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Contact: Tami Ryan, DNR Deputy Division Administrator or 414-750-8360

Caitlin Williamson, Director of Conservation Programs, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin or 608-409-3109

Grants From Cherish Wisconsin Outdoors Fund Will Help Improve Public Lands In Juneau And Pierce Counties

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced that funding from the Cherish Wisconsin Outdoors Fund will help improve public lands in Juneau and Pierce counties. These projects are possible thanks to a successful partnership between the department and the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin.

The Cherish Wisconsin Outdoors Fund provides permanent support for habitat management and ecological restoration on Wisconsin’s state-managed public lands, including natural areas, parks, trails, wildlife and fishery areas, recreation areas, and forests. 

“The Cherish Wisconsin Outdoors Fund is an important source of habitat restoration funding for our public lands. The annual distribution is growing, and we hope to support more work each year," said Sarah Barry, Deputy Secretary of the DNR.

This year, funds will support habitat restoration projects at the Cranberry Creek Mound Group State Natural Area in Juneau County and Pierce County Islands Wildlife Area in Pierce County. The Cherish Wisconsin Outdoors Fund is built through supporter donations made when purchasing a hunting or fishing license. 

“When Wisconsin hunters, anglers and nature enthusiasts donate an extra $5 to Cherish – or whatever amount they want – they’re supporting some of our state’s highest conservation priorities. We can accomplish a lot when we all pitch in,” said David Clutter, executive director of the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin.

The two selected projects represent high-priority habitat restoration work from across the state. The funding for the Juneau County project will be critical to maintaining the integrity of one of the most significant and largest intact mound complexes in the Upper Midwest.

“The Cherish funding for the Cranberry Creek Native American Mound group project will help maintain a culturally and ecologically significant landscape by preparing it for prescribed fire in the future while respectfully maintaining and protecting historical linear and conical mounds,” said Tim Holme, crew lead for the state natural area.

In Pierce County, the funds will go toward creating and restoring habitat and improving recreational boat access to the degraded backwaters of Pool 4 in upper Lake Pepin. These project funds are contributing to a larger multi-million dollar project that will establish islands, wetlands and over-wintering fish areas.

“This project showcases the strong partnership between government and non-government organizations to protect and restore significant resources along the Mississippi River. The project will provide increased and improved recreational opportunities such as bird watching, hunting, fishing, trapping and boating. Construction of the project features will start in 2023,” said Brenda Kelly, Mississippi River Wildlife Biologist in the Wildlife Management Program.

Projects were chosen through a grant application process and reviewed by an engaged stakeholder group, including Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, Ducks Unlimited, Inc., National Wild Turkey Federation, Natural Areas Preservation Council, Pheasants Forever, Inc. and Quail Forever, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Ruffed Grouse Society/American Woodcock Society, Wisconsin Bird Conservation Partnership, Wisconsin Conservation Congress, Wisconsin Waterfowl Association and the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation. The DNR and the Natural Resources Foundation are grateful for these organizations’ involvement.

The public can donate to the fund through the DNR’s GoWild licensing system, online through the Cherish Wisconsin website or by mailing a donation made to:

Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin
ATTN: Cherish Wisconsin
211 Paterson St. Suite 100
Madison, WI 53703

About The Cherish Wisconsin Outdoors Fund

Created in 2012 by an act of the Wisconsin State Legislature, the Cherish Wisconsin Outdoors Fund is a public-private partnership that provides a permanent source of funding to care for Wisconsin’s public lands for generations to come.

Established to protect, restore and improve habitat for Wisconsin's plants and animals, the Fund also provides an opportunity for the public to invest in the public lands and waters where they recreate.

The Cherish Fund is built through voluntary contributions from the public when they purchase their hunting and fishing licenses through the DNR’s Go Wild license portal. Individuals can also donate directly to the Cherish Fund through the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin. Donating to the Cherish Wisconsin Outdoors Fund is a great avenue for the public who do not typically buy annual fishing and hunting licenses to contribute to the management and restoration of essential Wisconsin animal habitat.

Learn more at

About The Natural Resources Foundation Of Wisconsin

The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin is a private nonprofit 501c3 organization nonprofit organization that connects generations to the wonders of Wisconsin’s lands, waters and wildlife through conservation, education, engagement and giving. Since 1986, the Foundation has contributed nearly $10 million to public and private conservation efforts to protect Wisconsin's lands, waters and wildlife.

The Foundation currently holds more than 100 endowment funds with more than $10 million in assets dedicated to conserving lands, protecting wildlife and promoting conservation in Wisconsin in perpetuity.

The Foundation coordinates programs designed to connect people to the land by exploring significant sites and getting expert-led tours of some of our state’s most important conservation projects. The Foundation is proud to partner with more than 500 conservation partners throughout Wisconsin county.

Learn more about the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin at