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Have you heard of some of the new projects that Pheasants Forever/Quail Forever have in their sites? How about the SportDOG Brand's Future Forward Fund grant contest? While at the South Dakota Pheasant's Forever state meeting, we were privledged to watch a video on the Youth Pollinator Habitat Project. This exciting new project was developed with ciriculum to be part of our youth's grade school science studies and is a finalist in the Forward Fund grant contest.
In 2013, PF and QF joined forces to raise awareness of the importance of pollinator species in habitat conservation, and while they were at it, garnered 60 third graders to plant a 2 acre pollinator habitat to serve as an outdoor classroom for future generations. The Youth Pollinator Habitat Project has a lofty goal of completing five more projects in 2014, one being located just south of Mitchell. The Pheasants Country Pheasants Forever Chapter has teamed with Mitchell Christian grade school students to establish a five acre pollinator project on Bluestem Game Production Area just south of Mitchell, South Dakota on Highway 37 where it will be seen by thousands of hunters traveling each fall.
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→ The following is a press released received from Pheasants Forver national October 15, 2013←
Pheasants Forever Applauds South Dakota Governor Daugaard for Announcing Pheasant Habitat Summit
The Summit is Open to the Public and Pheasant Forever Chapters Encouraged to Attend
Pierre, SD - October 15 - Pheasants Forever (PF) applauds South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard for announcing the creation of a "Pheasant Habitat Summit". The summit will include panel discussions and public input as a means of exploring ways to maintain and enhance pheasant habitat in the state. The event is scheduled for Friday, December 6 at the Crossroads Convention Center in Huron.
"We thank Governor Daugaard for his foresight and leadership in recognizing the importance of pheasants to the great state of South Dakota," said Howard K. Vincent, Pheasants Forever President and CEO. "Bringing together all stake holders directly involved and effected by the population of South Dakota's ring-necked pheasants shows that Governor Daugaard is not just concerned about South Dakota of today, but the South Dakota of tomorrow."
The Governor's Pheasant Habitat Summit will also provide a forum for landowners sportsmen, members of the tourism industry and other interested individuals to learn about the current state of pheasant habitat in South Dakota. Vincent added, "We encourage all 34 Pheasant Forever chapters across the state to make plans to attend this important discussion."
"Pheasant hunting is extremely important to the culture and economic well-being of South Dakota," Governor Daugaard said in a recent press release. "South Dakota's pheasant hunting experience is second to none and draws hunters from around the world. We want to do what we can now to ensure those opportunities for future generations."
Pheasants are big business in South Dakota. In fact, the South Dakota Department of Tourism estimates pheasant hunting generates $223 million in retail economic impact annually and an additional $111 million in salaries annually. Additionally, the state estimates there are 4,500 jobs linked directly to the pheasant hunting industry and related tourism.
"South Dakota's pheasant population has fallen from a modern historic high in just a few years as a result of unfavorable weather and habitat loss," said David Nomsen, Pheasants Forever Vice President of Governmental Affairs. "We realize weather played a roll in the state's pheasant decline, but habitat is the variable we can focus on to turn things around. Given the prolific nature of these birds, a rebound in equal short order is possible, provided new and improved habitat is added."
The Governor's Pheasant Summit is open to the public and pre-registration is required. Individuals may register on line at http://gfp.sd.gov/pheasantsummit/. Information and registration is also available by calling the Game, Fish, and Parks Department, 605-773-3387.
Pheasants Forever, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever, is the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated upland habitat conservation. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 135,000 member and 745 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Chapter are empowered to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation funds are spent, the only national conservation organization that operates through this truly grassroots structure.
Pheasants Forever is dedicated to conservation of pheasants, quail and other wildlife through habitat improvments, public awareness, education and land management policies and programs.
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→The following is a press released received from PheasantsForever national Oct. 11, 2013←
Pheasants Forever Applauds U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services for Reopening WPAs
Thanks to Pheasants Forever members for making their voices heard
Washington D.C. - October 11 - Pheasants Forever (PF) applauds the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services for listening to the voices of sportsmen and woman across the United States and re-opening Waterfowl Production Areas (WPA) for hunters effective immediately. This decision comes on the eve of opening day of pheasant season in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota in which WPAs are important public hunting areas.
"I want to thank all the Pheasants Forever members and bird hunters who called or sent e-mails to our organization over the last few days. We took those messages direct to Washington D.C. and they definately were read and listened to," says Dave Nomsen, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever vice-president of governmental affairs.
According to the official U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service press release announcing the reopening of WPAs, "despite the limited staffing the Service has undertaken an assessment to determine what, if any, potential exits to open lands to public use consistent with their obligations under the government-wide shutdown, and it has been determined that allowing public access to Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs) will not incur further government expenditure or obligations and is allowable under a government shut-down. Therefore, effective immediately, all Waterfowl Production Areas will reopen to public use."
WPAs are wetland and grasslands set aside for the production for waterfowl and other wildlife species. These public lands have been purchased primarily using funds raised through the sale of Federal Duck Stamps. WPAs are managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and part of the National Wildlife Refuge System. Nearly 95 percent of WPAs are located in the priarie pot hole areas of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana. There are over 26,000 WPAs and they average 223 acres in size.
"We are very pleased for this news and excited for pheasant hunters to enjoy opening days beginning tomorrow. Those opening day traditions are critical to many families. This is not the end, however, and our voices must be louder than ever as attention now returns to the longer term, bigger problem of habitat loss and the concerns over still not having a Farm Bill," noted Nomsen. "Today, hunters and conservationists have proven what we are capable of when we stand as one."
Additional information about the Service's efforts to support conservation on national wildlife refuges can be found at http://www.doi.gov which will be operational after the shutdown ends. Shutdown-related information continues to be available at http://www.doi.gov/shutdown.
Pheasants Forever, including its quail conservation division , Quail Forever, is the nations largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 135, 000 members and 745 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Chapters are empowered to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation funds are spent, the only national conservation organization that operated through this truly grassroots structure.
Pheasants Forever is dedicated to the conservation pheasants, quail and other wildlife through habitat improvments, publice awareness, education and land management policies and programs.