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Illinois receives $8M to protect farmland, habitat, water

May 9, 2020 GMT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Federal agriculture officials have awarded Illinois $8 million to protect working farmland, improve water quality and enhance wildlife habitat through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has joined other groups including The Conservation Fund to plan and coordinate the projects that will be funded with money from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Illinois and its partners have pledged more than $11 million in matching funds to support the plan. That includes more than $1.7 million in financial and technical assistance from the Department of Natural Resources.

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The Illinois partnership will focus on conservation areas. It will protect habitat corridors along stream segments by using permanent easements on working farmland. Projects to connect farmland with protected natural lands will be implemented to prevent runoff and improve water quality and soil richness.

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