Pheasants Forever applauds Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton for announcing plans to convene the state’s first-ever Minnesota Pheasant Summit. Governor Dayton told attendees at the Union Carpenters for Conservation Pheasants Forever banquet in St. Paul that the upcoming Minnesota Pheasant Summit, to be held later this year, will focus on strategies to increase the state’s pheasant population via upland habitat conservation efforts.
“The inaugural Minnesota Pheasant Summit will be a major step in the right direction for pheasant habitat conservation efforts in Minnesota,” says Joe Duggan, Pheasants Forever’s vice president of corporate sales, “Wildlife habitat protection and creation takes collaboration, so we’re thrilled to see Governor Dayton bringing partners together from the state’s conservation and agricultural communities to find sustainable, long-term upland habitat solutions.”
The Minnesota Pheasant Summit will include hunters, farmers, policymakers, conservationists, other stakeholders, and key members of the Governor’s Cabinet and focus on strategies to increase the state’s pheasant population, improve pheasant habitat, and ensure future generations of Minnesota hunters have the opportunity to enjoy one of the state’s most popular and iconic game birds.
“For almost 60 years, I have enjoyed pheasant hunting in Minnesota,” said Governor Dayton. “But the decisions we make today will determine whether future generations of Minnesotans will have those same opportunities. I look forward to convening this Minnesota Pheasant Summit, and developing strategies to improve the pheasant population in our state.”
Minnesota, like many other Midwestern states, has seen a steady decline in grassland acres over the past decade, the main contributor to the state’s pheasant population decline. Minnesota’s pheasant range suffered a net loss of nearly 8,000 acres in the last year, and the biggest losses are yet to come, with the contract expiration of more than 290,000 Conservation Reserve Program acres in the next two years.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources expects Minnesota hunters will bag an estimated 200,000 pheasants during this fall’s hunting season, with the 2014 roadside survey indicating a 6 percent increase in the state’s pheasant population. Despite this slight increase, Minnesota’s pheasant population is still 58 percent below the 10-year average, and 71 percent below the long-term average.
Minnesota Pheasant Summit
Governor Dayton and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will release more information about the date and location of the Minnesota Pheasant Summit in the coming weeks.
Jared Wiklund (651) 209-4953
Logo courtesy Pheasants Forever