RGS Receives Grant to Expand Forest Landowner Education in Great Lakes States
Wisconsin Coverts Project to Conduct Six Workshops in Next Three Years.
Coraopolis, PA –-(Ammoland.com)- The Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS) has been awarded a Conservation and Community Partnership Grant under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) forest certification program that will allow the RGS and its partners to increase the impact of its Wisconsin Coverts Project – A Woodland Wildlife Management Program for Private Landowners in the Great Lakes Region.
“Key components of the SFI program are support for research and landowner outreach, and these requirements in our standard have already led to countless benefits in forests and communities across North America,” SFI President and CEO Kathy Abusow stated.
“These projects are directly linked to standard requirements and will facilitate partnerships so even more benefits are gained on-the-ground – they will reach far beyond certified lands.”
The Wisconsin Coverts Project enlists and educates coverts cooperators about management opportunities for their land to both generate income and benefit wildlife so they can lead by example and help others better understand their role as land stewards.
According to Mike Zagata, RGS President and CEO, “RGS is pleased to receive this grant that allows the Society and its partners to continue to expand our very successful Wisconsin Coverts Project. Since its inception in 1994, the Wisconsin Coverts Project has conducted 17 workshops and trained 427 Coverts Cooperators that have impacted over 700,000 acres of private land.”
Wisconsin Coverts Partners include the University of Wisconsin – Extension, the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology at UW – Madison, and SFI program participant Louisiana-Pacific US who provided important matching funds for the grant.
According to Jamie Nack, Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology at UW – Madison and Wisconsin Coverts Project Coordinator, “This grant will enable us to reach additional landowners in Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan who will help spread the word on forest and wildlife management to their neighbors and others in their communities. This is one of the few programs in the country that emphasizes wildlife management on private lands or the influence and effect local landowners can have on wildlife populations.”
Stacey Steers, a Coverts Cooperator, has used the information he learned during a Coverts workshop he attended to help him better manage his property and help his neighbors. Steers says, “The Coverts Project is an exceptional educational program. I have never attended a better organized, more informational workshop. Sharing the knowledge with neighbors and friends is another great concept promoted by Coverts. Habitat management doesn’t have to stop at a property line and neighbors working together can make a difference.”
Two Wisconsin Coverts Workshops are planned for 2010 at the Kemp Natural Resources Station in Woodruff, Wisconsin from August 12-15 and August 26-29. Applications for the 2010 workshops will be accepted until June 15th. Information is available at the project website at http://fwe.wisc.edu/wl_extension/wicovertsproject.html or by contacting Jamie Nack at 608-265-8264.
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.