Coraopolis, Pennsylvania — The Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS) was one of 21 recipients nationwide to receive the Department of the Interior’s Cooperative Conservation Award for its part in the Northern Forest Woodcock Initiative.
The Northern Forest Woodcock Initiative (NFWI) was created to increase early successional habitats at a landscape level for the benefit of woodcock and other wildlife species, both hunted and non-hunted.
The approach of the initiative is a linked set of strategies that includes development of best management practices, establishment of habitat demonstration areas, monitoring of woodcock populations and outreach to private landowners.
NFWI is a group of New England and New York partners including 5 state fish and wildlife agencies federal agencies, non-profit conservation groups as well as timber companies, utilities and environmental consultants.
The Award recognizes the work of groups and individuals who achieve excellence in conservation through collaboration and partnerships
In a letter addressed to RGS Executive Director and CEO Michael Zagata, thanking RGS for its exemplary efforts to restore and protect important fish and wildlife resources in the Northeast, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Acting Regional Director, Marvin E. Moriarty wrote, “We were not surprised to learn that this well-organized partnership was selected to receive this competitive award, because your agency’s participation in this conservation initiative is a prime example of how, together, we can achieve higher success by rallying our expertise and resources than we ever could by working as independent organizations.”
Upon learning of the award, Zagata stated, “This award represents positive recognition for the work RGS and its partners do on behalf of the American woodcock. RGS would not have been in a position to be a partner, and leader, on this initiative had it not been for our team of dedicated, professional and competent biologists. On their behalf, I am proud to accept this distinguished acknowledgement. The next step is to make sure programs are put in place that will assure that something happens on the ground – that means money for wildlife agencies and incentives for landowners to manage for wildlife.”
Established in 1961, the Ruffed Grouse Society is the one international wildlife conservation organization dedicated to promoting conditions suitable for ruffed grouse, American woodcock and related wildlife to sustain our sport hunting tradition and outdoor heritage.
Information on the RGS, its mission, management projects and membership can be found on the web at: www.ruffedgrousesociety.org.