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10/08/2013

NWTF First To Support Kansas Pheasant Initiative

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism (KDWPT) is introducing a new initiative aimed at improving habitat conditions for ring-necked pheasant.

Understanding the importance of partnering with landowners and conservation groups to ensure success, KDWPT reached out to conservation groups for delivery assistance and financial support of the Pheasant Initiative. The Kansas Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) responded quickly, committing $10,000 towards the Pheasant Initiative. The Kansas Chapter of the NWTF also was the first organization to support the Kansas Quail Initiative.

The NWTF is proud to be the first conservation group to provide financial support of this important conservation effort and is eager to provide additional support through delivery and promotion efforts.

The Kansas Pheasant Initiative will utilize focal areas identified by KDWPT biologists as areas with high restoration potential that contain sizable amounts of public land to be used as population cores and demonstration areas.

For private landowners in the focal areas, this initiative will increase available cost-share assistance for those interested in making pheasant-friendly habitat improvements to their properties. Landowners accepted into the program will receive 100 percent of the estimated costs for implementing pheasant-friendly practices on their property. KDWPT is committed to spending up to $100,000 a year on private land habitat improvements in the focal areas for each of the five years of this initiative.

KDWPT also will emphasize the voluntary public access and habitat improvement program in these focal areas to increase enrollment in continuous CRP practices (grass filter and buffer strips, etc.), maintain those practices and secure long-term public access. KDWPT-owned or managed lands within the focal areas will see an increase in practices and management strategies aimed directly at benefiting ring-necked pheasant.

This effort supports the NWTF's national Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative, which will conserve and enhance four million acres of critical upland wildlife habitat to increase wild turkey populations, create 1.5 million new hunters and establish 500,000 additional acres of hunting access.

This new initiative will help tackle the challenges facing the sporting community: national turkey populations have declined 15 percent with much more dramatic declines in some historically important areas; 6,000 acres of upland wildlife habitat are lost every day; hunter numbers are not keeping pace with population growth, endangering the fund model for conservation in North America.

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