The state Natural Resources Board has added 655 acres of Rock County wildlife habitat by accepting a pair of land donations and recommending a $540,000 purchase.
The board's decision this week means about 360 acres were added to the Avon Bottoms Wildlife Area, which is about 15 miles southwest of Janesville. Another 295 acres were added in the town of Center to preserve pheasant habitat.
The Avon Bottoms addition will offer parking and improved public access to the wildlife area. The tract includes woodland, wetlands and cropland.
The purchase was funded by State Stewardship bonds. A Janesville Gazette report says the acquisition is subject to approval by Gov. Scott Walker.
In the town of Center, the land will provide nesting and winter cover for pheasants and other birds.