Farmers can help protect fish, wildlife

Most of the following information is from the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR):
The Community Fisheries and Wildlife Involvement Program (CFWIP) is your opportunity to participate in hands-on fish and wildlife management and conservation activities.
You can develop volunteer projects that will improve fish and wildlife in the district, as well as improve opportunities for outdoor recreation.
The MNR will provide financial help, expertise, equipment, and materials for approved CFWIP projects.
Many farmers in the district have participated in past projects and the Rainy River Soil & Crop Improvement Association encourages producers to take a look at the program.
CFWIP projects must meet three basic objectives:
•they must benefit the resource;
•they must involve you, the public; and
•they must benefit the general public.
Possible projects include spawning bed creation, habitat restoration, streambank fencing and stabilization, building nesting platforms, and
developing educational trails.
You can participate in CFWIP as an individual or as a member of a group.
Because the range of possible projects is broad, CFWIP receives proposals from farmers/landowners, sportsmen’s groups, naturalists’ groups, school groups, 4-H clubs, and youth groups such as Guides and Scouts.
Pick up your CFWIP application form at the local MNR office. Applications also are available at the OMAFRA office in Emo.
The application deadline is Feb. 1.
Discuss your ideas with MNR staff and determine the best plan for your project. Projects that are approved will receive funding to help cover the cost of equipment and materials used by volunteer workers.
To be eligible for funding, your project must meet the CFWIP objectives and comply with the local MNR district’s fish and wildlife management plans.
An important criterion in evaluating proposed activities is that the project must benefit fish and/or wildlife, directly or indirectly. The project also must involve the public as volunteers in implementation.
The program will give priority to those projects which have high volunteer participation and enhance fish and wildlife production and habitat, improve landowner-recreationist relations, or involve additional partners in larger, co-operative projects.
< *c>Dates to remember
•Jan. 16—Rainy River Cattlemen’s Association annual meeting, 7 p.m., Stratton; and
•Jan. 23—Rural Agricultural Initiative lunch meeting, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Emo Legion.

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