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Waldo, Ohio – January 19, 2009 – Pheasants Forever (PF) and Quail Forever (QF) announce the launch of the first annual Ohio Build a Wildlife Area (BAWA) campaign. Through the campaign, PF/QF and its partners will raise funds to be used for the acquisition and management of wildlife areas in Ohio. All funds raised through the campaign will be tripled by matching grants.

“Initiating this Build a Wildlife Area campaign in Ohio – a state where 97 percent of land is held in private ownership – is especially important right now,” said Doug Bensman, PF/QF Regional Wildlife Biologist in the state, “Not only in helping out current hunters, but in terms of giving future hunters opportunities and retaining them as well.”

The campaign is a wide-reaching effort to engage individual donors, corporations, non-profit and government organizations to create permanent public wildlife areas. What really makes the campaign unique is that through matching grants Pheasants Forever stretches one dollar into three, $100,000 becomes $300,000.

Those kinds of dollars can purchase land. The Build a Wildlife Area campaign gives you the most conservation bang for your conservation buck. Once lands are acquired, they are turned over to another entity such as the state, park district, or property can become part of the Forever Land Trust. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Ohio Outdoor News have already pledged their support of the Ohio Build a Wildlife Area campaign.

Ohio is the sixth state to launch a Build a Wildlife Area campaign, following Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota and Illinois. Minnesota’s campaigns have helped create seven new wildlife areas covering over 2,500 acres, and Iowa’s campaign has already helped acquire three new wildlife areas totaling over 400 acres. In Pheasants Forever’s 26 years of existence, the organization has acquired a total of 137,000 acres nationwide.

“We will kick off this new campaign here in Ohio at our upcoming State Meeting January 24th in Waldo, Ohio,” said Bensman. “I asked chapter leaders this past year to list the top three bullet points they thought were our greatest challenges here in Ohio and the message was clear – they want more land open to public access, managed for maximum wildlife benefits and held in perpetuity. The Build a Wildlife Area campaign is certainly part of the solution.”

To learn more, or to make a donation to the Build a Wildlife Area campaign in Ohio, contact Jim Inglis toll free at 866-914-PFQF (7373) or via email at jinglis@pheasantsforever.org; or visit the Ohio Pheasants Forever website at www.OhioPF.com .

Ohio has 36 PF/QF chapters accounting for 6,100 members statewide. Those chapters have spent more than $7.5 million to complete over 15,000 habitat projects. Those projects have benefited 123,000 acres for wildlife.

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 130,000 members in 700 local chapters across the continent.

For additional information please visit www.PheasantsForever.org and www.QuailForever.org.