Pheasants Forever Awarded 8 NAWCA Small Grants

Pheasants Forever
Wetlands and connected upland habitats are critical for many waterfowl and upland species.
Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever
Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever

St. Paul, MN –(– Pheasants Forever has been awarded eight North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) small grants to conserve wetlands and associated grasslands in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Pheasants Forever and partners will employ this round of NAWCA funding to restore and/or permanently conserve habitat on 3,868 acres vital to upland birds and waterfowl, acres also open to public hunting and outdoor recreation.

“Conservation is a partnership effort, and we are thankful for the NAWCA partnership that brings precious resources to aid in the cause of wetland and grassland conservation,” stated Matt Holland, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s director of grant development, “And no one can do this work alone, we are continually partnering with landowners, agencies and funders like the Outdoor Heritage Fund in Minnesota and Knowles Nelson Stewardship Fund in Wisconsin to achieve meaningful results.”

Pheasants Forever projects funded with NAWCA small grants in the Midwest for 2014 include:

1. Project: Detroit Lakes, Waterfowl Production Area Enhancement

  • Location: Becker, Mahnomen, and Polk Counties, Minnesota
  • This project will restore 40 acres of wetlands that have been drained or impaired due to siltation, and will also remove invasive trees to enhance waterfowl nesting habitat on 1,719 acres across six Waterfowl Production Areas. The work will increase breeding habitat for grassland nesting birds on the sites, also improving public access for recreational activities such as wildlife viewing and hunting.
  • Grant: $75,000 / Matching funds: $88,000 / Acres: 1,759

2. Project: Litchfield Wetland Management District Waterfowl Production Area Enhancement

  • Location: Stearns and Kandiyohi Counties, Minnesota
  • This project will enhance 1,014 acres and restore 13 acres of protected wetlands and grasslands to create productive and resilient habitats for waterfowl and other wetland-dependent species. Pheasants Forever and partners will construct a berm to manage water flows and remove invasive trees encroaching on the grasslands. This will improve the nesting success of waterfowl and other grassland nesting birds.
  • Grant: $75,000 / Matching funds: $77,063 / Acres: 1,027

3. Project: Whitney Waterfowl Production Area Addition

  • Location: Stearns County, Minnesota
  • Acquisition of grassland and wetlands for habitat, game production, and recreation is important to the future of habitat conservation and migratory birds. This project aims to accomplish these goals by protecting at-risk prairie and wetlands. This project will build upon the Whitney Waterfowl Production Area by protecting 54 acres of wetlands and grasslands that adjoin the existing 346-acre unit. The protected complex will function at a high level for grassland birds, migratory birds, other wildlife, as well as improve water quality.
  • Grant: $55,425 / Matching funds: $55,425 / Acres: 54

4. Project: Mud Lake Waterfowl Production Area Addition

  • Location: Sibley County, Minnesota
  • This project will permanently protect 47 acres of grasslands and wetlands for bird habitat and outdoor recreation, building on existing protected areas around Mud Lake in Sibley County, Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has designated the shallow Mud Lake as a migratory waterfowl feeding and resting area.
  • Grant: $75,000 / Matching Funds: $177,500 / Acres: 47

5. Project: Selk Wildlife Management Area Addition

  • Location: Stevens County, Minnesota
  • Building on past investments, this project will add 40 acres of wetlands and grassland habitat needed by breeding waterfowl to the Selk Wildlife Management Area. The land is a remnant of the native tallgrass prairie in the Prairie Pothole Region and is threatened by agricultural land conversion and degradation. This and other protected areas will create a linked habitat for waterfowl, grassland birds, and other migratory birds and wildlife. Maintaining the wetlands will also improve water quality for nearby communities.
  • Grant: $75,000 / Matching funds: $86,000 / Acres: 40

6. Project: Swift County Wetland Conservation

  • Location: Swift County, Minnesota
  • This project will protect a 96-acre addition to the Svor Waterfowl Production Area and restore 16 acres of wetlands and 65 acres of wetland-associated uplands. Both sites provide for public access to bird, hunt, trap, or enjoy wetlands and prairies. This project will benefit upland nesting waterfowl species and species that require grasslands to survive, such as pheasants, marbled godwit, upland sandpiper, Henslow’s sparrow and bobolink.
  • Grant: $75,000 / Matching funds: $228,000 / Acres: 117

7. Project: Tiger Marsh Wildlife Management Area Addition

  • Location: Carver County, Minnesota
  • This project will permanently protect 110 acres with over 2,800 feet of shoreline on Tiger Lake. The site includes existing wetlands as well as eleven wetlands with the potential for restoration. Tiger Lake is designated by the state of Minnesota as a wildlife lake, where water levels can be managed for wildlife and motorized recreational vehicles are regulated. The waterfowl population on the lake will benefit from additional protected wetlands for migration habitat, on a site where the land was previously used for agriculture.
  • Grant: $75,000 / Matching funds: $757,500 / Acres: 110

8. Project: H&L Farms Acquisition

  • Location: Rock County, Wisconsin
  • This project will protect 714 acres of the H&L Farm property, to provide public access and enhance management of the wetlands already protected on the farm. This acquisition will prevent the farm from being subdivided for housing, and instead provide for outdoor recreation and education on the property. The protected land will be adjacent to a 2,734-acre state wildlife management area. Improved management will allow sufficient grasslands for nesting birds and provide habitat for grassland insects.
  • Grant: $75,000 / Matching funds: $746,100 / Acres: 714


The North American Wetlands Conservation Act was established in 1989 to provide matching grants for organizations and individuals who have developed partnerships to carry out wetlands conservation projects in the United States. As part of the Act, both the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission and Northern American Wetlands Conservation Council were formed to recommend and approve worthy conservation projects. From September 1990 through March 2014, some 5,000 partners in 2,421 projects have received more than $1.3 billion in grants. They have contributed another $2.7 billion in matching funds to affect 27.5 million acres of habitat. NAWCA funding is awarded through a Standard and a Small Grants Program.

About Pheasants Forever

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 140,000 members and 745 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.