Wildlife Conservation & Restoration (WCR) Program

Program description


  • The WCR Program was established in Federal fiscal year 2001 to protect and manage those species of greatest conservation need, as determined by each state.
  • This Federal program provides financial assistance through a sub-account of the Pittman-Robertson Act. It encourages state governments to forge partnerships to protect fish and wildlife species most in need of help.
  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) administers the program. The DNR is the state agency entrusted with implementing the program.
  • Priority for funding goes to those species with the greatest conservation need.

Minnesota’s WCR Program

  • In Federal fiscal year 2001, Minnesota was eligible to receive a one-time allotment of $971,175. The program requires a federal-state match of 75% - 25%, meaning Minnesota receives 75 cents for every dollar spent.
  • The Minnesota DNR completed the first round of WCR project funding in January, 2002. A total of 24 projects wre awarded. (A complete listing of those projects follows.)
  • The 24 projects are dispersed around the state and cover a wide variety of activities, from producing Great River Birding Trail maps in southeastern Minnesota to monitoring goshawk territories in northeastern Minnesota and surveying grassland habitat for rare grassland birds in west-central Minnesota.
  • In Federal fiscal year 2002, Minnesota will be eligible to receive a one-time allotment of $1.5 million. Currently, the USFWS is preparing instructions of clarify how states can earn this reimbursement.

State of Minnesota WCR projects

(Funded with the Federal 2001 appropriation of $970,000)

Wildlife Recreation

  • Promoting Minnesota’s birding trails and festivals ($24,500)
  • A GIS project to add a Wildlife tourism layer to the DNR web site on Wildlife Management Areas ($27,500)
  • A survey of information needs and experience preferences of birders and watchable wildlife participants ($23,000)
  • Enhancement of the Pine to Prairie Birding Trail in northwestern Minnesota ($20,000)

Wildlife Education

  • Project WILD program acceleration ($15,000)
  • Turtles and turtle watching: development of a DNR web page ($13,500)
  • Sponsorship of Venture North public television features ($18,000)
  • Cats Indoors! campaign ($20,500)
  • Get the Lead Out campaign ($8,000)
  • Sand Prairie Wildlife Management and Environmental Education Area information kiosk ($25,000)

Wildlife Conservation

  • Timber rattlesnake recovery in Minnesota’s blufflands ($73,000)
  • Rare animals in the Glacial Lakes and moraines landscape of central Minnesota ($25,000)
  • Monitoring goshawk territories in Minnesota ($30,000)
  • Statewide mussel resource survey ($109,000)
  • A landscape approach to grassland bird conservation in Minnesota ($84,500)
  • Launching an Important Birds area initiative in Minnesota ($84,000)
  • Status and critical habitat of special concern fish species in non-wadeable rivers of southeastern Minnesota ($30,500)
  • Piping plover habitat acquisition ($10,000)
  • Compilation of baseline data to monitor forest amphibians in the Bear River demonstration forest ($60,000)
  • Beaver Valley land acquisition ($50,000)
  • Minnesota wildlife resource assessment project ($57,000)
  • East Rush Lake Wildlife Management Area acquisition ($20,000)
  • East Grand Forks dam modification ($100,000)
  • Fishes of Minnesota: A cooperative project to complete a new reference text ($42,000)

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