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News Release

NRCS Announces Special Funding for Driftless Area in NW Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 14, 2013
For More Information , State Public Affairs Specialist,

Agricultural Producers located in the Driftless Area can Participate

Champaign, IL, February 13, 2014 — State Conservationist Ivan Dozier announced the launch of a new Landscape Conservation Initiative offered in Illinois for fiscal year 2013. The effort will help private landowners restore, improve and protect fish and wildlife habitat on working lands (cropped and grazed), forests, streams, and prairies located within Illinois’ Driftless Area. Interested and eligible landowners can use the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) administered by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to address these natural resource issues.

NRCS will make financial assistance available to farmers and forest landowners in the Driftless Area. Included in this effort are portions of Carroll, Jo Daviess, Ogle, Stephenson, Winnebago, and Whiteside Counties. Farmers and forest landowners have until March 15, 2013 to submit applications for the Driftless Area Landscape Conservation Initiative.

The Driftless Area is a 24,000-square-mile area that covers parts of four states--Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The last continental glacial movement bypassed this area, unlike most of the Upper Midwest. The scenic areas that remain feature steep valleys, sandstone bluffs, more than 600 unique spring-fed creeks, and flat ridges previously covered in prairie grasses and scattered oaks.

The purpose of the new initiative is to manage fish and wildlife habitat in support of the unique and diverse species found in the region. By working together with private landowners, NRCS hope to:

• Manage working lands for increased perennial cover;
• Manage woodlands for increased diversity;
• Restore working lands to prairie and manage existing grasslands and oak savanna habitats for improved bird and pollinator habitat; and
• Restore cold-water trout streams and adjacent riparian areas.

While NRCS accepts applications for financial assistance on a continuous basis, there will be only one application cutoff for the Driftless Area Landscape Conservation Initiative in Illinois. That deadline is March 15, 2013; however, if funds allow, there will be a second application cutoff on May 17, 2013. To apply, eligible producers should contact their local NRCS Field Office. For more information about the Driftless Area Landscape Conservation Initiative and NRCS’ programs, initiatives and services in Illinois, visit NRCS online at

Caption: Location of Illinois' EQIP Driftless Area Landscape Conservation Initiative for 2013. Farmers and forest landowners with land in these areas who are interested in applying for dedicated EQIP funds should contact their local NRCS office or visit to see a detailed map.  Click on map to view larger image.











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