An Agreement to Improve Habitat

two people smiling while signing a document
Photo courtesy of Pheasants Forever

Two of the nation’s most influential upland bird conservation organizations have entered into an agreement to improve wild-bird habitat from Minnesota to Florida.

At the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, held in Charleston, South Carolina, this past February, Pheasants Forever (PF) and Quail Forever (QF) signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS) and the American Woodcock Society (AWS). “We’ve been successfully working alongside RGS & AWS for many years,” said Marilyn Vetter, PF and QF’s president and CEO. “This agreement bolsters our commitment to restoring our uplands and the species that depend on them.” 

The organizations have begun identifying specific projects, starting with a 26-state region where bobwhite habitat is critical. Interestingly, woodcock migration routes intersect nearly all of that range. In particular, Quail Forever’s research suggests that one in three woodcock—or one-third of the entire Eastern Flyway population—either stops or winters in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain regions of North Carolina and South Carolina. Ron Leathers, PF and QF’s Chief Conservation Officer, said: “Creating early successional habitat is imperative for the health of both quail and woodcock.”

According to RGS and AWS President and CEO Ben Jones: “Our organizations share many common values, and our habitat objectives are complementary. Formalizing our partnership will make us a more powerful force for habitat and the birds that fuel the pastimes we all cherish.” 

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