Sharonville Game Area named ‘Pheasants Forever’ Partner of the Year

Sharonville State Game Area staff named Pheasants Forever Partner of the Year
Sharonville State Game Area staff named Pheasants Forever Partner of the Year
Michigan DNR
Michigan Department of Natural Resources

USA -( Sharonville State Game Area staff members Kristin Bissell, Veryl Tisch and Dennis Tison were presented Pheasants Forever’s Partner of the Year award at the Pheasants Forever State Convention in Lansing Saturday, Jan. 14.

In the nomination letter from Steve Schneider, treasurer of the Washtenaw County Chapter of Pheasants Forever, the Sharonville staff was praised for sharing their time, knowledge, equipment and facilities as the chapter worked on various habitat projects on the state game area.

“They have gone above and beyond in helping us with projects but also led the charge in hosting pheasant cooperative planning meetings, conducting an education event for the public at Sharonville, and taking the extra time to take those potential cooperative members on a field trip to further their education on habitat,” said Schneider.

The Sharonville State Game Area staff works out of the Department of Natural Resources Waterloo State Wildlife Area Field Office in Grass Lake, and oversees several game areas in Jackson, Washtenaw and Hillsdale counties. Bissell is the wildlife biologist at Sharonville, Tison the wildlife technician and Tisch the wildlife assistant.

The Sharonville staff is working with Washtenaw and Jackson County Pheasants Forever chapter volunteers to improve habitat on the state game area.

With chapter funds from a DNR Wildlife Habitat Grant, several projects have been completed, including removing invading trees and shrubs from 60 acres of grassland and converting a 62-acre old field to a diverse prairie.

Work also is in progress to plant 60 acres of grassland and convert both 47 acres of cropland and a 32-acre old field to diverse prairie.

“We are proud to receive this award, and we are proud of our staff at Sharonville,” DNR Wildlife Division Chief Russ Mason said. “They exemplify the Wildlife Division’s goals to provide excellent habitat, hunting opportunities and species management for the citizens of Michigan.”

Sharonville State Game Area, located on the border of Jackson and Washtenaw counties in Grass Lake, includes many acres of grassland habitat in addition to forested habitat. It is an important state game area in the Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative, serving as a hub for the Sharonville pheasant cooperative, a group of conservation-minded landowners around the game area who are working to create and enhance important pheasant habitat (primarily grasslands) in the area.

“It is through these types of partnerships that we are able to foster and expand pheasant habitat in the state”, said Al Stewart, DNR upland game bird specialist.

The Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative is a conservation initiative to restore and enhance Michigan pheasant habitat, populations and hunting opportunities on private and public lands via pheasant cooperatives.

It works by acquiring state and federal resources to help landowners in the cooperatives improve wildlife habitat on their properties and by improving habitat on selected state game areas, recreation areas or other public lands.