October 30, 2003

Pheasants Forever Proceeds Being Put To Work On Local Wildlife Projects

Scotland County con-servationists are taking advantage of locally generated funding to restore wildlife habitat and to construct new territory friendly to gamebirds, deer, turkey and the countless other creatures that call this region home.

During the past seven years the Northeast Missouri Chapter of Pheasants Forever of Memphis has contributed more than $20,000 for local wildlife projects.

More than 28,000 pounds of food plot seed has been distributed to no fewer than 400 different landowners, resulting in the production of greater than 3,000 acres of crops specifically to feed and house wildlife.

The Chapterís tree planter has been responsible for putting approximately 60,000 seedling trees and shrubs in the ground since it was purchased by the group and first made available for public use back in 1998.

Burn equipment made available to the Scotland County Soil and Water District courtesy of the NEMO PF Chapter has also assisted in habitat work. The equipment, which is available for use by the public for prescribed burning management of CRP ground has accounted for 400 acres of habitat work locally.

In 2001 the NEMO PF partnered with the Knox County and Scotland County soil and water districts to promote continuous CRP resulting in 200+ acres being enrolled in the project. The program helps develop excellent wildlife habitat and protects the ground for 10 to 15 years based on the contract.

Last year the local group purchased a rear-mounted tractor roto-tiller to be used for the construction of fire lines. Combined with the previously purchased burn equipment, local landowners now have quality tools to help them manage their CRP grounds in an easy, affordable manor that also benefits wildlife.

That same year the group assisted with the planting of more than 80 acres of native grasses for permanent nesting cover for gamebirds.

This year the chapter is partnering with the Missouri Department of Conservation, the City of Memphis and the NRCS to construct a small wetland adjacent to Lake Show-Me. The new wildlife habitat will be available for public use.

The groupís efforts did not stop with equipment, seed and special programs for wildlife habitat. The local chapter also has maintained youth education and training as a top priority. In seven years, PF has provided $2,500 to local youth groups such as 4-H, FFA and various other youth events.

The backbone of Pheasants Forever is the national organizationís unique system of county chapters that provide incentive for chapter fundraisers to raise money for habitat and other projects in their own area. All net funds (100%), generated by chapter events, remain at the local level, to be managed by the local organizers for local projects.

Pheasants Forever is celebrating its 20th year as a leader in habitat conservation. The organization has more than 100,000 members and volunteers who have developed more than 2.3 million acres of habitat since 1983. Currently there are more than 600 chapters that raise the funding for over 25,000 wildlife-oriented projects annually in North America.

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