Pheasants Forever (PF) and Quail Forever (QF) have named Chris Blackledge of Council Grove as the organization’s new regional representative for western Kansas. Blackledge will work at raising and expending funds on wildlife habitat and conservation education, and also with local, state and federal natural resources agencies on behalf of Kansas Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever.
Blackledge looks to grow Pheasants Forever’s presence in Kansas, which is currently home to more than 50 Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever chapters and over 7,200 Pheasants Forever and/or Quail Forever members. A passionate hunter, he also looks forward to working with Kansas chapters and landowners in developing ideal habitat for upland wildlife.
Prior to joining Pheasants Forever’s team, Blackledge was the regional director for Quality Deer Management Association in Bogart, Georgia, and brings over ten years of fundraising and wildlife management experience to his new position. Originally from Jet, Oklahoma, Blackledge was pleased to the move to Kansas with his wife in part because of the outdoor opportunities in Kansas.
“The amount of varying terrain and species from western Kansas to eastern Kansas is quite remarkable, and I want to help people to experience everything that this great state has to offer,” noted Blackledge.
Blackledge started his work with conservation at a very early age, helping his dad run their local Ducks Unlimited chapter. This experience led him to a career with Buckmasters American Deer Foundation where he managed the Midwest region. Upon leaving Buckmasters, he went to work for the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA). While at QDMA, he managed the West and Midwest regions helping branches with their fundraising and educational events.
“Pheasants Forever is a longstanding company that is, and always has been, true to its habitat mission and putting its grassroots dollars back into the ground,” said Blackledge. “It is an organization that is constantly evolving and growing, keeping pace with the rapid changes on the landscape, which is something I am excited and proud to be a part of. Furthermore, I am looking forward to introducing new conservation ideas, new projects and gain new volunteers to continue upland hunting and habitat conservation in Kansas.”
Pheasants Forever empowers county and local chapters with the responsibility to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation funds will be spent – the only national conservation organization that operates through this truly grassroots structure. As a result, chapter volunteers are able to see the fruits of their efforts locally, while belonging to a larger national organization with a voice on federal and state conservation policy.
Blackledge, his wife, Jamie; 11 year old son, Cooper; five year old daughter, Lilliana; and nine dogs currently live in Council Grove, Kansas. Blackledge works out of his home office in Council Grove and can be reached (308) 870-6054 or email Chris.
Image courtesy Pheasants Forever