Michigan’s Adopt-A-Game-Area Program Gains Strength Through Tough Times

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Staff Photo

Americans are taking to the field in record numbers

By Ben Beaman, Michigan State Coordinator

Call it cabin fever. Call it Covid fatigue. Call it whatever you want. Increased hunting license sales the last two years show that Americans are taking to the field in record numbers.

Here in Michigan, we saw a 95 percent increase in the number of new hunters in 2020. That’s a win regardless of the circumstances. But as hunter numbers increase, so does the demand for quality wildlife habitat in which to hunt. Fortunately, Pheasants Forever, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and generous individuals, foundations and corporations throughout the state, have been working hard to create and improve quality habitat for hunters to explore on public lands.

Through the Michigan Adopt-A-Game-Area Program, Pheasants Forever has raised over $650,000 to restore and enhance over 2,000 acres of grasslands on State Game Areas across the southern lower peninsula. While enhanced populations of wild pheasants are the stated objective, the benefits go far beyond that. Game and non-game species alike benefit from the quality grasslands created through this program. Deer, turkeys, rabbits, bobolinks, Henslow’s sparrows, northern harriers, short-eared owls, monarch butterflies … the list of species that utilize these sites goes on and on.

Hunters aren’t the only people who stand to benefit from the improvements to habitat and wildlife populations. These properties are open to birders, wildlife photographers and hikers year-round. Anybody can get out and enjoy these public lands, and thanks to the Michigan Adopt-A-Game-Area Program, anybody can play a part in creating even more quality wildlife habitat on public properties they use and enjoy. If you are interested in finding or supporting improved habitat on State Game Areas near you, go to michiganpheasantsforever.org/aagap and join the ever-growing list of Adopt-A-Game-Area Program supporters.

A huge thank you to Michigan’s dedicated local chapters and corporate/agency/individual sponsors who have supported public land habitat through the Michigan Adopt-A-Game-Area Program! The following list reflects fundraising totals and mission expenditures per public area since 2019, as well as Gold, ($25,000+), Silver ($5,000 - $24,999) and Bronze ($500 - $4,999) Adopt-A-Game-Area Program sponsors.

Michigan’s Adopt-A-Game-Area Top Sponsors

 
Adams Township State Game Area
$35,630
Silver Sponsor: Anonymous, Anonymous, North American Wetlands Conservation Council
Bronze Sponsor: Michigan PF State Council
 
Allegan State Game Area
$26,725
Silver Sponsor: DNR Wildlife Habitat Grant Program, North American Wetlands Conservation Council
Bronze Sponsor: Allegan County PF, East Holland Veterinary Clinic, Grand Valley PF
 
Coldwater Lake State Park
$36,370
Silver Sponsor: Branch County PF, Consumers Energy Foundation, DNR Wildlife Habitat Grant Program
Bronze Sponsor: ITC Holdings Corp.
 
Cornish State Game Area
$29,250
Silver Sponsor: DNR Wildlife Habitat Grant Program, North American Wetlands Conservation Council
Bronze Sponsor: Anonymous
 
Dr. Gordon Guyer State Fish & Wildlife Area
$41,035
Silver Sponsor: DNR Wildlife Habitat Grant Program, Mesara Family Foundation, North American Wetlands Conservation Council
 
Gratiot-Saginaw State Game Area
$22,350
Silver Sponsor: DNR Wildlife Habitat Grant Program
Bronze Sponsor: Ashley Sportsmen’s Club, Gratiot County PF
 
Maple River State Game Area
$31,100
Silver Sponsor: Consumers Energy Foundation, North American Wetlands Conservation Council
Bronze Sponsor: ITC Holdings Corp., Michigan PF State Council
 
Nayanquing Point State Wildlife Area
$48,890
Gold Sponsor: Consumers Energy Foundation
Silver Sponsor: Bay Area Community Foundation – Environmental Endowment Fund
Bronze Sponsor: Bay Area Community Foundation – Northern Bay County Fund, Bay/Midland County PF
 
Petersburg State Game Area
$35,115
Silver Sponsor: National Fish and Wildlife Foundation – SE MI Resilience Fund, North American Wetlands Conservation Council
Bronze Sponsor: ITC Holdings Corp., Michigan PF State Council, Monroe County PF
 
Pinconning Township State Game Area
$15,000
Silver Sponsor: Bay Area Community Foundation – Environmental Endowment Fund
Bronze Sponsor: Bay Area Community Foundation – Northern Bay County Fund, Bay/Midland County PF
 
Port Huron State Game Area
$24,970
Silver Sponsor: National Fish and Wildlife Foundation – SE MI Resilience Fund, St. Clair County PF
Bronze Sponsor: Flint SCI
 
Potterville State Game Area
$21,380
Silver Sponsor: Anonymous, Eaton County PF, North American Wetlands Conservation Council
Bronze Sponsor: Anonymous
 
Rose Lake State Wildlife Area
$23,490
Silver Sponsor: Anonymous, North American Wetlands Conservation Council
Bronze Sponsor: Ingham County PF, Michigan PF State Council
 
Sharonville State Game Area
$109,915
Gold Sponsor: DNR Wildlife Habitat Grant Program
Silver Sponsor: National Fish and Wildlife Foundation – SE MI Resilience Fund, North American Wetlands Conservation Council
Bronze Sponsor: Steven and Gretchen Schneider, Washtenaw County PF
 
Shiawassee River State Game Area
$36,830
Silver Sponsor: DNR Wildlife Habitat Grant Program, North American Wetlands Conservation Council
Bronze Sponsor: Saginaw County PF, The Michigan Upland Experience
 
St. Clair Flats State Wildlife Area
$8,650
Silver Sponsor: DTE Energy Foundation
Bronze Sponsor: Enbridge Inc.
 
St. Johns Marsh State Game Area
$39,510
Silver Sponsor: Anonymous, Consumers Energy Foundation, DTE Energy Foundation, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation – SE MI Resilience Fund, North American Wetlands Conservation Council, St. Clair County PF
Bronze Sponsor: Enbridge Inc.
 
Thumb Mini-Game Areas
$10,000
Silver Sponsor: Anonymous
 
Verona State Game Area
$70,605
Silver Sponsor: Anonymous, Consumers Energy Foundation, DNR Wildlife Habitat Grant Program
Bronze Sponsor: Daniel Blamer, ITC Holdings Corp., Macomb County PF

Ben Beaman is a State Coordinator in Michigan

This story originally appeared in the 2022 Summer Issue of the Pheasants Forever Journal. If you enjoyed it and would like to be the first to read more great upland content like this, become a member today!