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Otter Tail County Pheasants Forever - Habitat Page

Local Habitat Efforts

Otter Tail County Pheasants Forever's members are truly passionate about creating, preserving and restoring habitat that benefits pheasants, quail and other upland wildlife. This unique model empowers local chapters with the responsibility to determine how 100 percent of their locally-raised conservation funds will be spent.

Whether it's through improving habitat, informing the public about land management or educating future generations of hunting enthusiasts, conservation is the underlying principle in all we do at the grassroots level.

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Art Hawkins & Chuck Vukonich WPA Dedications in Grant County, MN

A pair of new Waterfowl Production Area projects that permanently conserve 530 acres of wildlife habitat were offically dedicated on September 12, 2015. The new areas honor Minnesota conservation legends Art Hawkins and Chuck Vukonich, respectively.

  • Art Hawkins WPA Dedication – The Art Hawkins Waterfowl Production Area permanently protects 370 acres of wildlife habitat in western Minnesota while providing ample public hunting and recreation opportunities. The dedication celebrates one of the giants of waterfowl & wildlife conservation, the late Art Hawkins (1913-2006), and his contributions as a researcher, biologist, and mentor. This WPA was made possible, in part, by Pheasants Forever's Build a Wildlife Area program in Minnesota. 
  • Chuck Vukonich WPA Dedication – The Vukonich Waterfowl Production Area will provide 160 acres of additional hunting and public access in Grant County, Minnesota. The dedication celebrates the career accomplishments of Chuck Vukonich and his commitment to the prairie and wetlands of the Fergus Falls Wetland Management District. 

Photo Gallery of Dedications

Preserving our Natural Resources

Creating, restoring, and maintaining habitat is a constant battle. We invite you to join the Otter Tail County Chapter of Pheasants Forever in its quest to ensure a country rich in natural resources and long on people willing to work to preserve them. After all, natural resources - pheasants, quail, and other wildlife, plus the land, air, and water on which they live - are our greatest resources.

Otter Tail County PF Chapter Spends $2 Million Chapter's Efforts have benefited over 7,000 acres

The Otter Tail County Pheasants Forever (PF) Chapter was recognized for having spent 2 million dollars recently at the MN PF State Convention held at Best Western in Mankato. Those chapter funds and efforts completed 857 habitat projects benefiting 7,044 acres in and around Otter Tail County. "Otter Tail County Pheasants Forever is providing a great example to other chapters here in Minnesota and across the pheasant range," said Eran Sandquist, regional wildlife biologist for PF. "This chapter consistently performs at a high level. Their leaders are passionate about making a difference for the birds with support of their members and sponsors."

Since becoming the 10th PF chapter in the nation in 1984, the Otter Tail County Chapter has planted 68,804 trees in 58 wintering areas. They have also created 2,468 acres of wildlife food plots and 2,390 acres of nesting habitat. Public land acquisition is also a high priority for the Otter Tail County Chapter. They have participated in 17 acquisitions nearing 4,000 acres. These acquisitions then become open for public hunting as Minnesota DNR Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) or U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs). In addition to habitat projects, the chapter plays a key role in youth education by hosting youth shooting and hunting events.

"The people and the projects of Otter Tail County PF are truly amazing, stated Steve Pletta, president for the chapter. “We will briefly celebrate our accomplishments, but the energy and focus of will be on tackling the many challenges pheasants and their habitats face in Minnesota and spending the next 2 million.” Two of the chapter’s committee members were also recognized at the awards banquet. Mark Graff was the recipient of PF’s Dedication Award and Jeff Borchert was inducted to the PF’s Long Spur Society for being instrumental in the creation or continuation of the chapter, and playing an essential role in the development of chapter programs. The chapter’s next fundraising banquet will be held April 16, 2011 at the Eagles Club – Fergus Falls. For tickets or more information, please contact Steve Pletta at (701) 388-8089.

PF was founded in St. Paul in 1982 and is still home to the organization’s national headquarters. Of the organization’s 132,000 members, Minnesota accounts for 25,000 of them, making Minnesota the largest membership state. There are 75 chapters across the state, covering most counties within Minnesota’s pheasant range.

Pheasants Forever Helps Otter Tail County Top 5,000 CRP Acre Mark One-on-One Approach Enrolls Land in Conservation Programs

Thanks to the local effort of Pheasants Forever, the West Otter Tail Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Minnesota's Otter Tail County has surpassed 5,000 acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) since starting the initiative in 2008. To reach this 5,000 acre milestone, this initiative involved more than 1,500 landowner contacts and approximately 6,700 hours working directly with landowners.

Pheasants Forever's efforts are part of an overriding Minnesota Farm Bill Assistance Partnership that includes the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR), the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, the SWCD's and Pheasants Forever.

Aaron Larsen, Pheasants Forever Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist, stated, "Every farm has conservation opportunities, and this partnership makes sure that West Otter Tail County landowners know their options and can make sound decisions for their business and the land," stated Aaron Larsen, PF farm bill biologist, "The success of this initiative is due to landowners taking time to understand and participate in conservation programs. The goal of the partnership positions are to reach more people and implement more conservation, to provide cleaner water, protect vulnerable soils and create more wildlife on our working farmlands."

If you are interested in being part of the next 5,000 acres contact Aaron Larsen, Pheasants Forever Farm Bill Biologist, at (218) 739-1308 and alarsen@pheasantsforever.org.

Local Chapter Projects

Every year the Ottertail County Chapter has on going projects throughout the community. With our proceeds from fundraising and donations from community leaders, we are fortunate enough to give back, putting all our money in the ground to preserve habitat throughout our region.  If you know of a project or would like to learn more about how to help in the effort to preserve your local habitats, please feel free to contact us with any questions.