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Michigan officials back federal wildlife conservation plan

Near Craig Lake State Park, Baraga Co.<br />Photo courtesy: Michigan DNR; Wetlands, like this...
Near Craig Lake State Park, Baraga Co.<br />Photo courtesy: Michigan DNR; Wetlands, like this area near Craig Lake State Park in Baraga County, play a key role in the health of Michigan&amp;rsquo;s environment. (WLUC)
Published: Jul. 19, 2018 at 5:51 AM EDT
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Michigan officials want Congress to approve legislation that would boost funding for fish and wildlife conservation.

Pending bills would allocate $1.3 billion a year to the Wildlife Conservation Restoration Program. The money would be generated through energy development on federal lands and waters.

State Department of Natural Resources Director Keith Creagh says the federal program would be similar to the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund. It uses royalties from the sale or lease of state-owned minerals to buy or improve public lands for recreation.

The DNR estimates Michigan would receive $31 million per year if the federal initiative were approved. It could be used for efforts such as habitat restoration and fighting invasive species.

More than 300 wildlife species in the state need protection to prevent them from becoming endangered.