Hunters and anglers boosted support for wildlife habitat management in 2015

Donations to the Cherish Wisconsin Outdoors Fund increased 7 percent through license salesCherishWisconsin2015overview_MichelleMilford

For immediate release
February 18, 2016

Hunters, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts said “yes” to the Cherish Wisconsin Outdoors Fund in 2015, donating more than $93,200 for habitat management in the state when buying hunting, fishing and other outdoor sports licenses. This marks a 7 percent increase in donations in the fund’s second full year compared to its first in 2014.

“More and more hunters and anglers are hearing about the Cherish Wisconsin Outdoors Fund and are recognizing it as an opportunity to make a big difference for Wisconsin,” said Ruth Oppedahl, executive director of the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin. “Hunters and anglers have a deep connection with nature and understand what’s at stake if we don’t invest in our public lands for future generations.”

When hunters and anglers buy their licenses through the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ licensing system, they have the option to donate $2 to the Cherish Wisconsin Outdoors Fund. Of all of the vendors, Mills Fleet Farm in Germantown collected the most money in donations during the 2015 license year at $3,700.

“Considering we are an outdoors sporting headquarters, big supporters of the Department of Natural Resources and advocates for fishing and hunting, we are diligent about asking the Cherish Wisconsin donation question,” said Ken Fry, Mills Fleet Farm director of operations. “Mills Fleet Farm feels strongly about protecting the public lands our customers use.”

Although donations through the DNR license system are usually $2, two customers donated $200 each and seven customers donated $100 each in 2015. Wisconsin residents are not alone in their love for the state—donations came in from residents of many other states.

Starting in March of 2016, hunters and anglers will continue to have the opportunity to make a donation to the Cherish Wisconsin Outdoors Fund through the DNR’s new Go Wild licensing system. The popular camping reservation website Reserve America also collects donations for the fund. In addition, direct donations can be made at

“The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources appreciates these generous donations from hunters, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts through the Cherish Wisconsin Outdoors Fund,” said DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp. “The funds help support habitat management for our state parks, natural areas, wildlife areas and fishery areas. These are gifts that will last more than a lifetime and ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy our waters and lands.”

The Cherish Wisconsin Outdoors Fund was created through unanimous bipartisan legislation to “support habitat management activities” on state-owned or managed lands. In a unique public-private partnership, the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin holds and manages the fund as an endowment. The fund supports the restoration and management of Wisconsin’s state parks, natural areas, wildlife areas and fisheries.

# # #

Photo by Michelle Milford

The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin provides sustainable funding for Wisconsin’s most imperiled species and public lands, while helping citizens connect with our state’s unique natural places. This year marks the Foundation’s 30th year of boosting private sector support for Wisconsin’s public lands, waters and wildlife. Learn more at

Lindsay Renick Mayer
Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin
[email protected]
608-266-3138 (office)
202-422-4671 (cell)