Saint Paul, Minn. – April 30, 2008 – This Saturday, May 3rd, at 1 PM in Douglas County, a new 1,000-acre Wildlife Management Area (WMA) will be dedicated to honor the 41-year career of Saint Paul’s Roger Holmes. Holmes retired in 2000 after spending a decade as the Minnesota Department of Natural Resource’s (DNR) director of the Fish and Wildlife Division and 18 years as the chief of the Wildlife Section. Minnesota’s Build a Wildlife Area campaign played a critical role in the acquisition of the new WMA.
Holmes was instrumental in the passage of the Minnesota Pheasant Habitat Stamp – Pheasants Forever’s first-ever goal – and despite battling cancer has remained active with conservation and environmental causes. In the 1960s, Holmes worked as a game manager for the DNR in Douglas County, where he helped establish 22 wildlife areas. With the help of Minnesota’s Build a Wildlife Area campaign, the Roger M. Holmes WMA in northeastern Douglas County – about 10 miles north of Alexandria – will bear his name and memorialize his life’s work. The dedication ceremony will be conducted on the west side of Douglas County Road 69, just north of its intersection with Douglas County Road 3.
The 1,036 acres cost $1.8 million, less than the land’s appraised value. After deducting contributions from outside organizations, and funding matches from the Reinvest in Minnesota program (conservation license plate dollars), the DNR paid a balance of about $1.28 million for the property, with the additional funding coming from the Build a Wildlife Area campaign, eight Pheasants Forever chapters, the Minnesota Waterfowl Association, the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, and the efforts of local groups, like the Vikingland Sportsmen’s Club of Alexandria. The land features grasslands, wetlands and timber that provide habitat for pheasants, wild turkeys and waterfowl.
Through the unique Build a Wildlife Area partnership, every dollar raised is tripled with matching grants from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and other partners. In other words, each $100 becomes $300 through the campaign. Also, there are no administrative costs built into the Build a Wildlife Area campaign, with 100 percent of the donations going directly into land acquisitions.
The Build a Wildlife Area concept was launched in 2003 by Pheasants Forever, Inc., Outdoor News, Game Fair, the Minnesota DNR, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Gander Mountain. Ron Schara and Raven have also been major participants helping to raise thousands of dollars through the sale of Raven plush pups. And, KFAN AM-1130 radio has held a radio-a-thon each fall to help raise funds and promote the conservation efforts. Many Pheasants Forever chapters also participate in the Build a Wildlife Area campaign with Anoka County PF leading the way through fundraising efforts at Game Fair each August. To learn more about Minnesota’s Build a Wildlife Area, contact Pheasants Forever toll free at (877)773-2070 or on-line at: http://www.pheasantsforever.org/events/link/bawa/.
Build a Wildlife Area corporate partners also include Advon, Alcorn Beverage, Apple Auto Group, Brooklyn Park Rotary Foundation, Champps Woodbury, Coborns, Custom Art Concepts, DeWalt, Exclusive Landscape, Federal Premium Ammunition, The Hanifl Foundation, Hopkins JCs, KARE 11, Kent Hrbek Outdoors, Love From Minnesota, Lupient Auto, MN Deer Hunters, Pheasant City Lodge, South Haven Sportsman Club, Timber Lodge Steakhouse, and North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters and Joiners.
For additional information about Pheasants Forever, please visit www.PheasantsForever.org