Longtime conservation advocate and former Pheasants Forever staffer, Joe Duggan, was honored last Friday evening at the Pheasants Forever State Convention in Willmar with a Lifetime Achievement Award for 31 years of service in the conservation arena. As part of the ceremony, representatives from Jackson County Pheasants Forever unveiled a new project initiative for 2018 to the delight of more than 250 attendees – the Joe Duggan Family Wildlife Management Area.
“This acquisition is being purchased with the intent of honoring the family of Joe Duggan, one of Pheasants Forever’s most recognizable faces and a longtime supporter of wildlife habitat conservation efforts in the state of Minnesota,” explained Jeff Johnson, committee member for the Jackson County Chapter of Pheasants Forever.
In partnership with the Outdoor Heritage Fund, North American Wetlands Conservation Act, Minnesota DNR, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Jackson County Pheasants Forever, a 293-acre property has recently been acquired adjacent to the existing Sioux Valley WMA and Skunk Creek WPA in Jackson County. The tract, consisting of 22 restorable wetland basins and future high-diverse grasslands, will form a major public lands complex located 16 miles southwest of Jackson, Minnesota.
“Fundraising efforts for this massive restoration project kicked off at our gathering last Friday and included 12 chapters of Pheasants Forever pledging $51,000. Any donations pledged for restoration and dedication of the Joe Duggan Family WMA will be funneled through the MN Land & Legacy Fund, ensuring high-value projects like this can be replicated in Minnesota for thriving wildlife populations and for future generations to enjoy,” stated Matt Christensen, regional representative for Pheasants Forever in western Minnesota.
Pheasants Forever will be reaching out to conservation groups, sportsman’s clubs, and individual donors throughout the state to support this keystone
project in southwest Minnesota. All donations received will be used for the property dedication, and to continue to further Duggan’s legacy by supporting Pheasants Forever’s MN Land & Legacy Fund, creating additional projects throughout the state.
For more information about the Joe Duggan Family Wildlife Management Area acquisition or to make a donation to the project, please contact Eran Sandquist, Pheasants Forever’s Minnesota State Coordinator, at 763-242-1273 or ESandquist@PheasantsForever.Org