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Community Financial Assistance staff.

County Conservation Aids

County conservation grants provide financial assistance to enhance county/tribal fish and wildlife programs.

This Fish and Wildlife Management Grant Program was created to assist counties in the improvement of the fish and wildlife resources. The fund was established by the Wisconsin Legislature in 1965 as an alternative to bounty payments on coyote, foxes and bobcats. Every year since the bounty program was cancelled, a state allocation equal to the average annual bounty payment has been earmarked as matching money for a growing list of county-sponsored fish and wildlife habitat projects.

After the state budget is approved, funds are allocated to each county in proportion to the ratio of the size of each county to the total area of the state.

Anything constructed using these grant funds must not make the outdoor experience any more difficult than what occurs naturally. Mother Nature does not have to comply with the Americans with Disability Act, but you do! For more information review the department's Accessibility Guidance for Grant Funded Projects (CF-031) [PDF].

Who can apply

Eligible applicants

County and tribal governing bodies participating in the county fish and wildlife programs are eligible for this program.



Project Description Codes


Development project -- The development of structures, utilities, facilities or landscaping necessary for outdoor recreation use of an area



new trails


gun range development



new fish cribs


parking lot development



stream crossing


constructing new fishing piers



kayak and boat launches or dock


new boat launch ramp




new accessibility upgrades


Habitat projects -- The implementation of a specific activity or set of activities to restore or enhance wildlife or fish habitat, natural communities or shorelines





Site preparation, seedling purchase, seedling planting



prairie planting





food plots


prairie restoration



stream restoration





streambank stabilization


invasive species removal


Stocking projects -- The placement of fish or wildlife into their natural environment to improve population numbers.  



fish stocking


wildlife stocking


Maintenance projects – Repair or refurbishment of structures, fixtures, or substrates to restore to functional condition in a routine, scheduled, or anticipated fashion



repairs to trails


gun range repairs



repairs to culverts


repairs to boat docks/ boat launch ramps



flowage maintenance


accessibility upgrades



barrens maintenance




Miscellaneous projects -- Any project that does not fit in categories 1 through 4.


Annual allocation of state funds

After the state budget is approved, funds are allocated to each county in proportion to the ratio of the size of each county to the total area of the state.

The revenue to operate the program comes from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses and state sales tax on hunting and fishing equipment. The program allocates funds to each county in proportion to the ratio of the size of each county to the total area of the state. After annual allocation, unused funds revert to five regions available to county and tribal government within region boundaries.

2017 allocation

The statewide allocation for fiscal year 2017 is $148,500. Funds were allocated as indicated in the following table.

County Allocation ($) County Allocation ($) County Allocation ($)
Adams 1,713 Iowa 2,030 Polk 2,577
Ashland 2,576 Iron 2,060 Portage 2,175
Barron 2,372 Jackson 2,664 Price 3,432
Bayfield 3,993 Jefferson 1,560 Racine 914
Brown 1,396 Juneau 2,142 Richland 1,558
Buffalo 1,899 Kenosha 742 Rock 1,927
Burnett 2,348 Kewaunee 884 Rusk 2,452
Calumet 840 Lacrosse 1,251 St. Croix 1,988
Chippewa 2,806 Lafayette 1,715 Sauk 2,245
Clark 3,271 Langlade 2,328 Sawyer 3,463
Columbia 2,099 Lincoln 2,446 Shawano 2,443
Crawford 1,451 Manitowoc 1,575 Sheboygan 1,357
Dane 3,282 Marathon 4,314 Taylor 2,627
Dodge 2,422 Marinette 3,755 Trempealeau 1,971
Door 1,322 Marquette 1,236 Vernon 2,147
Douglas 3,544 Menominee 960 Vilas 2,550
Dunn 2,302 Milwaukee 638 Walworth 1,494
Eau Claire 1,747 Monroe 2,442 Washburn 2,293
Tribal 780 Oconto 2,728 Washington 1,148
Florence 1,324 Oneida 3,259 Waukesha 1,537
Fond du Lac 1,938 Outagamie 1,685 Waupaca 2,028
Forest 2,730 Ozaukee 627 Waushara 1,696
Grant 3,047 Pepin 634 Winnebago 1,308
Green 1,563 Pierce 1,559 Wood 2,165
Green Lake 1,006        

