By Tom Carpenter
Walk in with a few questions and the ability to find your land on an online satellite image, and walk out with a comprehensive wildlife management plan for your acres.
The free Landowner Help Desk is just one of the attractions at National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic, but it’s one of the most popular. After all, Pheasants Forever/Quail Forever is The Habitat Organization.
It doesn’t matter if you own and manage 10 acres or 10,000: Landowners in pheasant and quail country have this free resource available at National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic February 22-24 at the Schaumburg Convention Center in Schaumburg, Illinois.
A PHEASANT FEST TRADITION
“This is the 15th year of having a Landowner Help Desk at National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic,” says Ron Leathers, Director of Public Finance for both organizations, and a wildlife biologist as well. “The concept remains the same, because it’s so popular. People have land and want to improve it for wildlife. We help. Pheasants or quail are often the focus, but all grassland wildlife benefits, even pollinators.”
“There is always solid demand for these free services at the show,” Leather says. “We’re inviting landowners to the show and hoping they take advantage of the help and ideas we’re offering.”
EXPERT CONSULTING, FREE PLANS
“Biologists will be stationed right there in the Landowner Help Desk Area. Their job is to sit down with landowners, kick off their projects, and make recommendations and plans,” he says. “Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever Farm Bill Biologists staff the area and do the consulting. If a landowner can find their property on Google Maps, we start right there with a GIS mapping tool, taking a look at the property and listening to the landowner’s goals, to get started.”
“It’s important to note that no matter where the property is, we can help,” adds Leathers. “It’s not just for Illinois folks. But of course with Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic being held in the Land of Lincoln
for the first time, there should be solid demand for these free services.”
“We’ll have a rainfall simulator there too,” says Leathers. “Using different soil samples, we can show what happens to rainfall in different environments. You want moisture to infiltrate the soil and be retained, but now flow all the way through. Just running off is bad too. The simulator shows how properly managed cropland and grassland features healthy soil that retains moisture.
With so much emphasis being placed these days on waterway buffer zones for soil conservation and water quality (with wildlife habitat as a side benefit), there will also be a special display devoted to how these habitat features work on the landscape.
Any landowner with a few acres, a few hundred or a few thousand … and an interest in managing that land better for wildlife … needs to come to National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic
in Schaumburg, Illinois February 22-24 at the Schaumburg Convention Center. The Landowner Help Desk is open all three days during show hours (12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Saturday, and 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Sunday).
Tom Carpenter is Editor at Pheasants Forever.