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State Wildlife Grants

Since 2002, Congress has annually appropriated funds for state nongame wildlife programs through the State Wildlife Grants, or SWG, program. The goal of the SWG funds is to support the conservation of all wildlife within each of the states and territories especially those identified as "species of greatest conservation need". The species of greatest conservation need and the actions needed for their conservation are detailed in the Iowa Wildlife Action Plan. SWG Grant funds cannot be used for wildlife education or recreation projects. Money is awarded to each state on a project-by-project basis, with a match requirement using state or other non-federal sources.

Congress appropriates this money on an annual basis so the amount available changes from year to year. The program is frequently in danger of being cut altogether. The  Teaming With Wildlife Coalition has been instrumental in providing congress with the information they need to understand the value of this program. While the need for continuing pressure on Congress and finding dollar-for-dollar match money is demanding, the program has nonetheless been extremely important.

The State Wildlife Grants program has allowed the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and its partners to accomplish so much more for Iowa's Natural Resources than was possible before its inception. State Wildlife Grants is the nation's most important program in keeping species from becoming endangered. It has brought an average of $720,000 a year (~$10 million during the first 15 years of the program) into the state which has been matched in kind by the Department of Natural Resources and multiple partners.

Examples of State Wildlife Grant Research Projects
+ Bobcat Distribution and Population Dynamics
+ Bird Response to Enhanced Vegetation
+ Effects of Fire and Grazing on Butterflies
+ Birds and Vegetation at Neal Smith
+ Driftless Area Forest Birds
+ Iowa Stream Fish
+ Secretive Marsh Birds
+ Patch-Burn-Grazing Study
+ Bald Eagle Lead Exposure Study
Examples of SWG Research and Habitat Improvement Projects
+ Habitat Improvement for SGCN
+ Habitat Improvement in Driftless Area
In Iowa, SWGs have:
  • Helped protect more public land to aid species conservation while providing additional recreational opportunities for Iowa's citizens,
  • Funded vital wildlife surveys through the Multiple Species Inventory and Monitoring Project,
  • Funded research which has helped our land managers make the best decisions for wildlife, and
  • Funded habitat improvements on our public lands.

SWG Land Protection Projects

Wildlife Management Areas (or other properties to which State Wildlife Grant Funds have contributed since 2002) by county:

Allamakee (Lansing), Appanoose (Sedan Bottoms), Clay (Little Sioux river), Clinton (Goose Lake), Decatur (Sand Creek), Dickinson (Spring Run), Hamilton (Boone Forks), Jasper (Rock Creek State park), Louisa (Wapello Bottoms, formerly known as Turtle Bend), Lucas (Stephens State Forest), Lyon (Big Sioux River), Marion (Gladys Black Refuge), O'Brien (Waterman Prairie), Polk (Middle River) and Ringgold (Kellerton, Ringgold).