Federal funds help Iowa, Illinois wildlife refuge areas

Local News

YOSEMITE NTL PARK, CA – AUGUST 28: Two deer graze in a Yosemite Valley field on August 28, 2013 in Yosemite National Park, California. As the Rim Fire continues to burn on the western edge of Yosemite National Park, the valley floor of the park remains open. The Rim Fire has charred more than 190,000 acres of forest and is currently 30 percent contained. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Department of the Interior new federal funding will come to a wildlife refuge in Iowa and Minnesota and another in Thomson, Ill.

Funding was a product of the Great American Outdoors Act, signed into law by President Trump this summer, a news release says.

Northern Tallgrass Prairie National Wildlife Refuge, which encompasses all or part of 85 counties in western Minnesota and northwestern Iowa, will receive $500,000. The Fish and Wildlife Serve will acquire approximately 175 fee acres – land that is not federal, Indian, or state owned – of tallgrass prairie. Acquisition will increase opportunities for public wildlife-dependent recreation, such as hunting, wildlife observation, wildlife photography, and hiking. 

The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge in Thomson will receive $1 million. The Fish and Wildlife Service will acquire about 250 fee acres along the Mississippi River. Acquisition will provide year-round public fishing opportunities and public hunting opportunities for white-tailed deer, turkey, and squirrel. 

The Great American Outdoors Act addresses historically underfunded, multi-billion-dollar deferred maintenance backlog at national parks, American Indian schools and public lands in addition to funding new public access projects across the country through the LWCF.

Over the next five years, $9.5 billion will be dedicated to tackling deferred maintenance needs, and $900 million per year into perpetuity will be invested from the LWCF for new conservation and recreation opportunities.  The Act is expected to be the single largest investment into public lands in United States history, spurring job creation and state and local economic growth. 

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