Iowa’s 105 PF/QF chapters partner with Iowa DNR.
Des Moines, Iowa –-(Ammoland.com)- Iowa Pheasants Forever (PF) and Quail Forever (QF) recently launched a statewide partnership with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to reverse Iowa’s pheasant and quail population declines.
PF and QF chapters, PF and DNR employees and private landowners will utilize a blend of public and private land initiatives to create the quality habitat necessary to accelerate population rebounds during times of ideal weather conditions and mitigate significant population declines during times of habitat loss and severe weather conditions.
“This combined effort of creating habitat will not only build larger environmental complexes but will multiply wildlife and natural resource benefits and raise awareness for Iowa’s need of statewide habitat restoration,” says Tom Fuller, Pheasants Forever Iowa state coordinator and Iowa native,“By leveraging both public and private support, this new partnership will pay significant dividends for Iowa’s natural resources while simultaneously ensuring our public lands are optimized for their fullest potential benefit to wildlife.”
The partnership was initiated with the Northern Polk Pheasants Forever chapter’s recent habitat improvement project on Paul Errington Marsh near Ankeny. “The decade long plunge of Iowa’s upland bird populations has been well documented as have the severe weather patterns and massive habitat losses leading to the state’s pheasant and quail decline. However, Iowa is positioned to have a positive year for upland species, so we want to strike while the iron is hot, maximizing increases,” continued Fuller.
Restoration Initiative Practices:
- Public Land: Although only 1 percent of Iowa’s land mass is public, those existing public lands offer the best opportunity for immediate habitat and upland bird gains. PF and QF chapters, working in cooperation with the DNR, County Conservation Boards and local landowners, will help enhance these large tracts of upland wildlife habitat with the goal of creating an intensive upland management plan and showcasing the very best habitat management practices for individual Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) or County Conservation Board Areas (CCBAs). Currently, the Iowa DNR and County Conservation Boards have identified over 100 of these areas throughout Iowa’s 99 counties that qualify for enhancement by a PF or QF chapter.
- Private Land: Properties under private ownership and immediately adjacent to WMAs or CCBAs provide the highest potential private land habitat opportunities. The end result of increasing habitat productivity on adjacent private lands is to build a network of larger, high-quality habitat complexes of both public and private ground for wildlife to utilize.
- PF Farm Bill Wildlife Biologists: Building habitat complexes in a coordinated effort between public and private lands takes an on-the-ground controller to facilitate. Either a Pheasants Forever Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist (FBWB) or an Iowa DNR Private Lands employee will be identified as the plan’s leader in that county, and this professional will coordinate the effort to enroll private landowners into the suite of local, state and federal conservation programs, particularly those attached to the federal Farm Bill, like the Conservation and Wetlands Reserve Programs.
Iowa is home to 105 Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever chapters and more than 19,000 combined PF/QF members. For more information on “The Habitat Organization” in Iowa, please contact Tom Fuller at (319) 321-9775 / Email Tom. For all other inquiries, please contact Rehan Nana, PF/QF public relations specialist, at (651) 209-4973 or Email Rehan.
Pheasants Forever, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever, is the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 135,000 members and 720 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Chapters are empowered to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation funds are spent, the only national conservation organization that operates through this truly grassroots structure.
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.