Find
ways to reduce wildlife-human conflict and avoid wildlife damage.
Explore
Wisconsin's rare plants, animals and natural communities.
Discover
tips to manage your land for wildlife.
Learn
about wildlife health and rehabilitation.
Contact information
For information on wildlife stamp funding, contact:
Krista McGinley
Assistant upland wildlife ecologist
Bureau of Wildlife Management
608-261-8458

Wildlife stamp funding and stamp design contest

For many years, Wisconsin's wild turkey, pheasant and waterfowl stamp programs have been providing opportunities for wildlife and habitat management and hunting, with efforts directed toward key species. Turkey, pheasant and waterfowl hunters are required to purchase a species-specific stamp to legally harvest these game birds in Wisconsin. Sales of these three stamps bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars annually for habitat management and restoration projects, education, research, equipment purchases and the administration of species management programs in the state.

Every other year, at the start of each fiscal biennium, there is a chance for DNR staff, conservation organizations and other units of government to apply for stamp funds to use for habitat management and other work directly benefiting wild turkeys, pheasants and waterfowl. The two-year budget cycle for fiscal years 2012 and 2013 has ended, and applications for FY14-15 stamp-funded projects were due on April 5, 2013. Guidance documents for the three stamp programs are posted below within the "Application information" tab and can be used for general information regarding who's eligible to apply, what types of projects are eligible and how to fill out an application.

2015 turkey stamp
2015 Wild Turkey Stamp by Robin Raab of Delavan

2015 pheasant stamp
2015 Pheasant Stamp by Robin Raab of Delavan

2015 waterfowl stamp
2015 Waterfowl Stamp by James Pieper of Iron Ridge

Application information

The funding cycle for fiscal years FY14-15 began on July 1, 2013. The Wild Turkey, Pheasant and Waterfowl Stamp programs accepted applications through April 5th, 2013. Applications for the FY16-17 funding cycle will be available at the beginning of 2015. Please see the FY14-15 guidance documents below for more information on application requirements.

Stamp funding information for FY14-15

Email for a copy of the FY14-15 stamp project application form and accomplishment reporting form

Wild turkey

History of the wild turkey stamp
Wild turkey stamp funds have been providing opportunities for wild turkey management in Wisconsin since 1996. In accordance with Wisconsin Statutes s. 20.370(1)(ht), wild turkey restoration, all moneys received under s. 29.164(a), wild turkey hunting stamps, shall be applied to "developing, managing, preserving, restoring and maintaining the wild turkey population in the state." Hunters play a key role in the success of the wild turkey management program through their purchase of the wild turkey stamp, which provides vital financial support to the future of turkey management and hunting in Wisconsin. Since wild turkeys were first successfully reintroduced into Wisconsin in 1976, the population has increased and expanded statewide. Successful restoration of the wild turkey resulted from tremendous hunter and landowner support, good survival and high-quality habitat.

Today, all turkey hunters are required to purchase the $5.25 wild turkey stamp to legally hunt turkeys in Wisconsin. Besides hunters, many stamp collectors also purchase the stamp. Sales bring in around $750,000 annually for wild turkey stamp projects. Proposed projects using wild turkey stamp funds must address goals and objectives described within the wild turkey management plan.

How funds are allocated
Money from the wild turkey stamp program is available to DNR personnel, conservation groups and organizations and other units of government. Habitat projects on public and private lands are eligible for funding, but individual landowners are not eligible to receive funds directly. To receive wild turkey stamp funds, a project proposal must be submitted. The proposals need to include a project description, the estimated cost of the project, expected partner contributions and the requested amount from wild turkey stamp funds. Applicants are strongly encouraged to incorporate cost-sharing; cost-sharing with partner groups and other government agencies has stretched available dollars and allowed for wild turkey stamp funds to be distributed to more projects.

When project proposals are received, DNR upland wildlife staff as well as members of the DNR wild turkey management committee review the projects and decide on recommended funding distributions. These allocations receive final approval from the DNR wildlife policy team. Project review and funding takes place every two years, during the biennial budget process. At the end of each biennium, any unspent money lapses back into the wild turkey stamp account. Both an interim and final accomplishment report are required from the project managers. These accomplishment reports outline the actual costs and progress of the project and also include the number of acres affected.

