IDNR State Pheasant Fund

Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Grant amount: US $2,500 - US $150,000

Anticipated deadline: Sep 30, 2018 3:00pm PDT

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Research, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Illinois

Location of residency: Illinois

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Program Background and History

The State Pheasant Fund is one of three programs funded through the purchase of a State Habitat Stamp. The Habitat Endowment Act, enacted in 1992, provides long-term funding for the State Pheasant Fund. The State Habitat Stamp replaced the existing Pheasant and Furbearer stamps, expanding funding opportunities for enhancement to all types of habitat. 

The State Pheasant Fund portion involved in the Special Wildlife Funds Grant Program provides for wild pheasant conservation. Organized groups of volunteers from appropriate not-for-profit organizations to develop projects and submit applications to the Department to help fund their projects. The grants are competitive, and are evaluated for their merit.

Projects that have been undertaken in the past include:

  • Funds for an organized incentive payments program to landowners for assistance managing or establishing grasslands for ring-necked pheasant and other grassland birds. 
  • Purchase of a tractor to establish and manage grasslands.
    • To replace a well-used tractor.
  • Funds for a biologist position to promote participation in Conservation Reserve Programs or other programs to increase grassland habitat acreage as per the Illinois Wildlife Action Plan in counties within the Pheasant Range. 
  • Funds for a cooperative research project to study and compare mid-term management techniques over 3 years of warm season grasses and brome fields within the pheasant range and the impact on wild pheasants. 
  • Funding for youth conservation education and upland shooting events to recruit new upland hunters.

Performance Measures

The purpose of the State Pheasant Fund and this program is to support activities and programs undertaken by the IDNR and appropriate not-for-profit organizations to improve pheasant habitat on public or private land, promote pheasant research, educate the public regarding pheasants and pheasant hunting, and acquire land for pheasant habitat.

Habitat quality is measured by such parameters as type, native diversity, size, structure, scarcity and location. Linkage with neighboring habitat, whether existing or potential, is another important consideration. Illinois’ habitat includes all wetlands, woodlands, grasslands and agricultural lands, natural or altered, that support or have the potential to support populations of wild animals in any or all phases of their life cycles.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Eligible applicants are limited to appropriate not-for-profit organizations.
    • “Appropriate Not-For-Profit Organization” means a not-for-profit corporation that is organized pursuant to the General Not For Profit Corporation Act of 1986 [805 ILCS 105], and 
    • is in good standing as a not-for-profit corporation and is authorized to conduct affairs in Illinois, and
    • with one of its purposes as stated in its Articles of Incorporation or Bylaws being the support, development, conservation or promotion of wild pheasants.
  • Projects are limited to those with the purpose of wild pheasant conservation.
    • Examples of past funded projects include:
      • native grass and forb seed, herbicide, and habitat management equipment such as controlled burn tools, seeders, sprayers, native grass drills, land purchases, pheasant research, and education of the public regarding pheasants and pheasant hunting.


  • Cost sharing or matching funds are not required for award of these grants but it is an evaluation criteria item.


  • Examples of applications that were not funded in the past include:
    • Purchase of habitat equipment (chain saw, burn tools, sprayers) and support of outdoor education.
      • Rejected because of limited benefit to wild pheasants, and applicant’s by-laws didn’t mention wild pheasants conservation.
    • Purchase of grass seed, forbs & legumes for Give-Away program.
      • Rejected because of poor quality seed and limited outreach of only idle ground not already drawing governmental incentives.
  • Projects that are ineligible include:
    • education projects
    • the purchase or lease of a vehicle such as a truck or All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV’s).