Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pheasants Forever Passes 1 Million Acre Mark in Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa - February 23, 2010 - Pheasants Forever announces the completion of 1 million acres of habitat accomplishments in Iowa since the first Iowa chapter formed in 1984. With Pheasants Forever's marquee event, National Pheasant Fest 2010, in Des Moines this weekend, "PF" members and sponsors will celebrate the 1,000,000 acres of habitat work accomplished by Pheasants Forever in the state. National Pheasant Fest is this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.

Iowa's 102 Pheasants Forever, two Quail Forever chapters and 19,000 members completed over 6,900 wildlife habitat projects in 2009, benefitting nearly 142,000 acres for upland birds and other wildlife. This includes almost 5,000 acres of land acquired and then opened to public hunting and recreation as state Wildlife Management Areas, federal Waterfowl Production Areas or county conservation areas. With the addition of the organization's 2009 project totals, Pheasants Forever has helped conserve, restore or permanently protect 1,026,430 acres for pheasants, quail and other wildlife since the creation of Iowa's first PF chapter in 1984.

"One million acres is a huge accomplishment for our volunteers," said Tom Fuller, Pheasants Forever's regional representative in eastern Iowa, "National Pheasant Fest 2010 will be a time to thank them for their indelible support, and also to explore how we'll accomplish the next million acres even faster."

National Pheasant Fest - Event Makes Wildlife Habitat Impact
More than just a tradeshow? You bet. Many facets of the National Pheasant Fest event will help Iowa wildlife long after the show is over.

• Ag Secretary Vilsack and CRP Announcement - U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will deliver the keynote speech at a luncheon on Saturday. The Secretary will also sign a memorandum of understanding between Pheasants Forever and USDA agencies, and is expected to deliver an important announcement regarding the federal Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).

• Landowner Habitat Help Room - Farmers, ranchers and landowners receive FREE wildlife habitat management plans for their property from professional wildlife biologists. At past shows, more than 1,000 have taken advantage of this service, leading to over 65,000 habitat acres that have been evaluated for management recommendations by Pheasants Forever wildlife biologists during Pheasant Fest events since 2005. Visit Landowner Habitat Help Room booths #100 & 104 at Pheasant Fest

• Iowa Pheasants & Sustainable Funding - Featured Pheasant Fest panel discussions about initiatives to increase upland habitat and pheasant numbers, and the possibility of dedicated natural resource funding in Iowa.

• Reload Iowa - An Iowa Pheasants Forever campaign aimed at bringing Iowa pheasant numbers and upland hunting back to their glory days. Specifically, "Reload Iowa" funds will help add Pheasants Forever county(s)-region positions to improve the delivery of conservation policy (state and federal Farm Bill) to on-the-ground habitat acres. Visit "Reload Iowa" booths # 1703 & 1802 at Pheasant Fest.

• Build a Wildlife Area - This Pheasants Forever program raises funds for the acquisition of land that is critical as wildlife habitat. The unique mechanism of the program allows for 100 percent of the funds raised directly toward land acquisitions utilizing state and federal grants that triple contributions. In just four years, the program has created seven land acquisitions in Iowa, opening 1,121 acres to public hunting and outdoor recreation. Visit Build a Wildlife Area booth #1601 at Pheasant Fest.

"Pheasant Fest is our line in the sand," explained John Linquist, Pheasants Forever's regional representative in western Iowa. "In my lifetime, Iowa's pheasant numbers have never been lower. Weather has played a role in that, but loss of habitat has been critical. Pheasant Fest will begin helping us put some of those acres back on the Iowa landscape."

National Pheasant Fest 2010
The Country's Largest Event for Upland Hunters, Sport Dog Owners and Wildlife Habitat Conservationists, combining a national outdoor tradeshow, wildlife habitat seminar series, and family event complete with puppies, tractors, shotguns, and art.

Adults - $10 Daily * Ages 6-16 - $5 Daily * Ages 5 and Under - FREE
Weekend Special - $30 (Includes annual Pheasants Forever membership & hat, over $80 value)