Landowners flock to the Habitat Help Desk each year, but the area staffs up to help everyone and anyone with an upland habitat question
By Tom Carpenter
One of the most bustling places at the 2023 National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic each year is always the Habitat Help Desk.
Staffed by PF and QF biologists, The Habitat Help Desk is an area of the show floor traditionally dedicated to helping farmers and landowners meet their conservation and habitat goals on their property. Landowners can consult with trained PF and QF wildlife biologists to gain insights into management activities, as well as what local, state and federal voluntary conservation programs may be available for their property.
That goal lives strong. But Tanner Bruse, Minnesota’s newly minted state coordinator, a longtime PF biologist by trade, and the coordinator of this year’s help desk, relays an important twist.
“The Habitat Help Desk is open to all,” Bruse says. “We have a lot of people wander by who think they have to own land to stop and visit. But everyone is invited and welcome! No question is too big or too small.”
“You just don’t have to be a landowner to come, visit, ask questions, and go away with ideas for creating or managing upland habitat on any scale,” he adds for emphasis. Chapter volunteers with an interest in working on habitat in their areas are welcome. Perhaps you help someone manage their land, and have questions. Folks working on “micro” habitats – even down to backyard pollinator plots – should stop.
Bruse has another twist to share.
“The help desk is not all about new habitat,” he says. “Yes, that’s critical. But so is habitat management. Prescribed fire, grazing, brush and tree management … keeping existing habitat healthy and vibrant is as important as putting more habitat in the ground. Our biologists are ready to help everyone and anyone interested in this area, too.”
The 2023 National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic will take place at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis on February 17-19. Tickets and more information can be found at: PheasantFest.org.