Henry and Fulton County Pheasants Forever Chapters Pilot New Upland Habitat Initiative
Ohio Upland Habitat Initiative and new CRP SAFE practice target specific focus area
St Paul, MN – Ohio Pheasants Forever (PF) and Quail Forever (QF) announce a new voluntary conservation program for landowners in Henry and Fulton Counties. The Ohio Upland Habitat Initiative (OUHI) offers landowners cost share dollars for landowners who wish to establish or maintain high quality habitat for pheasants, quail and host of other species of wildlife.
Interested landowners within the focus area will have their choice of signing up for distinct practices that specifically address the limiting factors for pheasant and quail habitat in Ohio. Funds are to be distributed to landowners on a first come, first serve basis. There is a $2,000 per landowner per year limitation.
“The funding mechanism behind this program is unique in a sense that two different chapters, the Henry and Fulton County Pheasants Forever chapters, have combined forces and crossed county lines to strategically spend their money within an area that will provide the greatest opportunity to impact pheasant and quail habitat,” said Doug Bensman, PF/QF Regional Wildlife Biologist for in Ohio. Each chapter contributed $5,000, and those funds were matched with an additional $10,000 grant. The $20,000 raised will be used in specific townships within Fulton and Henry counties.
This area of Ohio also happens to be in the priority focus area targeted by the new State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE) program. Announced earlier this year, SAFE is a new addition to the federal Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). A continuous, state-specific wildlife conservation practice, SAFE gives states the flexibility to design conservation programs to fit their own specific wildlife needs. The goal of the Ohio Grassland and Wetland Complexes SAFE is to enroll up to 11,600 acres in CRP to benefit high priority species for Ohio, including northern bobwhite quail and ring-necked pheasants.
“All of the research out there is showing us birds need quality habitat but also quantity of habitat as well,” Bensman said, “We have to start with a hub – an existing area to build a foundation. Historically, we have tried the shotgun approach to upland game habitat management, a little here a little there, wherever we could find a willing cooperator. The Ohio Upland Habitat Initiative, coupled with the new SAFE practice, focuses in areas where we can get the biggest bang for our buck. My hat goes off to the Henry and Fulton Pheasants Forever chapter leaders that recognize the importance of strategic spending, partnering and results.”
For more information about OUHI, contact Doug Bensman at (937)597-3737 / [email protected] You can also contact Brice Nemire, a PF/QF Farm Bill biologist who is a specialized consultant in conservation programs and habitat planning, at (419)376-1340 / [email protected] For more information on PF/QF in Ohio, log onto www.OhioPF.com.
SAFE projects are available through USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) service centers as part of the ongoing continuous sign-up for the Conservation Reserve Program. To find the service center nearest you, log onto www.fsa.usda.gov.
Ohio's 37 PF chapters, 1 QF chapter and 6,100 PF/QF members have spent $6.1 million on wildlife habitat conservation. Those funds have translated into 14,000 habitat projects, benefiting 117,000 total acres for pheasants, quail and other 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 129,000 members in 700 local chapters across the continent.
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