posted on June 18, 2013 15:09
Natural grassland has been under pressure the last few years in North and South Dakota.
State and federal programs aimed at protecting the natural habitat in the states hasn’t been able to keep pace with other demands for the acreage.
Mining companies and farming companies are using as much land as they can for other purposes. North Dakota has been a big area for fracture drilling for natural gas and oil.
Both North and South Dakota have seen an increase in corn and soybean crops the last few years.
Each year, the number of acres used for planting and drilling increases. The prices to participate in those endeavors has become far more than the money earned from participating in CRP programs. Landowners have no choice in the matter even if they want to maintain their land for habitat that supports local wildlife including pheasants.
Now, Pheasants Forever has released an official report listing the twelve most threatened counties in the country for pheasant hunting.
North and South Dakota have four of the counties listed on the report.
As you would expect, this is another notice that things are trending in the wrong direction for those that love pheasants and pheasant hunting. Each of these counties will see another major decrease in land enrolled in CRP programs this year and in coming years.
The loss of natural habitat for pheasants will again put pressure on pheasant hunting revenue, which has become one of the major economic benefits in both states.
Some people are doing what they can to get the land back in the CRP programs. There are also local efforts to raise awareness for the loss in habitat for pheasants.
Change always seems to come for every pastime, but it would be sad to see such a great tradition like pheasant hunting disappear in the near future from North and South Dakota