Working with partners
Cost-sharing is an important part of wild turkey stamp allotments. Wisconsin's wild turkey stamp program has been very effective at fostering cooperative relationships with non-profit and conservation groups, private landowners and both government and non-government organizations. Partnerships with these organizations are beneficial because they stretch the availability of wild turkey stamp dollars, allowing more projects to be funded. In addition, partnering also encourages public interest in conservation and natural resources and involves local user groups in actual habitat work. Therefore, proposals that leverage funding from an outside cooperating local conservation organization to cover part of their project costs are given higher priority during the ranking and review process. From 1996 to 2011, a total of over $7.7 million was contributed in cost-shared dollars, the majority of which came from the Wisconsin Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) in matching funds.

Accomplishments
Since 1996, the first year Wisconsin's wild turkey stamp funds were available, almost 900 projects have been funded benefitting Wisconsin's wild turkey. Allocated money from the wild turkey stamp exceeds $10.1 million, matched by over $7.7 million in partner funds, affecting almost 320,000 acres of public and private lands.

Pheasant

History of the pheasant stamp
Pheasant stamp funds have been providing opportunities for ring-necked pheasant management and hunting in Wisconsin since 1992. In accordance with Wisconsin Statutes s. 20.370(1)(hr), pheasant restoration, 40 percent of the moneys received under s. 29.191(2), pheasant hunting stamp, shall be applied to "developing, managing, preserving, restoring and maintaining the wild pheasant population in the state." The remaining 60 percent goes toward the management of the state game farm, which raises pheasants for release on public hunting grounds. Starting in the fall on 1992, hunters statewide were required to purchase a Pheasant Stamp to hunt pheasants, and the resulting funds were first available for habitat and species management work in 1993. Projects funded by pheasant stamp dollars along with countless partner dollars and efforts have managed, preserved and restored hundreds of thousands of acres of pheasant nesting, brood-rearing and winter habitat.

Today, a $10 pheasant stamp is required to hunt pheasants statewide. Besides hunters purchasing the pheasant stamp, many stamp collectors also purchase the stamp. On average, the pheasant stamp receives annual revenues (including an allocation from the conservation patron license sales) exceeding $375,000. Total stamp revenue to date since FY1993 is $5.6 million.

How funds are allocated
Money from the pheasant stamp program is available to DNR personnel, conservation groups and organizations and other units of government. Habitat projects on public and private lands are eligible for funding, but individual landowners are not eligible to receive funds directly. To receive pheasant stamp funds, a project proposal must be submitted. The proposals need to include a project description, the estimated cost of the project, expected partner contributions and the requested amount from pheasant stamp funds. Applicants are strongly encouraged to incorporate cost-sharing; cost-sharing with partner groups and other government agencies has stretched available dollars and allowed for pheasant stamp funds to be distributed to more projects.

When project proposals are received, DNR upland wildlife staff as well as members of the DNR pheasant management committee review the projects and decide on recommended funding distributions. These allocations receive final approval from the DNR wildlife policy team. Project review and funding takes place every two years, during the biennial budget process. At the end of each biennium, any unspent money lapses back into the pheasant stamp account. Both an interim and final accomplishment report are required from the project managers. These accomplishment reports outline the actual costs and progress of the project and also include the number of acres affected.

Working with partners
Cost-sharing is an important part of the pheasant stamp program. Over the years, Wisconsin's pheasant stamp program has been very effective at fostering cooperative relationships with local non-profit organizations such as Pheasants Forever, Wings Over Wisconsin and other local conservation groups. These partnerships are beneficial because they stretch the available pheasant stamp dollars, thus allowing a greater number of projects to be funded. In addition, working with partners allows pheasant stamp dollars to reach private landowners through technical assistance programs. From 1993 to 2008 a total of more than $2.5 million has been contributed in cost-shared dollars. The pheasant stamp program continues to expand on these partnerships every year.

Accomplishments
Since the first year Wisconsin's pheasant stamp funds were available, over 370 projects have been funded benefiting the ring-necked pheasant. Allocated money from the first 15 years of pheasant stamp funds exceeded nearly $6 million and has been matched by close to $2.5 million in partner funds. These funds have affected several hundred thousand acres of both public and private lands.

