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Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever launch 'Call of the Uplands' initiative

The plan, which aims to raise $500 million, encompasses habitat conservation, education and outreach and national advocacy strategies as part of an effort to conserve 9 million acres, engage 1.5 million outdoor participants and enact landscape-level national policy for wildlife and rural communities.

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Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever

Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have launched a new campaign aimed at protecting and conserving upland habitat while working to engage more people in the outdoors.

Dubbed “Call of the Uplands,” the plan, which aims to raise $500 million, encompasses habitat conservation, education and outreach and national advocacy strategies as part of an effort to conserve 9 million acres, engage 1.5 million outdoor participants and enact landscape-level national policy for wildlife and rural communities, according to a news release.

Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever announced the initiative Thursday, Feb. 25, during a live-streamed event .

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More than 53 million acres of grasslands have vanished over the past decade throughout pheasant, quail and native grouse ranges across the U.S. , the conservation groups said. Less than 3% of the country’s 90 million acres of longleaf pine woodlands remain intact.
The losses have resulted in population declines of 27% for pheasants, 82% for quail and 40% for other grassland species since 1966, PF and QF say.

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“Conversion of grasslands have quickly transformed this important ecosystem into the Amazon rainforest in our backyard; the unprecedented number of acres and biodiversity wiped from the landscape over a relatively short period have created a pivotal moment for wildlife, hunters, conservationists, farmers and all Americans interested in a bright future filled with abundant natural resources,” Howard Vincent, president and CEO of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, said in a statement. “Through the work we do, we have a window in time to flip the script before it’s too late – Call of the Uplands is the catalyst for this change.”

Highlights of the initiative include:

  • Reaching 1.5 million participants with new and expanded programs to engage them in outdoor recreation, shooting sports, hunting and habitat conservation.

  • Annually hosting 300 Learn-to-Hunt events to recruit, retain and reactivate hunter conservationists, also known as the “Three Rs.”

  • Deliver the organization’s newly developed Hunter Mentor Training Program for first-time adult hunters in 25 states throughout the country.

  • Elevating Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever as the voice of sportsmen and women in the Farm Bill, pushing for an expanded Conservation Reserve Program acreage authorization of 40 million acres, in addition to advocating for other robust programs under the conservation title.

  • Enacting landscape-level national policy for wildlife and rural communities, including a new initiative for grasslands expansion.

  • Increasing legislative activities for important state policy issues, participating in state/federal sportsmen’s caucuses and helping to develop community programs that are mutually beneficial for agriculture and conservation.

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“The uplands are some of the most threatened places on the planet, but we still have a chance to reclaim them,” Vincent said during the livestream event . “And this campaign is about Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever rising to that challenge.”

Info: calloftheuplands.org .

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