Group announces funding available for wildlife, clean air and water

Residents of the Pecatonica River Valley who want to conserve wildlife, clean air and clean water are urged to take action. They are invited to contact the Sugar-Pecatonica Rivers Ecosystem Partnership for help in securing the funding they need to protect and restore areas such as wetlands, woodlands and prairies.

The Sugar-Pecatonica Rivers Ecosystem Partnership is a local group of scientists, recreational enthusiasts, farmers, landowners and concerned citizens working together to conserve wildlife, clean air and clean water for future generations. The group is elligible to apply for grants and technical assistance from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Conservation 2000 Program.

Individuals and organizations who want information and help with their projects can call Sue Merchant, contact person for the Sugar-Pecatonica Rivers Ecosystem Partnership, at (815) 964-6666. The group will meet at 5:30 p.m., Nov. 13, at the Regional Environmental Center in Pecatonica to begin considering project requests. Final grant applications are due Feb. 28, 2007.

Examples of projects that have received funding in Winnebago County are the restoration of a section of a 75-acre wetland along the Sugar River to provide habitat for river otters and sandhill cranes, and the purchase and restoration of 680 acres of wetlands, woodlands and prairies along the Pecatonica and Rock rivers for amphibians, reptiles, songbirds and other wildlife.

Other projects found in northern Illinois counties are restoration of 415 acres adjoining the Hanover Bluff Nature Preserve in Jo Daviess County; purchase of a conservation agreement to protect 101 acres of the Camp Benson property located in the Carroll Creek Canyon in Carroll County; restoration of the south branch of the Kishwaukee River in DeKalb County and purchase of 243 acres of bottomland forest along the Kyte River in Ogle County.

From the Nov. 1-7, 2006, issue

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