Bird Dog & Retriever News

June / July 2003 issue Page 44

 minimum) the plot can be. If winter cover is marginal (e.g., ditch) then plots must be larger (5 to 10 acres) to provide cover as well as food.
4. Depending on the amount of use some food plots can be left for 2 years. The weedy growth that follows in the second year provides excellent nesting, brood-rearing, and winter habitat for pheasants and other upland wildlife. Food plots that have heavy deer use generally need to be replanted every year.
Cost-share assistance for food plot establishment is available from most county Pheasants Forever chapters and in some cases the Iowa DNR. People can also contact their local wildlife biologist for information on how to establish and design food plots that benefit wildlife.
For more information, contact Bogenschutz at 515-432-2823.
Nebraska
PHEASANT HABITAT IMPROVEMENTS UNDERWAY
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Pheasants Forever, the One Box Habitat Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have joined forces and are working to improve habitat for declining pheasant populations through improved grassland management practices in Nebraska.
Recently, volunteers from the One Box Habitat Foundation light-disked and interseeded about 300 acres of upland habitat on private ranches near Broken Bow. The One Box Habitat Foundation is affiliated with the One Box Pheasant Hunt, an annual event held each year on private ranches throughout Custer County that attracts celebrities and participants from across the country.
This community-based focus area is the third aspect of the new "Focus on Pheasant initiative" (FOP). The other two components of FOP include targeting habitat improvement on private property in Northeast Nebraska and on several large public areas in the eastern half of the state.
"The work being conducted in Custer County clearly demonstrates how partnerships are supposed to work." said Steve Riley, Wildlife Division Assistant Administrator. " This partnership combines the effort of a federal and a state agency, a wildlife conservation group and a local foundation. By combining the strength of the partner organizations we are able to do far more than if we tried to go it alone"
"These acres are being upgraded through a unique partnership" stated Peter Berthelsen, Peasants Forever director of conservation programs. "The Focus On Pheasants partnership is a program that will provide dramatic improvements to the habitat around Broken Bow and improve pheasant, quail and grassland songbird numbers. The partnership works on improving the habitat available on old CRP grass stands and similar grassland areas by setting back natural succession and returning the grass stand to a vigorous, diverse habitat that is very productive for wildlife."
For more information on the Focus On Pheasants partnership and how you can improve grassland habitat for wildlife, contact Nebraska Game and Parks Commission biologists at 402-471-0641 or Pheasants Forever at 308-754-5339.
North Dakota
New Law Affects Nonresident Bird Hunters; Provides Funds for Private Lands Program
A bill recently passed by the North Dakota State Legislature provides nonresident waterfowl and upland game bird hunters with a new licensing structure, and appropriates additional funding for public hunting access to private lands.
House Bill 1358, signed into law April 7 by Governor John Hoeven, separates the nonresident small game and waterfowl license, creates new fees, and establishes the small game license as a 10-day license.
In addition, the bill also commits $3.3 million to the State Game and Fish Department's Private Land Open to Sportsmen program for the biennium beginning July 1, 2003, and ending June 30, 2005.
The goal is to have 1 million acres of public access to private lands available to hunters by 2009. Currently, the department has 300, 000 acres enrolled in PLOTS. Game and fish has been authorized an additional five full-time employees to carry out this effort.
The additional employees will enable the department to better work with producers interested in the Private Lands Initiative Program, according to John W. Schulz, game and fish private land section leader. "We have several new, innovative private lands programs and the additional funding will accelerate promotion and implementation of these programs as we build toward 1 million acres of habitat-based access by the fall of 2009, " Schulz said.

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