NAWCA Grants Deliver $4 Million to Habitat Conservation Efforts in Minn. & Iowa

Pheasants Forever, Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Fund, and Iowa DNR create key partnerships

Photo Credit: NRCS, Minnesota
Habitat Conservation; Photo Credit: NRCS, Minnesota
Pheasants Forever
Pheasants Forever

St. Paul, MN -( The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission has awarded $4 million in North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grants to Pheasants Forever and partners in Minnesota and Iowa.

Grant resources from NAWCA, combined with matching funds from Pheasants Forever and partners, will help to fund multi-year initiatives to protect, restore, and enhance wetlands and upland habitat for pheasants, waterfowl and additional wildlife on 5,138 acres.

NAWCA funding accelerates stateside partnership efforts designed to improve conditions for wetlands and waterfowl. Key partners for the most recent funding cycle include the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Fund.

“Partnerships are critical to the success of any large scale venture. This is a prime example of partnership by the Outdoor Heritage Fund, the Minnesota Legislature, the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council, Pheasants Forever, and numerous other dedicated collaborators,” stated Mark Johnson, executive director of the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council. “These large scale conservation measures will benefit our natural resources for future generations to enjoy.”

Iowa/Minnesota Prairie Potholes Grant:

The Prairie Pothole Region of southern Minnesota and northern Iowa is known to be highly productive for both agriculture and wildlife. Due to intense habitat conversion, drainage, and high land and commodity prices, only remnants of this once prolific landscape remain. The proposed grant funding, along with matching dollars from project partners, will accelerate wetland and upland habitat conservation by acquiring and restoring 1,832 acres for a host of wildlife species on public lands.

Partners for the Iowa/Minnesota Prairie Pothole grant include: Pheasants Forever, the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, Palo Alto County Conservation Board, Minnesota’s Outdoor Heritage Fund, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, LeSueur River Seeding and Conservation, and the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge.

Southwest Wetland Initiative of Minnesota II Grant:

This is the second phase of a multi-year initiative to accelerate the permanent protection of prairie-wetland complexes in southwest Minnesota. In addition, the project aims to ensure that Waterfowl Production Areas and Wildlife Management Areas are providing maximum benefits for pheasants, waterfowl, and other wetland-dependent species. During this phase, partners will permanently protect, restore, and enhance 2,040 acres of public land in Minnesota’s primary pheasant range.

Partners for the Southwest Wetland Initiative of Minnesota II Grant include: Pheasants Forever, Minnesota’s Outdoor Heritage Fund, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Berens, Rodenberg and O’Connor, and the Minnesota Board of Soil and Water Resources.

West Central Minnesota Wetlands Grant:

Minnesota prairie wetlands – areas of high value for numerous plant and animal species including pheasants and waterfowl – have been converted in recent years with continued land use changes. In an attempt to reverse this trend, Pheasants Forever and partners will permanently protect 971 acres of prairie wetlands while building upon existing public wildlife complexes. Further, the proposal restores 294 acres of emergent wetlands and associated prairie grasslands important to breeding waterfowl and ring-necked pheasants.

Partners for the West Central Minnesota Wetlands grant include: Pheasants Forever, Minnesota’s Outdoor Heritage Fund, Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources, The Nature Conservancy, Sunway Inc, and Daniel Schmeig.

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

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; the only national conservation organization that operates through this truly grassroots structure. Since creation in 1982, Pheasants Forever has spent $577 million on 489,000 habitat projects benefiting over 12 million acres nationwide.

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