Pheasants Forever and partners team up for wildlife habitat conservation in Mahaska County
Officially dedicated as the North Skunk River Wildlife Area, the purchase of the 93-acre wildlife complex was spearheaded by the Mahaska County Chapter of Pheasants Forever, and will provide much-needed public hunting access and recreational opportunities along the North Skunk River.
The North Skunk River Wildlife Management Area is a vital addition to the future of the North Skunk River Greenbelt — a designated area of importance by the Mahaska County Conservation Board for long-range conservation plans in the county. In addition to supporting upland wildlife populations such as pheasants and quail, the North Skunk River Greenbelt is also a major migration corridor for many waterfowl, shore birds, and neotropical migrants. Permanently secured under an Emergency Watershed Protection easement, the land was purchased at a bargain price of only $809 per acre and will provide lasting benefits for hunters and residents of central Iowa.
“This acquisition will be a tremendous benefit to Mahaska County and will provide outdoor opportunities for future generations,” said Dave Sedivec, director of the Mahaska County Conservation Board. “My favorite aspect of this land purchase is the cooperation of numerous partners and several chapters of Pheasants Forever. On behalf of the Mahaska County Conservation Board, I would like to thank all of the partners for making this project a reality.”
The Mahaska County Conservation Board, in conjunction with the Mahaska County Chapter of Pheasants Forever and the Oskaloosa Pioneering Ringnecks (student) Chapter of Pheasants Forever, plan to maintain and enhance the area through prairie plantings, prescribed burns, mowing, and timber stand improvements. The Wildlife Management Area is now open for public recreation and can be accessed two miles north of New Sharon on Highway 146, and one mile east of the highway on 110th street.
Partners involved with the North Skunk River Wildlife Area acquisition include: Mahaska County Chapter of Pheasants Forever, the State Council of Pheasants Forever in Iowa, Wapello County Chapter of Pheasants Forever, Warren County Chapter of Pheasants Forever, Cedar Creek Chapter of Pheasants Forever, Iowa County Chapter of Pheasants Forever, Iowa State University Chapter of Pheasants Forever, Oskaloosa Pioneering Ringnecks Chapter of Pheasants Forever, Mahaska County Izaak Walton League, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, and the Iowa Wildlife Habitat Stamp Fund.
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.
For more information, visit: www.pheasantsforever.org.