As part of the Illinois Wildlife Action Plan (IL-WAP) developed in 2005, 32 CBNRM initiatives, Conservation Opportunity Areas (COAs), were recognized across the state as priority areas for conserving Illinois’ species in greatest need of conservation. COA boundaries were developed based upon the presence of important habitats and fish and wildlife resources, and guided by stakeholder participants. COAs were established to serve as the “community arm” of the IDNR in implementing ecosystem and conservation goals set out by the plan. The COAs comprise various community-based conservation groups, focusing on conservation and sustainability in each area. The IDNR, TNC and Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) are providing communication and coordination support to these local partners.