Caring for our Natural Heritage
A primary goal of the Division of Natural Heritage is the long-term maintenance and viability of natural areas and rare species. For many natural areas and rare species, merely protecting the lands where they occur is not sufficient. These rare resources, and most natural resources, require stewardship to be successful - to meet the reasons for which those lands were acquired and protected. Stewardship improves and maintains the quality of significant natural features at sites, as well as the quantity, quality, and connectivity of natural communities for vulnerable plant and animal species.
Stewardship is the land management policies and practices required to maintain the ecological integrity and ecological processes necessary to support natural communities and species on the landscape. Appropriate and timely management actions include routine maintenance such as prescribed fire, as well as more significant restoration or reconstruction techniques such as native species establishment, invasive species removal, restoration of topography, and/or hydrology.
Program staff work with IDNR field biologists and diverse conservation partners and volunteers to deliver critical stewardship needs to high-quality natural areas throughout the state.