Attraction to result in new Minnesota WMA open to the public hunting
Minneapolis, Minn. – Jan. 14, 2020 – Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever is excited to announce the addition of the Public Lands Pavilion to the 2020 National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic taking place in Minneapolis this February. The new attraction features an impressive lineup of the nation’s most recognized public lands advocates and will include a funding mechanism for attendees to help Pheasants Forever create a new public wildlife management area in the state through the organization’s successful Build a Wildlife Area Campaign. The Public Lands Pavilion is being sponsored by Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA), Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS), and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
The Public Lands Pavilion will feature a new stage with fresh speakers, along with a new exhibitor area on the show floor. The impressive lineup of speakers will include Minnesota DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever President & CEO Howard Vincent, BHA President & CEO Land Tawney, RGS President & CEO Ben Jones, renowned public lands advocate Sam Soholt, Host of The Hunting Dog Podcast Ron Boehme, Host of Project Upland Podcast Nick Larson, along with an array of wildlife biologists from across the country. The lineup also features two impressive panels on Saturday, February 15th both moderated by Outdoor News’ Rob Drieslein. The first panel is titled “Your Minnesota Public Lands” and features Strommen and Minnesota State Representative Jamie Becker-Finn, while the afternoon session is titled “A Public Lands State-of-the-Union” and features Tawney, Vincent, and Jones. The lineup closes on Sunday with representatives from Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota giving presentations on public land bird hunting opportunities in each state.
“Public lands belong to all Americans. They’re the great equalizer. It doesn’t matter how much money you made last year, who your parents are or what political party you identify with, 640 million acres of public lands are owned by each and every one of us,” shared Land Tawney, president and CEO for Backcountry Hunters & Anglers. “I’m super stoked to celebrate our great estate, while working to create even more, at National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic. BHA is proud to partner with Pheasants Forever on this worthy endeavor.”
“You know, it’s an honor to work every day on stewardship of our public wildlife lands. It’s a purely American tradition and I can’t wait to celebrate it with all the passionate, like-minded conservationists at National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic,” said Ben Jones, president and CEO of the Ruffed Grouse Society & American Woodcock Society.
In addition to speakers on the new stage, Pheasants Forever has set out to literally create new public land by merging the organization’s successful Build a Wildlife Area Campaign with the Public Lands Pavilion. In collaboration with Outdoor News and Game Fair, Pheasants Forever created the Build a Wildlife Area Campaign in 2003 to demonstrate support for the state’s public lands and to generate a new diversified revenue stream of corporate and individual giving for the purpose of creating new wildlife areas in the state. Since those beginnings, the Build a Wildlife Area campaign has created 13,083 acres of new public access and expanded to Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, and Wisconsin. As part of the Public Lands Pavilion, 10% of revenue generated by participating exhibitors will be donated toward the organization’s next Build a Wildlife Area acquisition in Minnesota.
“We’re incredibly blessed in Minnesota to have had voters pass the Legacy Amendment in 2008. Through the Amendment’s Outdoor Heritage Fund, and in collaboration with the Minnesota DNR and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, we can match Build a Wildlife Area funds by a magnitude of at least three-to-one and, as a result, maximize tax payer’s investment in habitat and public lands,” explained Eran Sandquist, Pheasants Forever’s state coordinator for Minnesota.
National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic 2020 will be the nation’s largest tradeshow and convention for upland hunters, landowners, bird dog lovers, wild game cooking enthusiasts and wildlife habitat conservationists. Tickets are now on sale at www.PheasantFest.org.
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 130,000 members and 740 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Since creation in 1982, Pheasants Forever has spent $867 million on 540,000 habitat projects benefiting 18 million acres nationwide.