New habitat technician to conduct upland improvement projects over the next four years
Pheasants Forever has been awarded a Phillips 66 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). The $40,000 grant will help Pheasants Forever hire a seasonal habitat technician, as well as purchase a truck and trailer, to accelerate upland habitat work being conducted on public lands in Yellowstone, Big Horn, and Treasure counties by the Montana Habitat Partnership.
In addition to the Phillips 66 NFWF grant, the local Yellowstone Valley Pheasants Forever chapter has pledged an additional $40,000 to cover the new position’s travel, equipment, and project expenses that accumulate over the next four years. The chapter’s pledge ensures the habitat technician’s impact on public lands in the Billings community will be maximized.
The Montana Habitat Partnership—collaboration between Montana Fish, Wildlife, & Parks (FWP), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and Pheasants Forever—is committed to enhancing upland habitat on public lands to optimize recreational opportunities for those in the Billings community. The Partnership’s staff includes FWP and BLM land managers, as well as a full-time Pheasants Forever habitat specialist who has been based in Billings since 2008. The new habitat technician will join the Montana Habitat Partnership to increase the efficiency and expand the scope of the ongoing habitat work.
“The Partnership’s work provides community members the opportunity to spend half a day hunting or running their dog in great habitat close to Billings,” said Dan Bailey, Pheasants Forever’s regional representative for Montana. “As private land becomes increasingly difficult to access, especially around metropolis areas like Billings, improving the existing habitat to create high-quality public land is more important than ever.”
The habitat technician will accelerate management, restoration and enhancement of public land areas near Billings, which include Pompey’s Pillar Area of Critical Environmental Concern, Yellowstone Wildlife Management Area (WMA), Grant Marsh WMA, Isaac Homestead WMA, and Big Lake WMA. The habitat improvement projects will include planting dense nesting cover, brood rearing habitat, winter food plots and winter habitat. The newly restored and enhanced habitat will benefit and attract a variety of wildlife, including pheasants, waterfowl, turkeys, sharp-tailed grouse, deer and songbirds.
For more information on the Montana Habitat Partnership or Pheasants Forever in Montana, please contact Dan Bailey at (406)-586-8137 / email.
Emy Marier (651) 209-4973
Logo courtesy Pheasants Forever