Date: Friday, February 08, 2019
Labeled as the most prestigious award amongst chapter volunteers and their peers, the Habitat Chapter of the Year Award is selected by Pheasants Forever staff and recognizes a leading chapter in the nation for habitat conservation projects and direct mission delivery over the course of one year. Based in Oskaloosa, Iowa, the Mahaska County Chapter of Pheasants Forever has earned the 2017 Habitat Chapter of the Year Award by implementing innovative projects and partnerships which are helping to restore pheasant populations and public access in central Iowa.
The Mahaska County Chapter of Pheasants Forever formed in 1988 with an overarching goal to help maintain upland habitat and hunting traditions in one of the most picturesque regions of the Hawkeye State. As one of the most active committees in the Midwest for Pheasants Forever, local volunteers have dedicated their time and energy to habitat improvements (food plots, wetland restorations, winter cover plantings, nesting cover restorations, land acquisitions, and a local prescribed burn crew), advocacy support of the Conservation Reserve Program, and helping implement Iowa conservation initiatives (Farm Bill Biologist Partnership, Iowa Habitat & Access Program) on public and private lands.
Thanks to their fundraising and habitat management efforts, the Mahaska County Chapter of Pheasants Forever has spent $1,062,308 since their inception to complete 1,766 habitat projects benefitting wildlife on 17,510 acres, including 12 land acquisitions providing public access to 1,524 acres throughout the region.
Most recently, the local committee hosted the 2017 Iowa Governor’s Pheasant Hunt and used the occasion as a platform to encourage dedicated funding for natural resources – Iowa’s Water & Land Legacy – throughout the state.