Portland OR Metro Chapter of Pheasants Forever

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Portland Metro Chapter of Pheasants Forever Spreads its Wings

6/30/08

New urban chapter working to protect wildlife habitat east of the Cascades

Portland, Oregon - Portland area conservationists recently established the Portland Metro Chapter of Pheasants Forever (PF). The new chapter will work to improve wildlife habitat in five northeastern Oregon Counties: Gilliam, Morrow, Umatilla, Wheeler, and Sherman.

The Portland Metro chapter was created from the outpouring of support found during the nearby Columbia Plateau Chapter of PF's membership drive. "The membership drive went so well for the Heppner-based Columbia Plateau chapter that community members decided they wanted a chapter of their own in the actual metro area," explained Kraig Paulson, Regional Wildlife Biologist for PF. The chapter looks to build upon the success and partnerships the Columbia Plateau chapter has had with the Oregon Wildlife Heritage Foundation (OWHF) and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Although the Portland Metro chapter is young, it is already full of passionate conservationists. "This chapter is comprised of people from within the great hunting community found here in the metro region, including popular television host Dez Young of Hunting with Hank," Paulson said, "And these people want to take the money they raise within their community and use it east of the Cascade Mountain Range, where the habitat is better suited for upland game." Administering their chapter's funds within the eastern regions of Oregon - rather than close to the Portland area - will allow chapter members to have a substantial effect on the Fish and Wildlife Department's Access and Habitat Program. Giving the public the ability to hunt on select private lands, the Access and Habitat Program also improves access to public land on already existing wildlife refuges.

The chapter also strives to improve the quality of habitat on these accessible lands. "We'll have an impact on these distant counties by assisting our sister chapter in Heppner with their habitat work," explained Roger Crawford, the Portland Metro chapter's president. "Their chapter is doing a great job with the actual ground work for several projects and we view one our chapter's main functions as being to help support the Columbia Basin chapter financially and with work crews to improve wildlife habitat," added Crawford. "We also plan on furnishing seed for native plants and food plots, constructing guzzlers, purchasing equipment, and providing labor for other habitat work."

In the past, northeastern Oregon has been home to healthy numbers of pheasant, quail and other grassland species but populations have dropped in recent years due to agricultural pressure, poor land management and loss of habitat. The Portland Metro chapter is in unique position to make an immediate impact. "All of the improvements we make will almost instantly benefit hunters, as public access to most of these lands is already established. People will be able to see firsthand how quickly proper conservation efforts can benefit local wildlife habitat, and consequently, wildlife populations," said Crawford.

To learn more about this new chapter, including upcoming meeting information, contact Roger Crawford at (360)892-2125 or via email at crawfor@wellsfargo.com. For more information about PF in Oregon, to start a chapter or join one of the state's existing chapters, contact Kraig Paulson at (360)353-8200 or via email at KPaulson@pheasantsforever.org.

Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are non-profit conservation organizations dedicated to the protection and enhancement of pheasant, quail, and other wildlife populations in North America through habitat improvement, land management, public awareness, and education. PF/QF has more than 127,000 members in 700 local chapters across the continent.

Media Contact:
Anthony Hauck (651)209-4972
 


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