Wildlife and Habitat Conservation   


With the ever burgeoning demand being placed on our land for food production and housing, habitat destruction is at an all time high.  Loss of habitat is the prime cause of declining wildlife populations around the world.  To minimize this loss, we are responsible to do what we can to provide habitat and food for wildlife.   This must be done on a world wide level, but it starts locally.

Our Commitment:
Stewardship of wildlife and the environment has always held a fascination for me.  After purchasing  a twenty acre farm for training retrievers, I was presented with the potential of restoring the grounds to a wildlife friendly state.  The process is ongoing.  We have planted over 600 shrubs and trees for wildlife habitat and food, installed several wood duck boxes, established brush piles, and limited grass cutting for waterfowl and upland bird nesting.  We also planted ten acres of native prairie grasses, wild flowers, and various shrubs and trees in the spring of 1999.  As with any conservation project, this is a long time commitment.  To date we have witnessed an increase in the use of our property by nesting ducks, geese, rabbits, turkey and white-tailed deer.

In the fall of 2002 we purchased a larger, retired farm and are in the process of focusing our conservation efforts on that property.  In the first year, we planted 800 trees and shrubs, installed wood duck nest boxes, began digging ponds, and planted sunflowers and other wildlife food crops.  We are planning for future prairie grass plantings.  The property holds whitetail deer, pheasant, woodcock, wild turkey, and numerous other species.  As this process evolves, we will update this page.

Sources of Information and Support:
There are many sources of help and funding to encourage landowners to improve their land for the well-being of wildlife.  Various state, federal and private programs will provide full or partial funding for the purchase of seed, shrubs, trees and other items necessary to properly develop wildlife habitat.  Various organizations will also loan planting tools, seed drills and other items.  Some programs will pay the landowner a rental fee for a number of years to take the land out of row crops, others will exempt the property from state property taxes.  Most programs have specific requirements that must be met.  They will only provide funding for practices that will support their area of concern, whether that be for forestry, prairie restoration, riparian buffers, wetlands, nesting habitat, etc.

Some sources of funding and support are:  your state Department of Natural Resources, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Ducks Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation, Pheasants Forever, Quail Unlimited, Farm Bill Network, National Wildlife Federation, Conservation Reserve Program, your county Soil & Water Conservation District, and local Hunting and Conservation Clubs.

 

Hunt responsibly, conserve habitat and put back more than you take out.   Hunters have done more to enhance wildlife in this country than all other groups combined.  Be proud of our efforts and help continue the tradition.  Make it a point to positively introduce a new person to our hunting heritage this year.


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