Waterfowl

History of the waterfowl stamp
Waterfowl stamp funds have been providing opportunities for waterfowl management and hunting in Wisconsin since 1978. In accordance with Wisconsin Statutes s. 29.191(1)(b)1, the department shall expend 67% of the money received from fees for waterfowl hunting stamps for developing, managing, preserving, restoring and maintaining wetland habitat and for producing waterfowl and ecologically related species of wildlife. The remaining 33 percent, in accordance with s. 29.191(1)(b)2, shall be used for the development of waterfowl propagation areas within Canada which will provide waterfowl for this state and the Mississippi flyway. Money for the development of waterfowl propagation areas in Canada shall be provided only to nonprofit organizations.

Since European settlement, approximately half of Wisconsin's wetlands that waterfowl depend on, have been lost or degraded due to farming practices and development. The recognition of the loss of habitat and Wisconsin's importance to breeding ducks in the Mississippi flyway lead some conservationists to create the state waterfowl stamp. The first price of the waterfowl stamp in 1978 was set at $3.25, and generated over $400,000 in the first year for waterfowl habitat work.

Today, a $7 waterfowl stamp is required to hunt ducks and geese statewide. Besides hunters purchasing the stamp, many stamp collectors and bird enthusiasts also purchase the stamp. On average, the waterfowl stamp receives annual revenues (including an allocation from the conservation patron license sales) of approximately $350,000.

How funds are allocated
Money from the waterfowl stamp program is available to DNR, conservation groups and organizations, and other units of government. Habitat projects on public and private lands are eligible for funding, but individual landowners are not eligible to receive funds directly. To receive waterfowl stamp funds, a project proposal must be submitted. The proposals need to include a project description, the estimated cost of the project, expected partner contributions and the requested amount from waterfowl stamp funds. Applicants are strongly encouraged to incorporate cost-sharing; cost-sharing with partner groups and other government agencies has stretched available dollars and allowed for waterfowl stamp funds to be distributed to more projects.

When project proposals are received, DNR wetland habitat wildlife staff as well as members of the Migratory Game Bird Committee review the projects and decide on recommended funding distributions. These allocations receive final approval from the DNR Wildlife Policy Team. Project review and funding takes place every two years, during the biennial budget process. At the end of each biennium, any unspent money lapses back into the waterfowl stamp account. Project managers are to report progress annually and may make requests to carry-over funding if necessary to finish committed project work. Project managers shall also fill out wetland tracking sheets to report acreage of wetlands restored, created or enhanced for Joint Venture reporting. Not only do waterfowl stamp funded projects benefit breeding and migrating waterfowl, they also benefit other wetland dependent wildlife such as amphibians, reptiles, shorebirds, invertebrates, and native wetland plants.

Working with partners
Cost-sharing is an important part of the waterfowl stamp program. Over the years, Wisconsin's waterfowl stamp program has been very effective at fostering cooperative relationships with local non-profit organizations such as Ducks Unlimited, Wisconsin Waterfowl Association, and other local conservation groups. These partnerships are beneficial because they leverage the available waterfowl stamp dollars, thus allowing a greater number of projects to be funded. Every year, 33% of annual waterfowl stamp revenue must be allocated to an organization that carries out waterfowl habitat work in Canada. This work benefits waterfowl that migrate through Wisconsin and the Mississippi Flyway. These funds are available through a competitive application process.

Accomplishments
Total stamp revenue from 1978 through 2011 was approximately $14 million. Since that time, hundreds of projects have been funded to protect, restore, enhance and maintain wetlands. In FY2012 alone, 39 projects were provided funding from the Waterfowl Stamp Account. In recent years, mostly projects involving wetland restorations and major maintenance in priority waterfowl habitat areas have received funding. The State of Wisconsin currently manages over 278 miles of dike and 656 water control structures. Currently, waterfowl stamp funding alone is not able to sufficiently meet the demands of maintaining wetland infrastructures or meet wetland management goals outlined in the Upper Mississippi River/Great Lakes Region Joint Venture.

Last revised: Monday July 28 2014