A member update on just some of the work Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever did this summer to push the upland conservation message in Washington DC. Above, Darwin and Sherri Weeldreyer, South Dakota Pheasants Forever, met with Senator John Thune (SD) to discuss their chapter's efforts for Farm Bill conservation programs.
As the national voice for upland conservation, Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever play an active and essential role in advancing habitat- and wildlife-friendly policy. This summer was a busy one.
It started in June, with a focus on programs and policies that support quail habitat needs. We were particularly pleased to have the assistance of Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever Board Member John Thames for multiple meetings with the Alabama delegation of Quail Forever.
Partnering with the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative for Maryland, Quail Forever held a field tour for congressional staff and others interested in bobwhite management, emphasizing how various farm bill programs can achieve habitat conservation goals for this declining species. National Board Member Shefali Mehta for participated in the quail tour as well.
Additionally, we participated along with several of our conservation partners to support a Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation “Farm Bill” breakfast briefing. It is essential to keep these lawmakers engaged with our message.
It is also critical that multiple conservation groups all rally around common priorities for the upcoming Farm Bill legislation. Joining a rally this summer were representatives from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Ducks Unlimited, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Delta Waterfowl Foundation, and the California Waterfowl Association. Our delegation, along with numerous staff, members of congress, and other groups, heard remarks from House Agricultural Committee Members Representative Glenn Thompson (PA), and Ranking Member Collin Peterson (MN) about the importance of conservation programs for hunters and other wildlife conservationists.
Several of our group sat in on the Senate Agriculture Committee hearing which focused on testimony about conservation and forestry. Steve Horning, who is also a Pheasants Forever life member from Watertown, South Dakota, testified on the benefits of conservation programs on his farming operation.
Farmer and Pheasants Forever Life Member Steve Horning testifies before congress on the value of conservation programs.
As always, your support and efforts are also critical for success on the policies and programs that strengthen our nation’s hunting and wildlife conservation heritage. Special thanks to our local chapter volunteers, farmers and ranchers for giving their time and support. Their voices, along with yours, are critical for making a difference in the halls of DC.