Sunday, January 29th, 2023
Sunday, January 29th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

PF announces Build A Wildlife Area’ plan

Madison Pheasants Forever (PF) announced a unique partnership on
July 9 at the ESPN Great Outdoor Games in Madison that will
eventually add public hunting and trapping lands to the state’s
inventory.

PF’s Build a Wildlife Area-Wisconsin will bring together the
resources of PF, sportsmen, and outdoor agencies and businesses to
create a new public hunting area in Wisconsin.

Build a Wildlife Area-Wisconsin kicked off with PF, Wisconsin
Outdoor News, the Wisconsin DNR, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
(USFWS), Gander Mountain, Big Al’s gourmet pies, and Simek’s
quality foods as the campaign’s initial partners. Build a Wildlife
Area was created by PF to seek additional wildlife
conservation-minded partners and raise funds for the acquisition of
critical wildlife habitat. Once purchased, this land will be turned
over to the Wisconsin DNR as a managed wildlife area to be open for
public hunting and other outdoor recreation.

The partnership has targeted $50,000 as its goal. Once raised,
grants through the Wisconsin DNR and the USFWS will triple that
$50,000 and leave the partnership with $150,000 to buy land for a
wildlife area in Wisconsin. The fund-raising drive will run through
the Wisconsin pheasant season.

Last year, PF partnered with Minnesota Outdoor News, Minnesota
Game Fair, the Minnesota DNR, the USFWS, Gander Mountain, and
others to establish the first Build a Wildlife Area campaign. Last
year’s Minnesota campaign generated $165,000, after grant matches,
in five weeks. That money, augmented by additional Minnesota DNR
support, was used to buy 318 acres adjacent to an existing 400-acre
wildlife management area. The new 718-acre Mud Lake WMA was turned
over to the Minnesota DNR in a dedication ceremony on June 25th.
All 718 acres will be open to public hunting in 2004.

“We are excited to bring this very successful campaign to
Wisconsin,” said Jeff Gaska, Pheasants Forever wildlife biologist
for Wisconsin. “This is what PF is all about grass-roots
initiatives that make a difference on the landscape. Minnesota’s
campaign last year had more than 10,000 individual donors. I am
confident that with Wisconsin’s outdoor heritage we can surpass our
neighbor’s efforts and do something good for Wisconsin’s
environment, wildlife, and sportsmen and women. Plus, how many
times can you see your donation matched three times? That really is
the beauty of this campaign.”

Wisconsin PF chapters have participated in 24 land acquisitions
totaling 3,992 acres since PF’s inception in 1982. The largest of
which was a 2,740-acre, $1.6 million acquisition in Jefferson
County last year. All PF land acquisitions are now open to the
public.

“Wisconsin has done a good job of buying land for outdoor
recreation over the years, but each year the state budget gets
tighter and tighter,” said Dean Bortz, editor of Wisconsin Outdoor
News. “Build a Wildlife Area could be just the kind of effort we
need to create a new spirit of cooperation that will lead to adding
new projects every year.”

“The first step to conserving Wisconsin’s wildlife populations
is making sure we provide the habitat that species need to
survive,” said Tom Hauge, Wisconsin DNR’s

Bureau of Wildlife director. “We’re thrilled to be able to
expand our partnership efforts with PF. The Build a Wildlife Area
program allows us to stretch our precious state dollars to protect
more habitat through the partnership.”

PF is a non-profit conservation organization dedicated to the
protection and enhancement of pheasant and other wildlife
populations in North America through habitat improvement, land
management, public awareness, and education. Such efforts benefit
landowners and wildlife alike. Pheasants Forever has more than
108,000 members in more than 600 local chapters across the
continent.

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