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IDNR announces FY2022 Habitat Fund project grants

Jayette Bolinski
IDNR announces FY2022 Habitat Fund project grants
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) today announced the latest projects being funded through the Illinois Habitat Fund Special Wildlife Funds Grant Program.
The program enhances game and non-game wildlife habitat through projects developed by not-for-profit organizations and governmental entities. Funding for the Illinois Habitat Fund Special Wildlife Funds Grant Program comes from the sale of Habitat Stamps to sportsmen and sportswomen.

Summary of the State Habitat Fund Committee Recommendations

      Grants to governmental entities and not-for-profits for Habitat Projects: $446,566.00

      Designated for IDNR Land Acquisition: $53,434.00

Total October FY2022 Committee Recommended Funding:

The Illinois Habitat Fund Advisory Committee recommended funding the six highest scoring grant projects described below:

Ducks Unlimited, Copperas Creek Wetland – Enhancement for replacement of outdated water control structures. $50,000 of state Habitat funds were awarded, with the grantee providing $100,000 in matching funds. https://www.ducks.org/

Quail and Upland Game Alliance, Woody Succession Program – A program that offers landowners assistance with removing woody succession and brushy areas to improve game bird habitat. State Habitat funds totaling $70,400 were awarded, with the grantee providing $32,000 in matching funds. http://quga.org

Pheasants and Quail Forever, chapter habitat projects – Projects assisting landowners with brush management, prescribed burns, invasives removal, native plantings and pollinator plants. Through the use of upland habitat Best Management Practices, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever chapters will work with landowners and partners to complete habitat projects. Prescribed burning, diverse native plantings, brush removal, and invasive species control are some of the practices that could be used to restore and improve habitat. Criteria for ranking possible projects has been outlined to focus conservation acres in priority areas, provide opportunities for conservation on non-program lands, and match partners for the project. $85,000 of state Habitat funds were awarded, with the grantee providing $34,000 in matching funds.    https://pheasantsforever.org/

McHenry County Conservation District, preservation and restoration efforts at Pleasant Valley Conservation Area – Establishing a high-diversity prairie and adding additional acres of oak savanna and grazing grasslands for grazing bison. Includes the purchase of a flac-vac seed harvestor to process 1,330 pounds of native seeds gathered by the habitat teams. State Habitat funds totaling $36,630 were awarded, with the grantee providing $285,782.33 in matching funds. https://www.mccdistrict.org/

Shawnee Resource Conservation District, an open canopy project that assists landowners with forest stand improvement, invasives removal and control, and prescribed burns on forested oak ecosystems – Shawnee Resource Conservation and Development Area Inc., along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, U.S Forest Service, IDNR, River to River Cooperative Weed Management Area, Southern Illinois Prescribed Burn Association, University of Illinois, Pope County Community Wildfire Protection Plan, Forest Restoration Support Team, National Wild Turkey Federation, and several private landowners are working together to enhance and recover the historical upland oak-hickory forest ecosystem. The resources made available through this grant will go toward restoration activities such as removing undesirable and invasive vegetation (mechanical removal and chemical application), forest stand improvement following the recommendations in each landowner’s Forest Management Plan, the creation of fire breaks, and prescribed fire. This year’s grant will help restore an additional 700 forested acres. The State Habitat grant is $115,120, with the grantee providing $100,000 in matching funds. http://shawneercd.org/

Pheasants Forever, the Illinois Recreational Access Program (IRAP) Habitat Strike Team (HST) – The strike team conducts work on private lands enrolled in IRAP, which provides semi-controlled public access on sites throughout Illinois. The HST provides assistance to landowners by writing prescribed burn and forestry plans, installing firebreaks, conducting prescribed bums, timber stand improvement, non-native invasive species removal, brush management, layout of grids for aerial spraying plots, improve existing wildlife cover, planting new acres into wildlife cover, and promoting IRAP. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever requested funds to continue the HST. State Habitat funds totaling $174,416 were awarded, with the grantee providing $49,179 in matching funds, and $300,000 in additional IDNR state funding. https://pheasantsforever.org

For information on how a nonprofit or government entity can apply for a Habitat Grant starting July 1, 2022, visit: https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/grants/Pages/Habitat-Funding-Opportunity.aspx

Forms and the Notice of Funding Opportunity for grantees to apply can be found by visiting:  https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/grants/Pages/Special-Wildlife-Funds-Grant-Program.aspx

For additional questions or assistance, contact Susan Duke at susan.duke@illinois.gov or call 217-785-4416.

Search for all current state funding opportunities by visiting:

Register to be notified of all new IDNR grant opportunities by signing up for the email list at this link:  https://illinois.us3.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=4766181463cb14f874832ee4d&id=e73048906a


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