Public land habitat work, prescribed fire equipment and invasive tree removal highlight funding
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are proud to announce a new funding collaboration with Whitetails Unlimited (WTU) to bolster habitat and public access programs in Midwest and eastern region of the United States. Overlapping with the primary ranges for pheasant, quail, and white-tailed deer, nearly $20K has been spent this fall on diverse habitat and access projects benefitting wildlife and hunters, now and into the future.
“Managing for upland game birds through early successional habitat projects creates quality outcomes for our favorite species, as well as other critters which our members enjoy pursuing, including white-tailed deer,” said Jared Wiklund, public relations manager for Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever. “Whitetails are notorious for utilizing grassland blocks as travel corridors, bedding and escape cover, and important food sources where forbs have a larger presence in a stand of native grass. The Habitat Organization is thrilled to partner with Whitetails Unlimited on this endeavor, and we’re pleased to report that funding has been utilized for multi-species habitat projects and access over a large region.”
Early-stage grasslands with more herbaceous plant species are a critical habitat component for white-tailed deer, providing concealment and various food sources within easy reach. Likewise, grasslands with a large presence of forbs (flowering plants) provide nesting and brood rearing cover for pheasants, quail, and turkeys, while giving access to soft-bodied insects which upland bird chicks exclusively feed on during their early weeks of life.
“We’re very excited for this recent partnership with Pheasants Forever,” said Russ Austad, Whitetails Unlimited program services director “Their habitat work is revered in the outdoor community and there is no doubt we’ll partner again in the future.”
Partnership projects for this effort are occurring in Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Kansas, and various other regions. The following is an abbreviated project list:
Illinois: WTU fundingis being utilized to purchase prescribed fire equipment for a Prescribed Burn Association that is currently being formed in southern Illinois to provide fire management of grasslands and woodlands for the future.
Michigan: WTU funding is supporting Michigan’s Adopt-A-Game-Area Program, a partner initiative between Pheasants Forever and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to restore and enhance grasslands on State Game Areas in the Lower Peninsula. WTU’s $4,600 donation makes them a bronze sponsor of nine different properties including Allegan SGA, Cornish SGA, Crystal Waters SGA, Maple River SGA, Nayanquing Point SWA, Port Huron SGA, Rose Lake SWRA, Sharonville SGA, and Verona SGA.
Nebraska: WTU funding is supportinga firebreak clover mix and diverse grassland seeding that has great value for white-tailed deer. The project is being supported through the Pathway for Wildlife Program and is being implemented on an Open Fields & Waters Program enrollment for public benefit.
Wisconsin: WTU funding is supporting a Hands-on Habitat Project in conjunction with the Columbia/Marquette Chapter of Pheasants Forever. Volunteers are working with a local contractor on public property to clear invasive trees and brush from a large grassland unit.
About Pheasants Forever
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever make up the nation’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. This community of more than 400,000 members, supporters and partners is dedicated to the protection of our uplands through habitat improvement, public access, education and advocacy. A network of 754 local chapters spread across North America determine how 100 percent of their locally raised funds are spent — the only national conservation organization that operates through this grassroots structure. Since its creation in 1982, the organization has dedicated more than $1 billion to 567,500 habitat projects benefiting 22 million acres.