Habitat & Conservation  |  06/15/2021

It’s Time to Launch a Crusade for the Uplands!


We must come together and seize the opportunity to answer "The Call of the Uplands"

Written by David R. Bue, photo by Marissa Jensen

As a Pheasants Forever member, you know the unfortunate truth.  The uplands are some of the most threatened places in the world.  You see it every day.  It gets worse with every passing year.  All across North America, wildlife habitat is rapidly disappearing.  In fact, in the past 10 years alone, the Great Plains have lost more than 53 million acres of grasslands to development – an area the size of Kansas.

You’ve seen this heartbreaking trend yourself … in your travels and in your hunting adventures.  It’s sad to say that only 5 percent of the original prairie landscapes in the United States remains.  Many of our favorite upland hunting areas are gone forever.  Wildlife, water, pollinators, soil quality, and heck, even family traditions, are being devastated.  We need urgent action.  

While the situation is dire, Pheasants Forever has a solution!  Several years ago, we embarked on a journey to vastly improve our organization, to become more strategic and effective at delivering our habitat mission, and to accelerate our fundraising strategies with sharper focus and execution.  We anticipated the continued demands on the landscape and the loss of upland habitat, and we created a comprehensive campaign – to engage all areas of our organization – in the most ambitious and visionary effort in our organization’s history:  Call of the Uplands.

Together, we’re taking a stand!  A few months ago, Pheasants Forever launched Call of the Uplands, our bold and courageous effort to inspire a crusade for the uplands.  We intend to raise $500 Million to protect and restore 9 million acres of strategic upland habitat nationwide, permanently protecting 75,000 acres, creating vast public access opportunities, and reaching 1.5 million people of all ages in conservation and outdoor recreation.  We’ll also leverage the full strength of our grassroots organization to advocate for policies that work for wildlife and our communities.

Let it be said this way:  “We are drawing a line in the sand.”  The Call of the Uplands campaign is our best chance to bring together dedicated citizens, hunters, farmers, ranchers, and other partners with a common cause:  a promise to conserve our uplands before it is too late.

Let’s work together to inspire a crusade to make upland habitat a national priority.  We must all do our part to seize the opportunity, to fight harder and smarter than we ever have before, and to answer “The Call of the Uplands.”

David R. Bue is the Chief Development Officer for Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever.