Pheasants Forever (PF) recently named Bill Vander Zouwen as the organization’s new regional representative for Michigan. Vander Zouwen is a Michigan native and has extensive upland conservation knowledge, having spent the last 20 years at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources as the wildlife and landscape ecology section chief.
In his new role, Vander Zouwen will work at raising and expending funds on wildlife habitat and conservation, and also with local, state and federal natural resources agencies on behalf of Pheasants Forever. Vander Zouwen will work closely with Michigan Department of Natural Resource’s staff, landowner cooperatives, USDA, conservation districts, farm bill biologists, local PF chapters and other conservation partners to implement the Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative.
“I look forward to working with Pheasants Forever’s partners and chapters to restore Michigan’s grasslands and wetlands for both wildlife and the people who will enjoy Michigan’s natural resources in the future,” said Vander Zouwen. He also noted he hopes to facilitate grassland projects in an effort to increase the state’s water quality.
Launched in early 2011, the Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative’s goal is to reestablish the pheasant as a prolific game bird in specific regions of the state. The Initiative also has the potential to change small game hunting opportunities, increase other wildlife populations, improve hunter satisfaction and help Michigan’s economy. Find more on the Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative here.
“Bill just started with Pheasants Forever, but he has really hit the ground running, making headway with grants, chapters, and agency leaders. We all welcome him as a great addition to the Pheasants Forever team,” said Tim Caughran, Pheasants Forever’s regional field manager.
A Michigan native, Vander Zouwen grew up near Grand Rapids, where he was first introduced to hunting by a neighbor on opening day of pheasant season. His passion for the outdoors eventually led him to earn a bachelor’s degree in biology at Grand Valley State University and then a master’s degree under Aldo Leopold’s student, Bob McCabe, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Vander Zouwen lives in Grand Rapids with his wife of 33 years, Jan. Together, they have three children; Bill, Bethany, and Tim, along with a yellow Labrador retriever named “Tony.” In his free time, Vander Zouwen hunts gamebirds of all kinds and enjoys fishing for largemouth bass and steelhead. His hobbies include perennial gardening and African Lake Malawi cichlids.
Michigan is home to 36 Pheasants Forever chapters and over 8,600 Pheasants Forever or Quail Forever members. For more information regarding “The Habitat Organization” in Michigan, please contact Bill Vander Zouwen at (616) 450-2385 / email Bill. For all other inquiries, please contact Rehan Nana, Pheasants Forever’s public relations specialist, at (651) 209-4973 / email Rehan.
Image courtesy Pheasants Forever