Today marks The Habitat Organization’s 40th anniversary
By Howard K. Vincent, President and CEO
I wanted to take a moment this week to personally thank all the chapter leaders, members, supporters and donors who’ve made Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever possible over the last four decades.
August 5 marks Pheasants Forever’s 40th anniversary. Quail Forever, founded in 2005, will celebrate its 17th anniversary a few days later. I’ve had the great privilege of watching both organizations grow from their infancy to the formidable conservation warriors they are today, and none of it would’ve been possible without the grassroots support of folks who care deeply about habitat.
It’s an important reminder of just how impactful a small idea can be. Pheasants Forever started as the result of a single newspaper column in 1982, written by Dennis Anderson
, that warned of disappearing rooster habitat in Minnesota. Now, forty years later, “The Habitat Organization” has over 400 employees nationwide and employs more wildlife biologists than any organization in the country other than the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
We now boast a nationwide network of 754 chapters spread across North America, each of which is working to protect habitat in their local area. Through their dedication, and with support from our biologists, support staff, board members and other partners, we’ve dedicated more than $1 billion to 567,500 habitat projects — benefitting 22 million acres and contributing 220,000 acres of public land for Americans to enjoy.
All that from one newspaper column, one small idea.
So as we take time to celebrate our history this week, remember that small ideas can make a big difference. Embrace what you care about in conservation, whether that means planting a small patch of pollinator habitat in your backyard, or introducing a new hunter to the upland world — you never know what it might blossom into down the road.
Howard K. Vincent has been involved with Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever as a volunteer and employee since shortly after the organization's inception. Over the years he has also served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. He was appointed CEO in January 2000. A native of Duluth, Minnesota, and a graduate of the University of Minnesota - Duluth, Howard and his wife Wendy live in White Bear Lake, MN, where he enjoys chasing the wily ringneck with his two sons.