SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has acquired 118 acres in Marshall County to restore upland habitat and provide public hunting opportunities, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today.
“Habitat restoration is important to the preservation of wildlife in Illinois and an accomplishment that can only occur acre by acre through our continued perseverance,” said Governor Blagojevich.
“Enhanced habitat at this site will provide much needed upland habitat for game and grassland birds as well as result in a reduction of silt and chemical run-off into West Crow Creek,” commented DNR Director Joel Brunsvold.
John Cole, DNR’s Upland Wildlife Program Manger, noted that Illinois’ pheasant management efforts are targeted primarily at private land. Although roadside habitat and filter strips can provide good nesting cover if left undisturbed from April 1 to August 1, wintering areas for the birds must be larger in size and are more difficult to achieve on private land.
“Although Marshall County is part of Illinois’ pheasant range, nest cover there is very limited and winter cover is nearly nonexistent,” Cole said. “Acquisition of this parcel will provide a wintering area, as well as additional ground for hunting opportunities.”
The property, west of Henry, was acquired with $312,700 in State Pheasant Funds. The funds come from hunters who purchase a $5.50 Habitat Stamp.
“The Department of Natural Resources is focusing Illinois sportsmen’s dollars on what matters to them most, habitat acquisition and development as well as additional places to hunt,” Director Brunsvold said.