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Have you heard the latest news from the National Office? Dave Nomson, Pheasants Forever, long-time Vice-President of Government Affairs will permanently move to Brookings, South Dakota this July becoming the organizations point person in the state.
This move comes as recent studies have revealed 451,000 acres of South Dakota grasslands have been converted to cropland* and a 64 percent drop in pheasant numbers**.
Please click here to read the full press release on the national Pheasants Forever website.
*2012 South Dakota State University (SDSU) Study
**South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks 2013 annual pheasant index
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Recently Black Hills Pheasants Forever member Mike Stec and his wife, Amy released some hens on their property near Pukwana. After the blizzard last fall, one just can't go wrong helping the pheasant population out. Check out a video Amy posted to our Facebook page of a rooster cackeling then seen flying to the hens. Photo's courtesy Amy Stec.
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→ The following is a press release received from Pheasants Forever National June 2, 2014 ←
Pheasants Forever Chapters Help Create New 160-Acre GPA in South Dakota
Minnehaha and Brookings County chapter contribute to acquisition.
Brookings, S.D. - June 2, 2014 - South Dakota pheasant hunters will have the new 160 acre Gideon Game Production Area (GPA) to explore in northwest Moody County this pheasant season. The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department purchased the land using Pittman-Robertson dollars, contributions from the Minnehaha and Brookings County Pheasants Forever chapters and the Tony Dean Legacy Memorial Fund. The new GPA is being named in honor of Gideon Moody, a U.S. Senator in the late 1800's and namesake of Moody County.
"This is a beautiful property with excellent upland habitat for pheasants and deer, along with some temporary and seasonal wetlands for the waterfowl," reported Steve VanderBeek, regional habitat manager for South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks. "The land has been enrolled in Wetlands Reserve Program easement and open to public hunting through our Walk-In program the last few years. Today, I'm excited to report this gem will be permanently protected."
Pittman-Robertson dollars, tax revenue generated from firearms and ammunition sales, accounted for 75 percent of the $160,000 used to purchase the land. The Brookings County Pheasant Forever Chapter, The Minnehaha County Pheasants Forever Chapter, and the Tony Dean Legacy Memorial Fund made up the remaining 25 percent match used to permanently protect the habitat and open it up to public hunting as a state Game Production Area. The new Gideon GPA is 10 miles south of Brookings and within 50 miles of Souix Falls making it an excellent public hunting option for two of South Dakota's largest population centers.
"This is a tremendous example of successful conservation in the age of partnerships," explained Mike Stephenson, Pheasants Forever's regional field representative for South Dakota. "No group can turn the tide for habitat alone. This project is an illustration of what's possible when local volunteers, foundations, and government agencies work toward common conservation goals."
About Pheasants Forever
Pheasants Forever, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever, is the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 140,000 members 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 conversation organization that operated through this truly grassroots structure. Since creation in 1982 , Pheasants Forever has spent $508 million on 475,000 habitat projects benefiting 10 million acres nationwide.
Pheasants Forever in South Dakota
South Dakota's 32 Pheasant Forever chapters account for 6000 members statewide. Those chapters have spent $4.8 million to complete 24,000 habitat projects since the first South Dakota chapter was formed in Minnehaha County in 1985. Those projects have improved 360,000 acres for wildlife.
USFWS Image courtesy Lance Roberts
Pheasant Forever is dedicated to the conservation of pheasants, quail and other wildlife through habitat improvements, public awareness, education and land management policies and programs.