The Illinois Department of Natural Resources recently announced the award of 26 grants for wildlife enhancement projects made possible through voluntary donations to the Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund.
The Wildlife Preservation Fund is a voluntary contribution check-off option on the Illinois state income tax form. In the 29 years of the program, approximately 1,200 projects have been funded throughout the state through check-off donations totaling more than $5.6 million. The funds have been used to support projects ranging from habitat enhancements to species restoration.
Donations to the Wildlife Preservation Fund are tax deductible and may be made on Schedule G, line 1a of the IL-1040 form.
Donations to the fund may also be addressed to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Office of Resource Conservation, Division of Natural Heritage, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, Ill., 62702-1271.
The Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund Advisory Committee approved $99,980 in funding for 26 projects this year (FY’14).
They include seven projects with funding ranging from $4,700.00 to $15,989.00 with one such project partially taking place in Johnson County:
The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois; $7,482.00 – Effects of White-nose Syndrome on Reproduction & Survival in Illinois Cave-hibernating Bat Species – This study is an expansion of field studies of Myotis lucifugus (little brown bat) and Eptesicus fuscus (big brown bat) maternal colonies. Vermillion, Johnson and Adams Counties are included in this project. Contact Lisa Powers at (217) 333-5136 for further information.
Funding of $2,000 or less was awarded for 19 other projects to be conducted by a variety of organizations, groups, institutions and individuals throughout the state with several to include Johnson County:
• Benda, Christopher; $2,000.00 – Basic Plant Identification Workshops in Southern Illinois – To hold 10 one-day basic plant identification workshops in nine counties of Southern Illinois. Alexander, Hardin, Jackson, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Union, Pulaski and Randolph Counties (Contact: Christopher Benda (217) 417-4145)
• Illinois Native Plant Society – Southern Chapter; $1,500.00 – Continuing Public Education about Native Plants Through the Addition of a Summer “Wildflower Walk” Guide. – Develop and print a Summer Wildlife Walk guide. Alexander, Gallatin, Hardin, Jackson, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Williamson and Union Counties (Contact: Chris Benda (217) 417-4145)
• Shawnee Resource Conservation & Development Area, Inc.; $2,000.00 – Education of the Public regarding best management practices for controlling invasive species through creation and printing of a guide: “Management of Invasive Plants of Southern Illinois” and landowner workshops based upon this guide. Alexander, Gallatin, Hardin, Jackson, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Union and Williamson Counties (Contact: Karla Gage (618) 944-1736)
• The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois; $1,980.00 – Occupancy of Aquatic Macro-invertebrates in Seasonal Wetlands – Sample and identify aquatic macro-invertebrates from seasonal wetlands located on public lands. McHenry, Lake, Lee, Washington, Perry, Jackson, Franklin, Union, Hamilton, Pope, Alexander, Johnson and Hardin Counties (Contact: Peter Schiffer (217) 333-2187)
For more information on the Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund and grant program, contact the IDNR Division of Natural Heritage at 217-785-8691.