September 11, 2003
GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES $1.4 MILLION IN GRANTS FOR LOCAL CONSERVATION 2000 PROJECTS
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced more than $1.4 million in Conservation 2000 (C2000) Ecosystems Program grants to local organizations and individuals residing within 10 Ecosystems Partnerships throughout the state.
Funds will be used to acquire interest in more than 200 acres and restore 2,000 acres of forests, wetlands and prairie. In addition, more than 1,100 students will be educated on the benefits of habitat restoration and protection.
"This program unites groups from a variety of interests and backgrounds in a common goal to protect, restore and enhance the natural resources in their own local area," said Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Joel Brunsvold. "I want to thank all of the partnerships for all of their hard work throughout Illinois. They are key to the delivery of watershed improvements statewide."
The C2000 Ecosystems Program brings together the interests and participation of local communities along watersheds-- landowners, businesses, scientists, environmental organizations, recreational enthusiast, and policy makers -- in a partnership to enhance and protect watersheds through ecosystem-based management. Each partnership group is eligible to apply for grants and technical assistance from the Department of Natural Resources. The program has grown to 39 such partnerships, covering 82 percent of the state’s landcover.
Conservation 2000 Grants
University of Illinois, $20,000.00. Effects of Hydrologic Restoration on Birds in Bottomland Forests. This research will determine the effects of the restoration of off-channel wetlands on the diversity, abundance, and nesting success of birds within a bottomland forest ecosystem. Results will increase our ability to effectively restore hydrologic processes and manage habitat for species that depend on functioning bottomland forests.
Friends of the Cache River, $35,000.00. Big Creek Fisheries Habitat Restoration and Bank Stabilization Project. The project will place a series of approximately eight riffle weirs in a reach of Big Creek in order to halt local channel incision. Big Creek is the largest tributary stream entering the Lower Cache River, and has been identified as a significant source of sedimentation the Lower Cache River swamps.
the Cache River, $450,000.00. Lower Cache River Dredging and Deep Water
Habitat. The project is a joint effort between IDNR and USFWS (Cypress Creek
NWR) and Friends of the Cache River. The primary goal of the dredging is to
remove accumulated sediment from a 1.25 mile section of the Lower Cache
River in order to restore deepwater fishery habitat, improve ecology of the
river and recreational uses.
McHenry County Conservation District, $42,000.00. Lawson Creek Headwater Restoration. This project will recreate most of the original 2,500 foot meandering channel of Lawson Creek, a small headwater tributary to Nippersink Creek, ditched in the 1940s. In addition it will provide for the restoration of 40 acres of cropland to prairie and enhancement of 20 acres of oak savanna north of the stream's conflux with Nippersink Creek.
Forest Preserve District, $30,000.00. Fish Lake Fen Habitat Restoration.
This project will remove 25 acres of buckthorn thickets within a rare
calcareous fen. The Lake County Forest Preserve District will implement
long-term management and monitoring prescriptions such as controlled
burning, follow-up invasive species control, plant/animal monitoring, and
Washington County SWCD, $22,000.00. Garlic Mustard Control in the Kaskaskia. Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is a rapidly spreading exotic weed of forests that is displacing native species and negatively affecting the balance of the forest ecosystem. The goal of this project is to control and eradicate this species from the area.
Southern Illinois University, $156,105.00. Bottomland Forest Health in the Lower Kaskaskia River Region, Years 3 and 4. This project will continue to assess the relationship between flooding and forest health on the Lower Kaskaskia River bottomlands, which contain the largest contiguous tract of forested land in Illinois. Management recommendations will be offered to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers based upon vegetation and hydrologic data collection and analysis.
Boone County Conservation District, $5,280.00. Distillery Conservation District Restoration Project Phase 1. This project plans to restore a native, short grass prairie of local ecotype. The prairie will greatly improve habitat in an area where four breeding pairs of endangered Henslow’s Sparrows were observed by an IDNR Heritage Biologist.
Institute, $17,700.00. Clear Water Legacy Expansion. This project will
purchase a conservation easement on 11 acres of riparian forest adjacent to
the Kishwaukee River and 336-acre Clear Water Legacy Project (016-01). The
parcel is connected by the river to thousands of acres of habitat protected
by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and DeKalb and Winnebago
County Forest Preserve Districts.
Southwestern Illinois RC&D, Inc., $68,512.50. Southwestern Illinois GIS Conservation Practices Tracking System. This project will develop a seven-county GIS tracking system that will be used to record and monitor all conservation practices on USGS DOQQs. The information will allow resource managers and planners insight into practices that have been implemented, their affect on the ecosystem, and areas to direct additional conservation programs.
Mazon River Watershed Planning, $3,750.00. Mazon River Watershed Education and Outreach Effort. This project will raise the perception level of 5th graders and the general population of the size, scope, history, importance, and sustainability of the Mazon River Watershed. Volunteers and stakeholders in both classroom and open forum settings will present educational information about the river and watershed. Key educational tools will include topographic maps and activity books.
Ducks Unlimited, Inc., $200,000.00. Dresden Island Waterfowl Management Area. Ducks Unlimited (DU) will purchase 74 acres of cropland along the Illinois river near Dresden Island. Following acquisition, DU will work with other conservation partners to restore wetland habitat on the property. Proximity of the site to the Dresden pool of the Illinois River, Heidecke Lake and Goose Lake Prairie State Park make it ideally suited as a waterfowl management area.
Natural Land Institute, $174,680.00. Kiser-Sugar River Bottoms Conservation Easement. Purchase a conservation easement on 78 acres of riparian forest and wetlands on the Sugar River will be done with this project. This tract is part of a 1,900-acre forest within an Illinois Natural Area Inventory site, most of which is forest preserve. The landowner will donate an agricultural easement on 45 acres of farmland, for a contiguous protected parcel of 123 acres.
Marion County SWCD, $160,000.00. CRP Grassland Habitat Incentive Project II. An incentive program will used to develop 750 acres of critically needed grassland habitat on private land. The target areas are near the Prairie River State Natural Area in Clay, Effingham, Fayette and Marion counties. An incentive payment of $200.00 per acre in combination with CRP benefits will encourage private landowners to establish the needed grassland.
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