Pillars of habitat, access, education, and advocacy – each play a pivotal role for advancing Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever’s conservation goals
Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever have announced the completion of their record-breaking national campaign, Call of the Uplands, following six years of science-based strategy to protect, enhance, or restore upland habitats throughout North America. The final campaign accomplishments – more than $565 million raised and 11 million acres improved – was announced by president and CEO, Howard Vincent, in front of a sold-out crowd at the 2023 National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic.
“More than forty years ago, a group of visionaries dreamed they could bring the glorious ring-necked pheasant back to the landscape. They knew habitat was the answer,” said Vincent. “An organization was born from that vision, and six years ago we launched Call of the Uplands to protect and preserve substantially more habitat in similarly challenging times for upland birds. The volunteers, members, partners, donors, and employees who make Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever such a powerful force today truly ‘Answered the Call’ to protect upland landscapes. This is a new beginning for more important upland habitat work to come because as our name asserts, our goal is forever.”
Highlighting mission triumphs as part of Call of the Uplands includes the organizational pillars of habitat, access, education, and advocacy – each play a pivotal role for advancing Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever’s conservation goals. Campaign mission accomplishments include the following:
- Total Acres of Habitat Restored, Enhanced and Protected: Over 11,000,000
- Total Acres of Access (Walk-in Programs, Fee Title, Easements): Over 2,000,000
- Total Education & Outreach Events: Over 16,000 events, reaching over 1,000,000 participants
The stroke of a pen can have big impacts on what happens with upland wildlife habitat, game populations, and hunter access throughout America; Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever made tremendous advocacy strides through Call of the Uplands. In fact, since 2017, Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever’s voice in Washington D.C. and statehouses has been greatly amplified by 420,000 members, supporters, and partners who participated in the campaign to help achieve:
- Passage of Great American Outdoors Act: A historic conservation bill that permanently funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund at $900 million per year and allocates billions of dollars to the National Park Service and other land management agencies to enhance public lands.
- Introduction of the North American Grasslands Conservation Act (NAGCA): The largest new grasslands legislative effort in organizational history, the NAGCA was introduced in the United States Senate in 2022 after several years of intense work and more than 50,000 individual calls/emails to Congress. This Act will help kickstart the voluntary protection and restoration of grasslands and sagebrush shrub-steppe in North America.
- Introduction of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act: In spring of 2022, advocacy on behalf of Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever members and employees helped move this bill past a Senate committee and the full House of Representatives. More than $1.39 billion annually would be provided to states, territories, and tribes to restore habitat and protect threatened species.
- Conservation Title of the Farm Bill: The Farm Bill and its suite of conservation programs provide habitat and access for millions of acres per year. The reauthorization of the 2023 Farm Bill, including a strong Conservation Title, is critically important for the future of upland landscapes – Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are leading the way towards critical upland conservation advocacy in D.C.
The vision for Call of the Uplands was created in response to ongoing threats to North America’s upland landscapes – one of the most threatened ecosystems in the world. Over the past two decades, this vast region has lost more than 50 million acres of grasslands—an area the size of Kansas—to changes in land management practices.
“The campaign served as a catalyst for future grasslands conservation efforts for Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever on behalf of our volunteers, members, donors, partners, and employees,” added Vincent. “It’s our promise to never stop working to protect upland habitat, wildlife, and the meaningful experiences we share outdoors – this is a new start on forever.”
For more information about Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever’s Call of the Uplands campaign, ways to contribute, or to get involved with The Habitat Organization, please contact David Bue, Chief Development Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org.