.

“It’s a great partnership, a great project,” said Ivan Lines of Ducks Unlimited. “This project is a win-win situation for wildlife and citizens of northern Idaho and western Montana.”

NAWCA, which was established in 1989, is a highly competitive federal grant program that promotes public-private partnerships to protect, restore and manage wetland habitat for a diversity of migratory birds and other wildlife.

Avista Corp. is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities is a company operating division that provides service to 346,000 electric and 305,000 natural gas customers in three western states. Avista’s non-regulated subsidiaries include Advantage IQ and Avista Energy. Avista Corp.’s stock is traded under the ticker symbol “AVA.” For more information about Avista, please visit www.avistacorp.com. Avista Corp. and the Avista Corp. logo are trademarks of Avista Corporation.


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