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06

In 2014, it was announced that Pheasants Forever was to open a regional headquarters in South Dakota. This was to help stem the tide of a decreasing pheasant population that dropped by nearly 80% between 2012 and 2013.

This week saw the hunting group celebrate the opening of the building and many members of the group attended the celebration. Governor Dennis Daugaard, who has been helping the pheasant population cause recently also attended. In all, it was estimated over one hundred people attended.

The facility, based in Brookings, is part of the main drive to boost pheasant populations. The biggest challenge facing this goal is to maintain suitable habitat for the bird. Much of the land that was once set aside for them during the Conservation Reserve Program has now been returned to production by farmers.

With less ground for nesting, hiding and suitable food – the bird has really suffered.

The regional headquarters and Dave Nomsen, director of the regional office, will be the public face of the efforts to support farmers, landowners and other interested agencies in efforts to improve habitats for the bird.

Pheasants Forever members are worried that if the continuing population trend continues, then pheasant hunting may be at risk. Over $200 million is directly generated by the yearly pheasant hunting season and losing the right to hunt could have significant repercussions for the state’s economy.

Governor Dennis Daugaard, who recently set up and ran a panel to discuss and propose measures to help pheasant populations, has been asking for residents to support his latest initiative. He is hoping to persuade South Dakota legislators to agree to a $1.5 million proposal that will help conserve pheasant habitats. While a drop in the ocean of what is required, it will certainly be a big support.

Were you at the opening of the Regional Headquarters? Will you lend your support to Dennis Daugaard’s plan?

Let us know in the comments below.

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