Grand Island, Neb. – February 18, 2008 – Pheasants Forever (PF) and Quail Forever (QF) has awarded Stan Pilcher, habitat chairperson with the Medicine Creeks Chapter of PF, the 2008 Nebraska Master Conservationist of the Year award. Pilcher was recognized at the Nebraska PF/QF state habitat meeting, the sixth recipient of award given annually to a landowner in the state that has worked diligently in support of PF, wildlife habitat and landowner education.Pilcher has been involved with
PF as a habitat chairperson in Colorado and Nebraska for over 20 years. An entomologist with the Colorado Extension Service for 35 years, Pilcher retired in 2001 and bought a 2,200 acre ranch in Frontier County in southwestern Nebraska. Pilcher uses prescribed grazing on his land, increasing the biodiversity of the plant community and improving habitat for mixed-grass prairie dependent wildlife; plants food plots to support local populations of elk, deer, turkeys and other wildlife species; and was one of the first landowners in the Loess Canyons region to use prescribed burning on his ranch.Pilcher has also entered into a 10-year Nebraska Natural Legacy Project agreement with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission involving 559 acres of contracted mechanical eastern red cedar removal, and 25 acres of selective thinning of cedars in draws containing beneficial hardwood tree species. Some of these areas will be managed to benefit bobwhite quail and mule deer through shrub plantings.
“Stan not only advocates conservation, but he practices what he preaches,” said Drew Larsen, PF’s regional wildlife biologist in western Nebraska. “His holistic approach to wildlife habitat conservation makes him well-deserving of the Master Conservationist award.”
The 2007 Nebraska Master Conservationist of the Year award went to Jim Bliven, habitat chairperson with the Dakota/Thurston Counties PF Chapter.
Nebraska boasts 60 PF chapters and 3 QF chapters accounting for 11,000 of the organization’s 120,000 members. For the past 4 years in a row, chapters have spent over $2 million each year in the state on habitat projects and youth conservation education. Historically, Nebraska PF/QF has spent over $20.6 million on wildlife habitat conservation. Those funds have translated into 69,770 habitat projects, benefiting 2,244,946 total acres for pheasants, quail and other wildlife. For more information on PF and QF in Nebraska, log onto www.NebraskaPF.com .
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are non-profit conservation organizations dedicated to the protection and enhancement of pheasant, quail, and other wildlife populations in North America through habitat improvement, land management, public awareness, and education. PF/QF has more than 120,000 members in 700 local chapters across the continent.