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News Release

Driftless Area Selected for Federal Conservation Funding

Renae Anderson, Public Affairs Specialist
(608) 662-4422 ext 227

Focus on Fish and Wildlife, Reducing Erosion

Madison, Wis–– The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced Wisconsin will receive $1.2 million this year to address conservation needs in the Driftless Area through a special Conservation Initiative. The focus will be to reduce soil erosion and improve fish and wildlife habitat on the working lands, woodlands, prairies, and cold water streams in the Driftless Area.

“The Driftless Area is such a unique landscape, having been by-passed by the glaciers of the last Ice Age,” says Pat Leavenworth, NRCS State Conservationist for Wisconsin. “However, its steep and beautiful topography leaves it especially vulnerable to soil erosion.”

“This initiative helps protect and improve an important, nationally-known region of America,” says Leavenworth.

Apply by August 3
Farm and woodland owners in the Driftless Area may apply for financial assistance for conservation practices to address resource issues. Many practices are available depending on the land use and conservation need. For example, on

• On Working Lands: Prescribed Grazing, Grassed Waterway, Field Border

• On Forestland: Forest Stand Improvement, Forest Management Plan, Tree/Shrub Establishment

• On Prairie/Savanna: Conservation Cover, Prescribed Burning, Brush Management

• For Cold Water Streams: Streambank and Shoreline Protection, Stream Habitat Improvement and Management, Fence
Interested landowners should contact the NRCS office at the USDA Service Center for their county. Applications received by August 3, 2012, will be considered for this year’s funds.

For more Program information, visit under Programs/EQIP , or contact the NRCS office at the USDA Service Center serving your county.

Sidebar story:

What is the “Driftless Area”  (Map)

The Driftless Area is a 24,000-square-mile area in the four states of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. This area, unlike most of the Upper Midwest, was bypassed by the last continental glaciation. The area features steep valleys, sandstone bluffs, more than 600 unique spring-fed creeks and flat ridges that were once covered in prairie and scattered oaks. The rugged topography led to more examples of remnant natural communities than are found in other regions of the Upper Midwest. In Wisconsin, the Driftless Area includes all or part of 23 western counties.

This area also has a huge diversity of plants and animals unique to the Upper Midwest, including dozens of uncommon species of woodland and grassland birds, reptiles, and amphibians. The many cold water streams, including some excellent trout streams, hold abundant populations of native fish. The Driftless Area provides critical habitat for dozens of “species of concern” and is considered one of North America’s most important natural resource regions.


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