Posts Tagged ‘U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’

Recognizing 25 Years of the Partners for Fish & Wildlife Program

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Pheasants Forever's Dave Nomsen (left) and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe (right)

Last week at the North American Wildlife & Natural Resources Conference, it was my pleasure to present United States Fish & Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe with a plaque commemorating 25 years of the Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program.

 

During the presentation, I reflected back on the Program’s 25-years of habitat successes and the people responsible for those achievements.  My fond memories included folks like Jim Gritman, who initiated the Partners program, and Carl Madsen, who wrote the very first private land contract under the Program.

 

Today at Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever, we work with some great U.S. Fish & Wildlife Partners staff; including, the teams Heather Johnson (Region 6) and Lori Nordstrom (Region 3) supervise.

 

Just two weeks ago it was my honor to help Partners program biologist Kurt Forman brief the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission on the plights of prairies and wetlands due to the loss of acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program.  We also discussed the variety of ways CRP is of critical importance to the Prairie Pothole region that includes North and South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa.

 

It’s been a great partnership and Pheasants Forever was pleased to offer our congratulations to the entire Partners program team.  They’ve done a great job helping private lands farmers and ranchers complete wildlife habitat projects these past 25 years.

 

The D.C. Minute is written by Dave Nomsen, Pheasants Forever’s Vice President of Government Relations.

Help 2 Million Acres of Dakota Habitat with an Email

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Ken Salazar, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, speaking with landowners about the proposed Dakota Grassland Conservation Area. Targeted at the Prairie Pothole Region, the proposed area would conserve up to 2 million acres of wildlife habitat. Photo © John Pollmann

UPDATE: Deadline to submit your comments is Monday, July 25th.

Many people underestimate the significance their involvement can play in the legislative process. In my years in Washington, D.C., I’ve seen firsthand 10 phone calls or emails that, collectively, made the difference. With public input wanted on the proposed Dakota Grassland Conservation Area, this is such an opportunity. Hunters and conservationists need to stand up, be heard and help protect 2 million acres of grassland and wetland habitat.

The proposed Dakota Grassland Conservation Area targets 1.7 million acres of grasslands and 240,000 acres of wetlands for conservation protection via U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service easements in the Prairie Pothole Region of South Dakota, North Dakota and eastern Montana. The goal is to promote profitable farming and ranching in harmony with wildlife conservation, but it won’t happen without your help.

Please send a brief note in full support of the proposed Dakota Grassland Conservation Area to dgca_comments@fws.gov. Here are a couple of example emails:

I am a hunter and understand the value of critical wildlife habitat. I am in full support of the Dakota Grasslands Conservation project. – John Q. Sample

 

I support accelerating conservation in the endangered ecosystem known as the Prairie Pothole Region. – John Q. Sample

Your emailed support will help future generations of hunters enjoy the thrill of flushing roosters and prairie grouse, support critical habitats for waterfowl production and the dozens of other grassland and wetland dependant birds, and help stewardship-minded landowners.

Thanks for your support of Pheasants Forever and wildlife habitat conservation!

The D.C. Minute is written by Dave Nomsen, Pheasants Forever’s Vice President of Government Relations.

Help Create 2 Million Acres of Habitat with an Email

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

An email from you can help give sharp-tailed grouse 2 million acres of critical habitat. PHOTO BY JOHN POLLMANN

DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JANUARY 14th

In this season of giving, please consider helping all the critters that depend upon healthy grassland and wetland complexes throughout the Dakotas and Montana.  A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposal is poised to give a huge habitat boost with a little help from you. 

The proposed Dakota Grassland Conservation Area (DGCA) has targeted more than 240,000 acres of wetlands and 1.7 million acres of grasslands for conservation.  The goal is to promote profitable farming and ranching in harmony with wildlife conservation, but it won’t happen without your help.  Please send a brief note in full support of the DGCA to dgca_comments@fws.gov  

Your emailed support before December 31, 2010 will help future generations of hunters enjoy the thrill of flushing roosters and prairie grouse, support critical habitats for waterfowl production and the dozens of other grassland and wetland dependant birds, and help stewardship-minded landowners. 

Thanks for your support!  

The D.C. Minute is written by Dave Nomsen, Pheasants Forever’s Vice President of Government Relations.

A Birdy Opener from the Brush

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Every pheasant hunter can help create more habitat by purchasing a Federal Duck Stamp each year.

If you were listening to FAN Outdoors on Saturday morning at 7:45 AM, then you heard “The Captain” Billy Hildebrand share his hot pheasant hunting tip from three weeks of pre-season scouting: “The birds have been in the brush.” 

The Captain, his two sons, friend Steve and I departed our trucks a little more than an hour after that statement was made on the radio across a five-state listening area.  We were resolved to test the theory. 

Within minutes, The Captain’s scouting recon proved valid as he opened the 2010 season with a single blast from his new Beretta over/under as a rooster tried to escape on the backside of a willow thicket.  A second rooster was added to The Captain’s game vest a matter of minutes later from another patch of short willows.  The Captain’s youngest son, Chad, dropped the group’s third bird over my shorthair’s point beside a small thicket along a cattail slough. 

In total, our group of hunters walked three federally owned Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs) on Saturday’s Minnesota pheasant opener.  With a few misses, a tailgate lunch, and a grassy nap; it took most of the day, but we bagged our 10-bird limit behind some excellent dog power from Steve and Billy’s brace of golden retrievers and my shorthair.  Of our ten roosters, seven originated from brush of some form.  Cattail edges produced the other three birds in our bag. 

Other Observations from the Field

  • There were a lot of hunters in west central Minnesota on Saturday morning.  The state and federally owned public lands were being put to good use. 

 

  • WPAs again proved their value to pheasants.  Please support the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s acquisition of these lands through the purchase of the Federal Duck Stamp.  Duck Stamp dollars are used to purchase lands that become WPAs, creating nesting habitat for ducks and fantastic habitat for pheasants to boot.

 

  • The juvenile birds we flushed displayed fuller plumage and seemed to be further along than most openers in my recent memory.  That may indicate this year’s early spring led to an early hatch.  That’s by no means a scientific analysis, just this PR guy’s hunch. 

 

  • The beans are all out in west central Minnesota and the corn is coming out quick.  If the weather stays dry, next weekend could be a dandy one for a pheasant hunt.

 

  • We only hunted a few hours on Sunday, but again proved the brush theory consistent on a fourth WPA with three roosters in the bag and four others flushed that should have joined them.  I also bagged a woodcock from the willows on Sunday morning as well. 

 

The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.