Ryan Heiniger has been named to Pheasants Forever (PF) and Quail Forever’s (QF) position of north region manager. In this role, Heiniger will oversee and continue to expand Pheasants Forever’s highly successful Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist Program in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota. Heiniger joins “The Habitat Organization” after serving as a regional director of conservation programs for Ducks Unlimited.
Pheasants Forever’s Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist Program provides technical assistance to farmers and ranchers – through one-on-one consulting – about the benefits of conservation programs (such as the Conservation Reserve Program), as well as assisting farmers and landowners through program implementation. Pheasants Forever first employed farm bill wildlife biologists in 2003 and currently has over 100 biologists working throughout the country.
“Like many sportsmen and biologists, I am very concerned about the impact of high commodity prices on wildlife habitat and our hunting heritage,” says Heiniger. “My earliest hunting experiences were chasing pheasants and bobwhite quail with my dad on our Iowa farm along weedy fencerows and marginal lands not suited for production. I fondly remember when hunters in Iowa shot more than a million roosters each fall, and I have watched that number decline with great concern.”
“However, I am very optimistic about reversing this trend in the future due to the tremendous opportunities within the conservation title of the Farm Bill and specifically the Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist Partnership between Pheasants Forever, USDA and other federal, state and local partners. I am very excited about joining the talented team of farm bill wildlife biologists and applying my agricultural background to develop new alliances within the farming and ranching communities,” continued Heiniger.
Since 2005, Heiniger served as a director of conservation programs within the Great Plains Region for Ducks Unlimited, including six years guiding Ducks Unlimited conservation programs in Minnesota and Iowa. There, he was responsible for leading major regional conservation initiatives and has been involved in a variety of technical, managerial and leadership positions. Having lived and worked in three of the five states in Pheasants Forever’s North Region, he is very familiar with the various agency partners, conservation programs and strategies, and hunting heritage in the North Region, which will serve him well as he transitions into his new position.
“Heiniger’s depth of experience in conservation services and leading a team is in part why he is the perfect fit for the north region manager,” says Rick Young, vice president of field operations for Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, “With the Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist Program growing as quickly as it is, we are extremely happy to have someone like Ryan join our team. I am confident he will continue the rapid growth of this already successful conservation partnership.”
An Iowa native, Heiniger was greatly influenced by working and recreating on his family farm along the Mississippi River. Heiniger received his bachelor’s degree in animal ecology from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa and proceeded into the conservation profession. He is passionate about conserving habitat for future generations, which he also believes is key to our economy and overall quality of life.
Heiniger will be based in Burlington, Iowa (birthplace of famed conservationist Aldo Leopold) and can be reached at (319) 937-5380 or email Ryan. For all other inquiries, please contact Rehan Nana, Pheasants Forever public relations specialist, at (651) 209-4973 or email Rehan.
Image courtesy Pheasant Forever