Minnesotas Stearns County Surpasses 20 000 Acre Conservation Reserve Program Milestone
Pheasants Forever's One-on-One Approach Enrolls Land in Conservation Programs
Saint Cloud, MN -(Ammoland.com)- Thanks to a local effort led by Pheasants Forever and the Stearns Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), Minnesota's Stearns County has surpassed 20,000 acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) since starting a Farm Bill initiative in 2003.
Stearns County's conservation efforts are spearheaded by Pheasants Forever’s Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist Jason Selvog and SWCD Technician Vince Manderfeld. They explain the benefits of the conservation programs, and provide the one-on-one technical assistance for program implementation. To reach this 20,000 acre milestone, this initiative involved more than 5,300 landowner contacts and approximately 13,000 hours working directly with landowners.
Pheasants Forever's efforts are part of an overriding Minnesota Farm Bill Initiative that includes the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) and the Stearns County SWCD.
In 2004, the Stearns County SWCD further accelerated their promotion of Conservation Reserve Program by partnering with several local groups to implement Conservation Reserve Program within their respective areas of the county. With Pheasants Forever and USDA's help, partnerships were created between the Sauk River Watershed District, North Fork Crow River Watershed District, Clearwater Watershed District, Stearns County Chapter of Pheasants Forever, Rice Lake Association and the Koronis Lake Association. Efforts were concentrated on several Conservation Reserve Program practices that focus on water quality and wildlife habitat.
“Ultimately, we have a common goal and that's improved conservation,” Selvog said, “This work improves the quality of our environment with cleaner waters, protects vulnerable soils, and creates more wildlife habitat in Stearns County. We can attribute the success of this initiative to the partnerships that were created. This gave us the opportunity to reach more people and implement more conservation.”
Stearns County will now start working on the next 20,000 acre mark with help from the upcoming General Conservation Reserve Program.
More on Pheasants Forever in Stearns County found at www.stearnspf.org.
Pheasants Forever is dedicated to the conservation of pheasants, quail and other wildlife through habitat improvements, public awareness, education and land management policies and programs.