Wisconsin Habitat Partnership Fund
To help improve and expand quality wildlife habitat in Wisconsin, the DNR is continuing a program that seeks partnerships with local governments, Wisconsin Tribes, and nonprofit conservation organizations for habitat restoration and enhancement projects on public and private lands with the goal of increasing the amount and quality of land open for hunting, trapping and wildlife viewing.
Cities, towns, villages, counties, tribes, and nonprofit 501(c)(3) conservation organizations may apply for financial assistance to carry out priority wildlife habitat projects in Wisconsin.
Funding for this program comes from the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937, better known as the Pittman-Robertson Act. The mission, goals, and objectives of the Wisconsin Habitat Partnership Fund are consistent with the purpose of Pittman-Robertson funding, focusing on benefits to bird and mammal wildlife.
To receive financial assistance, participants must allow public access for hunting, trapping and wildlife viewing on properties where habitat work occurs for a period determined by the level of financial assistance; public access must be guaranteed for 10 years, 20 years or in perpetuity. See the Program Guidance document for details.
This grant program is administered as a reimbursement program. This means you must incur and pay all costs associated with the project before seeking reimbursement from the DNR. No advance payments will be permitted. It is possible for grantees to request partial reimbursements on a yearly basis from the DNR during the life of the project. Please see the Program Guidance for details.
Who can apply
Cities, towns, villages, counties, tribes and nonprofit 501(c)(3) conservation organizations may apply for financial assistance.
Habitat projects benefiting wild birds and mammals are a priority for funding consideration. Desired projects include, but are not limited to:
- Capital development projects (e.g., building construction, trails).
- Acquisition of land (eligible as match)
- Pine plantations
FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM HAS BEEN SUSPENDED - Until further notice we will not be accepting new applications..
Forms for submitting a grant
Complete applications will include all forms and maps. Below is the list of documents for submitting an application:
- Wisconsin Habitat Partnership Fund Program Guidance
- Authorizing Resolution (sample)
- Letter(s) of Support from match providers, click here for template
- Letter of Support from local DNR Wildlife Biologist (required if project occurs on public land)
- Public Access Easement
- Map of Project Area with Site Plan – draw site plan using Google Maps or the DNR mapping program
- Aerial map is preferred
- Indicate the location where habitat work will occur by drawing a polygon around the area of impact
- Maps must include:
- Property Name
- Project Title
- Township, Range, Section
- Project Site Boundaries Outlined (be as accurate as possible)
- Outlined areas where project activities will create ground disturbance (this may not be applicable to all activities. If this is the case, please state "No ground disturbance")
- North indicator
- Map Legend
If you are having issues opening these forms, please visit our PDF Help Page.
Obtain proper credentials:
Applicants will need to obtain a DUNS number prior to submitting an application for funding:
- DUNS number - Request a DUNS number
Submit your application materials
Please submit your applications via email to: DNRHabitatPartnershipGrants@Wisconsin.gov
Potential applicants may contact the program manager with questions.
Forms for Submitting Reimbursement Requests
Requests for reimbursement must be submitted on DNR forms. Reimbursement requests must include both proofs of purchase and proofs of payment. Examples of proof of purchase are signed contracts with vendors, work orders, etc. Examples of proof of payment include canceled checks (both front and back), bank statements showing check has cleared, credit card statement, and local government payroll voucher.
Since funds provided by the DNR come from a Federal agency, awardees must also identify the local share (i.e., match) component for each reimbursement request. Use DNR form 9300-230 for this purpose.
Important note: For projects that occur on lands not owned by the DNR, awardee must submit a signed and recorded Public Access Easement to DNR within six months of signing the award agreement or in conjunction with a reimbursement request, whichever occurs sooner.
- Project Payment Request and Worksheet (Form 8700-001)
- Copies of all “Proof of Purchase” and “Proofs of Payment” for items listed on Project Payment Request and Worksheet (Form 8700-001)
- Grant Partner Financial Data Report (Form 9300-230) - used to capture non-cash match. Must submit a completed copy of this form with every reimbursement request.
- Volunteer Labor Worksheet Used as Grant Match (Form 8700-349B) - used to capture volunteer hours (if applicable)
- Donated Professional Services Worksheet (Form 8700-350) - used to capture professional service donations. Must show proof of professional service, i.e., company invoice, letter from company on letterhead, etc. (if applicable)
- "After" photos of the project area (accompanies final report)
- Donated Equipment or Equipment Usage Worksheet (Form 8700-362)
Note: All costs incurred must include copies of invoices and proofs of payment. Donated Professional Services and materials shall be determined by market value and be established by an invoice.
- Financial Manual for Local Governments
- Procurement Guide for Local Governments Receiving DNR Grants
- Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (2 CFR Part 200)
- Prevailing wage handout
Under sec. 895.52, Wis Stats, landowners are generally immune from liability for injuries received by individuals recreating on their lands. This law provides liability protection to landowners for injury or death of individuals participating in outdoor recreation. Courts have consistently interpreted this statute to protect landowners in furtherance of its purpose, which is to encourage landowners to allow others to recreate on their lands.
Under sec. 29.617, Wis Stats, the department agrees to pay for damages arising from the operation of public hunting or fishing grounds. Claims may include damage to crops or property such as gates or fences.