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June 19, 2012

MADISON - Eighteen Wisconsin organizations and projects will share a combined $75,000 from the Department of Natural Resources for efforts using volunteers to carry out natural resources management projects including building bat houses and monitoring bat populations, assessing eagle populations, checking brook trout for gill lice and collecting rain, hail and snow totals.

"We're very pleased with the interest, variety and quality of projects proposed, " says Owen Boyle, who coordinates the Citizen-based Monitoring Program for DNR. "Those receiving awards will contribute valuable information about Wisconsin's natural resources, support many DNR initiatives, and will help stretch state dollars further."

The projects were chosen from 49 applicants for funding to help start or expand volunteer-based programs that conduct high priority natural resource monitoring projects in Wisconsin, says Boyle.

DNR and organizations with monitoring programs have formed a loose affiliation called the Citizen-based Monitoring Network of Wisconsin to improve their effectiveness by providing communications, resources and recognition. DNR funds a full-time person to coordinate the effort and every year, DNR has annually awarded up to $100,000 in seed money to help organizations and programs advance their volunteer-based monitoring projects.

Sponsoring organizations typically contribute $3 in donated time and money for every $1 the state provides toward the projects.

Citizen-based monitoring has a long and successful history in Wisconsin; more than 150 organizations in Wisconsin put volunteers to work every year monitoring water quality and counting and noting the numbers, distribution and habitat of native and invasive species. In 2011, citizens donated more than 300,000 hours to such efforts. Learn more on DNR website feature page, Volunteers help sustain wild Wisconsin.

Sponsoring organizations by geographic area (projects crossing region boundaries are listed under the region where the project leader is located) and what they'll be doing include:

Northern Wisconsin

Northeastern Wisconsin

South Central Wisconsin

Southeast Region

West Central Region


FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Owen Boyle (608) 261-6449

Last Revised: Tuesday, June 19, 2012

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