Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever Receives Grants from Nebraska Environmental Trust

Nelson, NE – May 1st, 2019 – Pheasants Forever announces that it will receive $774,300 from the Nebraska Environmental Trust for the following programs; Habitat Share, Corners for Wildlife (CFW), Conservation Ag, Urban and Working Lands funding creating Pathway for Wildlife (PFW), Washington County Pheasants Forever No-Till-Drill and the Mobile Prescribed Burn Unit & Education Outreach project. The Trust Board announced funding for the program at its meeting in Lincoln on April 4, 2019. These programs are out of the 117 projects receiving $19,501,444 in grant awards from the Nebraska Environmental Trust this year. Of these, 85 were new applications and 32 are carry-over projects.

Habitat Share is a unique, highly efficient partnership between Pheasants Forever and Nebraska Game & Parks Commission (NGPC). The program completes new projects by matching federal funds and non-federal funds at a 3:1 ratio to have local contractors complete new and critical habitat efforts on wildlife management areas open to public access throughout the state. All the projects completed in the Habitat Share partnership are in addition to the projects completed by NGPC staff on an annual basis. This program includes practices benefiting pheasants, quail, and pollinators including tree removal, prescribed fire, interseeding, shrub planting, food plots, and smooth brome control.  Since 2010, Habitat Share has impacted close to 30,000 acres of additional habitat on 125 Wildlife Management Areas across the state.

The CFW program continues to be a successful program and celebrates its 23rd year of partnership between the Trust, Pheasants Forever, Inc., Quail Forever, Natural Resource Districts, NGPC and Landowners throughout the state to establish permanent wildlife habitat. This partnership has established 12,614 acres of habitat on private lands. Through the CFW program, landowners receive a rental payment for a five-year contract to establish and maintain high diversity wildlife habitat on center pivot irrigation field corners. Projects are specifically designed to meet the Nebraska Natural Legacy Project, Nebraska’s Berggren Plan, as well as several state and national pollinator goals.  Establishment includes high quality nesting, brood-rearing and pollinator habitat for wildlife species of concern. With “in-kind” contributions included, the level of financial partnership being combined with Trust funds currently exceeds $9.2 million.

The Pathway For Wildlife (PFW) program is a new project designed to bridge the gaps between agriculture, urban, working lands and wildlife. PFW offers incentives to enhance wildlife habitat on cropland, working lands, and within local communities. The program offers 3 options: 1) wildlife and pollinator enhancements on working lands 2) diverse cover crops on cropland and 3) community habitat projects within rural and urban communities for public benefit. PFW includes cost-share of 75% and up to 3-year contract lengths with free seed available to communities and businesses.  The program allows for grassland restoration practices like brush removal, smooth brome control, and prescribed fire. This effort is in partnership with PF, QF, NGPC, and USDA with a goal of enrolling 7,000 acres and impacting several communities as a pilot. The program vision is to incorporate organizations including UNL Extension, Nebraska Master Naturalists, the Nebraska Master Gardeners, FFA, and various city organizations having expressed interest in native habitat.

Quail Forever also received funding for a Mobile Prescribed Burn Unit and Education Outreach grant to help provide prescribed fire equipment and training throughout the state.  This grant also provides funding for landowner habitat tours that demonstrate wildlife topics such as pollinator education, monarch tagging, pheasant and quail habitat management, range and wildlife management, and songbird banding.  With the help of NET funds, QF has hosted 610 workshops with an audience of 16,050 wildlife enthusiasts since 2008. These programs represent a strong partnership within the Nebraska conservation community.  These grants are made possible through a combination of partnerships between Quail Forever, Pheasants Forever, Nebraska Game & Parks Commission, United States Department of Agriculture, the US Fish & Wildlife Service, Natural Resources Districts, and the Nebraska Environmental Trust.

The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Environmental Trust in 1992. Using revenue from the Nebraska Lottery, the Trust has provided over $305 million in grants to over 2,200 projects across the state. Anyone – citizens, organizations, communities, farmers and businesses – can apply for funding to protect habitat, improve water quality and establish recycling programs in Nebraska. The Nebraska Environmental Trust works to preserve, protect and restore our natural resources for future generations.

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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.

Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are dedicated to the conservation of pheasants, quail and other wildlife through habitat improvements, public awareness, education and land management policies and programs.