How to apply

Application process

How to accept your County Conservation Aids Grant & request additional grant funding:

STEP 1: No later than September 1 of each year, the DNR CCA grant manager sends award letter/grant agreement/grant application (Form 8700-045) to each county and tribe indicating amount of the grant award.

STEP 2: County/Tribe contacts its local DNR Fisheries, Wildlife, or Forestry Specialist to obtain project approval; DNR Fisheries, Wildlife, or Forestry Specialist indicates approval by signing grant agreement.

STEP 3: County/Tribe completes the Grant Agreement/Application provided by the DNR. County attaches Authorizing Resolution to completed Form 8700-045.

STEP 4: County/Tribe submits completed Form 8700-045 with any attachments to DNR Grant Program Manager either via email to Beth Norquist or postmarked no later than October 1.

Beth Norquist
Grant Manager
WI Dept of Natural Resources
1300 W Clairemont Ave
Eau Claire, WI 54701

This Sample Resolution [DOC] may help you get started.

Applicant share of project may include:

  • personnel, equipment and materials;
  • direct cost supported by time sheets, vouchers, or similar documents;
  • actual cost of force account labor and equipment (DOT rates apply); and
  • actual fringe benefits paid as part of the direct labor costs.

Matching requirement

If an applicant receives a grant of federal pass-through funds from the DNR, the applicant may use those federal funds to match the 50% cost-share required by the County Conservation Aids (CCA) program. An example of a federal pass-through grant is the Recreation Trails Aids program. State funds cannot be used as match for a CCA grant.

Trouble downloading forms? see: Troubleshooting tips [PDF]


Reimbursement information

No expenditure made prior to the effective date of the appropriate DNR regional grant specialist approval will be allowed. All work must be done within the project period, except pre-approval engineering can be paid if specified in the agreement.

The DNR preferred timeline for submitting payment reimbursement claims is no later than six months after the end of the project period. However, payment reimbursement claims must be submitted within one year of the project ending date or the project will be cancelled.

Upon completion of project, the county or tribal government may submit claims to the DNR grant specialist for payment on the following two DNR forms within six months of the project end date. Instructions for completion and provisions of expenditure proofs are included in the forms.

The county and tribal government must maintain records for audit requirements a minimum of three years after the final payment.


Application Form - Sometime after September 1st of each year, the DNR CCA grant manager will send each county and tribe their award letter/grant agreement/grant application (Form 8700-045) for them to complete and return by October 1st of each year.

Counties/Tribes have the option to decline their award, accept their award, or accept their award and request additional funds. To accept the award amount or accept/request additional funds, the county/tribe authorized representatives must sign, date, and return the grant agreement to the DNR grant manager via email or postmarked no later than October 1, 2017. Failure by a county/tribe to formally accept the award amount by the October 1 deadline is equivalent to the county/tribe declining their grant award.

By affixing a signature on the grant agreement, the authorized representative for the county/tribe has entered into a binding legal agreement with the DNR. The county/tribe may begin its project any time after the signed grant agreement has been returned to the DNR grant manager. Any grant amount not claimed by a county will become available for the DNR to award to any county that requests more funds than its prescribed share under Wis. Stats.


Contact information
For general question about the County Conservation Aids Grant Program, acceptance of grant award or reimbursement questions, please contact the CCA Grant Program Manager:
Beth Norquist
Grant Manager
WI Dept of Natural Resources
1300 W Clairemont Ave
Eau Claire, WI 54701
Last revised: Tuesday December 19 2017