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Saint Paul, Minn. – September 30, 2008 – Pheasants Forever (PF) and Quail Forever (QF) announce six newly-appointed members to its National Youth Leadership Council (NYLC):  Cassie Schlender of North Freedom, Wis.; Blake Tebbs of Fort Madison, Iowa; Trenton Nelson of Montrose, Minn.; Marie Keefe of Fostoria, Ohio; Shawna Pantzke of Fargo, ND; and Evan Beech of Pulaski, Tenn.

Assembled in the summer of 2006, the NYLC is made up of 20 young people from around the country that were nominated by their PF/QF chapter for their community involvement and conservation interests. They are the spokespersons for their age group on hunting and conservation issues and advise PF/QF on youth programs. The new members were nominated by a PF/QF chapter with a history of emphasis and demonstrated success with youth programs.

Cassie Schlender – Nominated by the Sauk County (Wis.) Chapter of PF – A sophomore at Baraboo High School, Schlender is active in a variety of sports and activities in and out of school. “I really enjoy the outdoors and want to promote the benefits of a healthy outdoor lifestyle to other kids,” she said.

Blake Tebbs – Nominated by the Lee County (Iowa) Chapter of PF – A sophomore at Holy Trinity Catholic School, Tebbs comes from a family of conservationists. “I would like to figure out different ways to get kids outdoors to enjoy so they can enjoy some of the experiences I have,” he said.

Trenton Nelson – Nominated by the Wright County (Minn.) Chapter of PF – A fourth-grader at St. Francis Xavier Catholic School, Nelson has a strong interest in fishing and hunting and has been attending Wright County chapter meetings since he was four. “I want other kids to know how much fun it is to spend time outdoors, learning to enjoy nature and what it has to offer,” he said.

Marie Keefe – Nominated by the Seneca County (Ohio) Chapter of PF – A seventh-grader at Arcadia Middle School, Keefe is active in a host of extra-curricular conservation and leadership activities. “I love the outdoors and want to share that with other people,” she said.

Shawna Pantzke – Nominated by the Dakota East (ND) Central Chapter of PF – A fourth-grader at Centennial Elementary School, Pantzke comes from a family with an interest in conservation. “My family loves wildlife and conservation. We own a piece of farmland where we plant trees and food for wildlife,” she said.

Evan Beech – Nominated by the Giles County (Tenn.) Chapter of QF – A freshman at Richland High School, Beech enjoys hunting, horseback riding and working on the family farm. “I am an avid sportsman and conservationist,” Beech said, “I would like to get other youth involved so they may experience what I have through hunting and the outdoors.”

“The appointment of new members brings fresh faces and fresh ideas to the National Youth Leadership Council,” said Rich Wissink, PF/QF National Youth Programs Specialist, “The Council continues to develop and work on issues, and one of the best ways we do this is allowing new conservation leaders to be heard.”

The NYLC has worked on such important issues as bringing attention to the Federal Farm Bill and its significance to wildlife habitat and conservation, the role hunters have played in conservation in North America and helped pass state legislation to reduce age restrictive barriers to introduce young people to hunting. The NYLC will continue to work on issues that deal with hunting, conservation and wildlife habitat. For more information on the NYLC, log onto www.Ringnecks.org.