Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are proud to announce a new $3 million restoration project in Kansas as part of recent investments in wildlife habitat conservation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Last week, the USDA announced it was awarding $197 million for 41 locally led conservation projects via the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), including the Great Plains Grasslands Restoration Project in Kansas.
The Great Plains Grasslands Restoration Project seeks to build upon the growing momentum within the broader Great Plains Grasslands Initiative to restore and enhance critical grassland habitats within the Flint Hills, Red Hills, and Smoky Hills regions of Kansas. The partnership plans to work with farmers, ranchers, and landowners to install climate-smart conservation practices and systems on 45,000 acres of critical grassland habitat.
Deterring encroachment of woody species into grasslands is the focus of the project. The conservation activities funded by the grant will benefit grassland ecosystems as a whole, with specific focus on the habitat needs of declining bird species such as lesser and greater prairie chicken.
“This project is to support and expand the success that has been driven by the Great Plains Grasslands Initiative at building, protecting, and expanding core native grasslands from the threat of woody encroachment,” said Marina Osier, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s Kansas state coordinator. “We’ll also be supporting this science-informed approach by expanding ecological response monitoring in the project area.”
Pheasants Forever’s team of conservation delivery specialists and Farm Bill biologists have an existing NRCS partnership in Kansas and are primed to work with producers in the Red, Flint, and Smoky Hills to help implement conservation practices resulting in high-quality habitat for grassland wildlife. In addition to USDA, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Ducks Unlimited will also be partners in this project.
“We’re very excited to use this new RCPP to continue to build upon successful landscape-level grassland restoration here in Kansas,” Osier said. “We’ve done a great job of rebuilding critical habitat in the state so far, and this project will only bolster those efforts.”
About Pheasants Forever
and Quail Forever
make up the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. This community of more than 400,000 members, supporters and partners is dedicated to the protection of our uplands through habitat improvement, public access, education and advocacy. A network of 754 local chapters spread across North America determine how 100 percent of their locally raised funds are spent — the only national conservation organization that operates through this grassroots structure. Since its creation in 1982, the organization has dedicated more than $1 billion to 567,500 habitat projects benefiting 22 million acres.