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Pheasants Forever, Inc. (PF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit conservation organization formed in 1982 as a response to the continuing decline of upland wildlife and habitat throughout the United States. Pheasants Forever, and its quail conservation division, Quail Forever, have combined approximately 130,000 members throughout North America.
Pheasants Forever formed in Saint Paul, Minnesota in 1982 as a response to the decline of pheasant numbers in the state; the result of substantial losses of habitat suitable for pheasants. As farming practices intensified, pheasant habitat were removed from the landscape. Pheasants Forever was formed to return those grassland acres back into wildlife habitat.
Dennis Anderson, outdoor editor for the St. Paul Pioneer Press and Dispatch wrote an article March 7, 1982, regarding the state of grassland habitat in Minnesota. Following the articles publishing, Anderson reported over 100 individuals wrote him and an additional 50 had called him, voicing their concerns for the state of upland habitat and the state's upland gamebird. It was from this article that the concept of Pheasants Forever was formed and shortly after Anderson formed, with friends, formed Pheasants Forever.
The first Pheasants Forever banquet was held April 15, 1983 at the former Prom Center on University Avenue in St. Paul. In attendance were over 800 attendees, including famed water fowler and outdoors writer Jimmy Robinson who presented two $1,000 checks to Pheasants Forever banquet organizer's, one from him and one from the late Robert Naegele Sr. The event was, and still is, one of the largest Pheasants Forever banquets in Minnesota.
The keynote speaker at the inaugural Pheasants Forever banquet was the late Gov. Rudy Perpich, who later signed the state’s first pheasant stamp bill—which Pheasants Forever and supportive legislators had written and promoted. To date, the state pheasant stamp has raised over $14.6 Million for pheasant habitat and development on private and public lands, and for public land acquisition. The stamp costs $7.50 and it is required of pheasant hunters age 18 and older.
Numbers of members through the first eight years:
Pheasants Forever uses a grassroots system of fundraising and project development that allows members to see the direct result of their contributions. This is accomplished through Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever local chapters determining how 100% of their locally raised funds will be spent. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have a combined 700 local chapters throughout the United States and Canada.
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have chapters in 40 states, members in all other states and chapters in their sister organization, Pheasants Forever Canada. The organization participates in habitat projects on local and national levels, and has an average annual completion of 20,000+ habitat projects. Pheasants Forever wildlife habitat projects have been completed in conjunction with local, state and federal natural resource agencies, and all of those projects have subsequently been opened to public hunting or compatible outdoor recreational use.
Since 1982, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have enhanced over 6,100,000 acres (24,700 km2)—including planting grasslands, restoring wetlands, planting woody cover or food plots and purchased lands to provide habitat for pheasant, quail and other wildlife. This total also includes approximately 400,000 wildlife habitat projects, which have helped pheasant, quail and other wildlife.
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever chapters hold more than 500 youth events per annum, with 25,000 plus youth to the outdoors. Many of the organizations' chapters provide educators with scholarships to attend Leopold Education Project workshops. The educators facilitate youth mentor hunts, outdoor conservation days, shooting sports, competitive events, conservation camps, and youth fishing tournaments, outdoor expos, hunter education classes, schoolyard habitats and much more.
The No Child Left Indoors initiative builds on Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s Leopold Education project and chapter youth events with youth and family programs. The No Child Left Indoors initiative is carried out through youth habitat projects, youth and family community events and youth outdoor education programs hosted by chapters and volunteers across the country.
The grassroots conservation campaign was formed by the organization with the goal of raising $25 million in planned gifts, estate, bequests and other donations. The objective of the campaign is to accelerate the organization’s ability to conserve and enhance North America’s Wildlife resources as well as Americans' hunting tradition.
Minnesota’s conservation groups
Top five states for Pheasants Forever members
<www.minnpost.net>. 17 Jan. 2008