With the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) resuming its Continuous Conservation Reserve Program enrollment, 40,000 acres have been allocated for the Southern Michigan Pheasant and Monarch Recovery program. The effort is designed to increase diverse grassland and wetland habitat for a variety of rare or declining species and species of significant social importance, including the ring-necked pheasant, monarch butterfly grasshopper sparrow, Henslow’s sparrow and mallard.
Through Friday, August 17, 2018, USDA will accept offers from rural landowners in 41 southern Michigan counties who want to voluntarily restore pollinator and wildlife habitat on their property. The solicitation is through the USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE), Southern Michigan Pheasant and Monarch Recovery, in partnership with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Pheasants Forever.
The DNR identified these species and habitats as priorities in Michigan's Wildlife Action Plan and the Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative
. “This is the best thing to happen to the Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative in the four years I’ve been with Pheasants Forever,” said Bill VanderZouwen, Pheasants Forever’s regional representative in the state, “I’m thankful for the effort of the Pheasant Restoration Initiative coalition to develop the proposal, for DNR’s leadership, for Senator Stabenow’s advocacy and for USDA’s approval of our proposal. Pheasants Forever, our coalition and habitat partners will be working with landowners to try to reach the 40,000-acre enrollment goal. This new SAFE program will provide much-needed winter cover, nesting cover, and brood-rearing pheasant habitat across southern Michigan at a scale large enough to make a positive impact for our favorite bird.”
“Pheasants Forever has been a great partner and champion of strong federal conservation policies,” said U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. “I was excited to advocate for the allocation of these acres, which will mean even greater protection of wildlife habitat in Michigan and more opportunities for Michigan hunters and outdoor enthusiasts.”
The Michigan CRP SAFE, Southern Michigan Pheasant and Monarch Recovery effort consists of three practice focuses: buffers, wetlands and grasses (practices CP38A, CP38B and CP38E). Eligible Michigan counties include Allegan, Arenac, Barry, Bay, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Clare, Clinton, Eaton, Genesee, Gladwin, Gratiot, Hillsdale, Huron, Ingham, Ionia, Isabella, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kent, Lapeer, Lenawee, Livingston, Mecosta, Midland, Monroe, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Ottawa, Saginaw, Sanilac, Shiawassee, St. Clair, St. Joseph, Tuscola, Van Buren and Washtenaw. Interested landowners are invited to visit their nearest Michigan USDA Service Center
to learn about the Conservation Reserve Program, as well as the pheasant and monarch recovery effort.
About Pheasants Forever
Pheasants Forever, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever, is the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 149,000 members and 725 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Chapters are empowered to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation funds are spent; the only national conservation organization that operates through this truly grassroots structure. Since creation in 1982, Pheasants Forever has spent $784 million on 530,000 habitat projects benefiting 17 million acres nationwide.