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March 19, 2013

MADISON -- Organizations are invited to apply for financial assistance to help establish or expand their efforts to recruit and train volunteers to collect information about plants, animals, water and other components of the natural world.

Proposals for the Citizen-Based Monitoring Partnership Program (exit DNR) are due by midnight, Friday April 26, 2013, to the Department of Natural Resources.

"Citizen-based monitoring engages and informs thousands of citizens and students across the state every year and empowers them to directly contribute to the conservation of Wisconsin's natural heritage," said Owen Boyle, DNR coordinator for the Citizen-based Monitoring Program. "We're pleased to again offer organizations seed money to help start or expand programs so that even more people can get outdoors and get involved."

Anywhere from 18 to 25 programs are selected annually to receive up to $5,000. DNR awards $100,000 every year to help organizations and programs advance their citizen-based monitoring projects. For every dollar DNR spends on Citizen-based Monitoring, the state receives more than $3 worth of volunteer time and natural resource data. Since 2004, 180 projects have benefited from $850,000 of funding.

fawn collaring
Volunteers of all ages helped DNR researchers locate fawns to be fitted with radio collars so researchers can track the fate of the young deer through their first year.

"Monitoring projects are one of the most powerful tools for detecting long-term or large-scale changes in the natural world. Because of the large number of volunteers, data can be collected over large geographic areas and long spans of time," said Boyle.

Hundreds of citizens have volunteered for the 150 projects and organizations that make up the Wisconsin Citizen-based Monitoring Network. These volunteers put in thousands of hours each year to carry out natural resource monitoring projects such as assessing eagle populations, checking brook trout for gill lice and collecting rain, hail and snow totals.

"We run by the philosophy that far more can be accomplished by working together than working alone. Every year we are impressed and thankful to see how dedicated volunteers are to Wisconsin's natural resources," said Boyle.

People who have an interest in being a part of a monitoring project, can check "Who's Who of Citizen-based Monitoring in Wisconsin" (exit DNR) to find a program of interest.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Owen Boyle, 608-261-6449

Last Revised: Tuesday, March 19, 2013

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