Pheasants Forever Awarded $1 Million NAWCA Grant for Minnesota’s Red River Valley

Grant funding to add habitat & public access, help mitigate flooding

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Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

St. Paul, MN -(Ammoland.com)- The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission has awarded a $1 million North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant to Pheasants Forever and partners in Minnesota.

The NAWCA grant will fund part of a multi-year initiative to restore and enhance wetlands and uplands for pheasants, waterfowl and additional wildlife. The project is focused on the Northern Tallgrass Prairie region of Minnesota’s Southern Red River Valley.

Selected as one of 24 standard NAWCA grants awarded throughout the country, the Southern Red River Valley Wetlands grant includes $3.3 million in partner contributions for habitat restoration and enhancement (294-acres), easement acquisition (210-acres), and fee-title acquisition (1,593-acres) over the next two years. Wetland and grassland habitat restoration, enhancement, and protection will be completed on both public and private lands in Clay, Norman, Traverse, and Wilkin Counties. The initiative focuses on accelerating the targeted protection and restoration of the Northern Tallgrass Prairie, an area which has largely been converted for agricultural use.

In addition to wildlife benefits, the habitat restoration efforts will help prevention and control efforts in an area where massive floods have become common.

“When wetlands and grasslands are restored on the landscape, we are helping to control water flow and water quality in an area which is very prone to flooding,” stated Eran Sandquist, state coordinator for Pheasants Forever in Minnesota. “Pheasants Forever and its partners will improve breeding habitat for waterfowl and create a functional landscape for wildlife, including the ring-necked pheasant.”

This NAWCA project will assist in achieving goals laid out in the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources pheasant and duck plans, as well as the Minnesota Prairie Conservation Plan, and the Prairie Pothole Joint Venture Implementation Plan.

The Southern Red River Valley Wetlands grant includes six partners: Minnesota’s Outdoor Heritage Fund, The Nature Conservancy, private landowners, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Apple Auto Group, and Pheasants Forever.

About NAWCA Grants

The North American Wetlands Conservation Act of 1989 provides matching grants to organizations and individuals who have developed partnerships to carry out wetlands conservation projects in the United States, Canada, and Mexico for the benefit of wetlands-associated migratory birds and other wildlife. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Division of Bird Habitat Conservation is responsible for facilitating the Act’s Grants Program.

About Pheasants Forever and Quail 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 700 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Chapters are empowered to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation funds are spent.

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