The Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with 10 other prominent agencies and organizations to halt the ongoing decline of young forest habitats and associated wildlife species in Wisconsin.  Populations of species like the golden-winged warbler and the American woodcock have dropped by more than half across their ranges over the past 50 years due in large part to the maturing of the forests in the region.  Forty wildlife species listed as Species of Greatest Conservation in the Great Lakes Region are dependent on young forest or shrub-like habitats.

John Eichinger, president and CEO of RGS, states, “Our Society has supported scientifically proven forest management efforts since its inception 53 years ago.  We are pleased to be able to join with others to assist in maintaining these essential wildlife habitats into the future.”

Members who have signed on to the Wisconsin Young Forest Partnership (WYFP) include the U. S. Forest Service, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Wisconsin County Forests Association, Wildlife Management Institute, American Bird Conservancy, Ruffed Grouse Society/American Woodcock Society, National Wild Turkey Federation, Pheasants Forever and The Forestland Group, LLC.

Under this MOU the group has agreed to “identify, promote and deliver conservation programs that assist landowners with land management through the use of combined resources between agencies, organizations and companies in order to enhance wildlife populations dependent on these early successional forest habitats.”

According to Jeremy Holtz, chairman of the Wisconsin Young Forest Partnership Steering Committee, “This is a unique partnership with a wide range of partners, all of whom are interested in working together to increase the amount of young forest habitat across the state and improve populations for a host of wildlife species.”

Media Contact:

Gary Zimmer
Coordinating Biologist
Ruffed Grouse Society
P.O. Box 116
Laona, WI 54541
Phone: 715-674-7505

Logo courtesy Ruffed Grouse Society

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