Habitat & Conservation  |  06/13/2017

Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative Annual Report

Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative coalition partners recently compiled a 2016 annual report, now available at www.michiganpheasantsforever.org/habitat
Highlights of the report, which details the initiative’s accomplishments in 2016, include:
  • Sixteen pheasant cooperatives actively are working, with 14 more cooperatives currently in development.
  • On state game areas, 2,053 acres of grasslands were enhanced, 308 acres of grasslands were established, 310 acres of food plots were planted and 380 wetland acres were enhanced.
  • Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative coalition partners helped to enhance 5,567 acres of grasslands, establish 621 acres of grassland, plant 14,326 acres of food plots, enhance 233 wetland acres and restore 1,691 wetland acres.
  • The Michigan Department of Natural Resources provided technical and financial assistance to 31 landowners, with 1,138 acres of improved habitat. MPRI Farm Bill biologists provided technical and financial assistance to 566 landowners, with 5,639 acres of improved habitat
  • There are currently 173 properties and 15,841 acres enrolled in the Hunting Access Program, which offers public hunting opportunities in urban and agricultural areas. Five of these properties, totaling 529 acres, were added in 2016.
  • One hundred and twenty acres of potential pheasant habitat have been purchased as part of Watkins Lake State Park and County Preserve in Jackson County, and 300 acres of potential pheasant habitat were acquired in northwestern Monroe County.
  • Over $400,000 was granted to MPRI projects through the Wildlife Habitat Grant Program, and more than 1,451 grassland acres were enhanced.
  • The DNR received a $500,000 Competitive State Wildlife Grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to study grassland management techniques. Funds will be used over the next three years to monitor the impact of prescribed fire and disking on plant and pollinating insect diversity in established grasslands.
  • The MPRI coalition offered 121 education and recruitment events, with nearly 7,500 participants, in 2016.
“The MPRI coalition continues to make great strides in restoring habitat, providing access and introducing young people to outdoor skills,” said Pheasants Forever regional coordinator Bill VanderZouwen. “We are busy setting goals for the second five years of the MPRI Pheasant Plan. We all need to be advocating for conservation provisions in the next Farm Bill that affect more farmland wildlife habitat in Michigan than all other programs combined.”
The Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative is a conservation initiative to restore and enhance Michigan pheasant habitat, populations, and hunting opportunities on private and public lands via pheasant cooperatives. The initiative works by acquiring state, federal and other partner resources to assist landowners in the cooperatives to improve wildlife habitat on their properties and by improving habitat on selected state game areas, recreation areas or other public lands.
For more information about the Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative, and about pheasant hunting, visit www.michigan.gov/pheasant