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Pheasants Forever Bolsters Youth Outreach Efforts
New Youth Program Coordinator joins PF after 15 years with the Wisconsin DNR
For Immediate Release
Contact: Bob St.Pierre (651)209-4931

Saint Paul, Minn. - November 28th -

Pheasants Forever (PF) announces the hiring of Richard L. Wissink of Merrill, Wisconsin as the organization's new youth programs specialist (pictured with his son Corey). Wissink joins PF after spending the last 15 years working as a biologist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The Wissink addition comes on the heels of Cheryl Riley's promotion from the post to the new vice president of education & outreach.

As the new youth programs specialist, Wissink will be in charge of PF and Quail Forever's (QF) efforts to engage youth in outdoor activities and our hunting heritage. PF/QF chapters across the country hold over 500 events a year to connect youth to the outdoors through a variety of activities. The majority of those events are chapter-hosted youth mentor hunts. At these mentor hunts, chapter-area youth are taught about gun safety, marksmanship, wildlife habitat conservation, and hunting ethics. Following these lessons, youth participate in a mentor-supervised pheasant hunt.

Wissink will also take over supervision of PF's Youth Leadership Council. Riley's brainchild, the Council includes 19 youth from 14 different states. The Council's members, all ages 10 to 16, serve as advisors and spokespeople for their age group on issues related to the outdoors, conservation, hunting, and PF. Participants in the Council offer content ideas for the PF/QF youth magazine "Upland Tales," as well as content suggestions for the PF/QF websites. The participants also discuss outdoor youth activities and youth-related initiatives for PF/QF chapters and national headquarters.

"Rich brings an enormous amount of experience and enthusiasm to our organization," explained PF/QF President and Chief Executive Officer Howard Vincent. "Cheryl has built an excellent foundation for Rich to succeed. I'm also very excited for Cheryl to take the organization another step forward in our efforts to bring along the next generation of conservationists, hunters, and land stewards. There's no secret that the future of our natural resources and outdoor heritage rests with our ability to pass on our values and passion for the outdoors to the next generation."

Wissink has spent the last 15 years working for the Wisconsin DNR. Since 1997, he has been a senior wildlife biologist for Wisconsin's Lincoln and Langlade counties. He has also spent the last nine years as a volunteer hunter education instructor and estimates having introduced over 2,700 youngsters to hunter safety and conservation during that time.

"I feel there is no greater legacy we can leave behind than protecting wild places and the critters that live there. Introducing youngsters to those wild places goes hand-in-hand with that legacy," explained Wissink. "It is my belief that the future of conservation is dependent upon passing down our hunting heritage, as it has always been America's hunters who have carried the conservation torch."

Wissink, an Oshkosh, Wis. native, is a University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point graduate. He received his bachelor's in natural resources management with a minor in environmental law enforcement. Rich and his wife, Shelli, make their home in Merrill, Wis. with their boys Casey (17), Cody (16), and Corey (14).

In her new position, Riley will take over supervision of all PF and QF publications; including the Pheasants Forever Journal of Upland Conservation, the Quail Forever Journal of Quail Conservation, and Upland Tales. She will also oversee PF's education arm, the Leopold Education Project, and continue to oversee all PF/QF's youth outreach efforts.

PF and QF 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 have more than 115,000 members in 700 local chapters across the continent.

Pheasants Forever is a non-profit conservation organization dedicated to the protection and enhancement of quail and other wildlife populations in North America through habitat improvement, land management, public awareness, and education. Such efforts benefit landowners and wildlife alike.

© 1982-2006 - Pheasants Forever, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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