Jamestown, N.D. – May 12, 2008 – Pheasants Forever (PF) announces Steve Stensgard is the organization’s first-ever Farm Bill Biologist in the state of North Dakota. Stensgard joins PF after serving as a wildlife biologist technician with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. The position was created through a partnership with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Stensgard will work out of the Jamestown NRCS office.
The Farm Bill Biologist program is designed to educate farmers and landowners about the benefits of conservation programs, as well as assist those farmers and landowners after programs have been implemented. Pheasants Forever first began employing Farm Bill Biologists in 2005, and now has 33 Farm Bill Biologists working in seven states – Ohio, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin and now North Dakota. Last year, Farm Bill Biologists contacted and consulted 5,400 landowners, resulting in the improvement of 310,000 acres of land for wildlife.
“This gives North Dakotans another resource for conservation information,” said Jim Inglis, PF’s Farm Bill Biologist Coordinator, “Like all our Farm Bill Biologists, Stensgard possesses knowledge of federal, state, and local programs that will assist landowners in finding the right program and funding to meet their personal habitat and land use goals.”
“The Department is very excited about this opportunity with NRCS and Pheasants Forever. The Farm Bill Biologist template has been a proven success in many other Midwestern states,” said Kevin Kading, Private Lands Section Leader with North Dakota Game and Fish Department, “We hope this position will function as the ‘go to’ person for private landowners interested in creating or enhancing wildlife habitat on their land.” Added Michael Collins, Assistant State Conservationist for Field Operations with the NRCS in Jamestown, “It will be a pleasure to have a Farm Bill Biologist in this area to promote wildlife and spark a planning interest on private lands by using a variety of Farm Bill programs. This is a great example of a cooperative effort with Pheasants Forever, North Dakota Game and Fish and USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and we look forward to good things to come.”
A native of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, Stensgard earned a degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology from the University of North Dakota. He also worked previously for the Fergus Falls Wetland Management District in western Minnesota, which is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Stensgard can be contacted at (701)252-2521 ext. 129.
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 127,000 members in 700 local chapters across the continent.
For additional information about Pheasants Forever, please visit www.pheasantsforever.org