Gov. Mark Dayton, who says he’s enjoyed pheasant hunting for 60 years, has endorsed a 10-point plan to improve pheasant habitat and hunting.
Last year, Dayton had called for a Pheasant Summit Action Plan and announced the results this week. He said:
The decisions we make today will determine whether future generations of Minnesotans will have those same opportunities. We must work together to increase the pheasant population in our state.
The 10 steps in the action plan are:
- Enhance and protect habitat in areas at least 9 square miles large where at least 40 percent of the area can be permanently protected within four years.
- Increase the rate of enrollment and retention in short-term conservation programs and enrollment of permanent conservation easements by private landowners.
- Increase education and marketing of private lands conservation programs through the Farm Bill Assistance Partnership.
- Increase management of habitat on both public and private lands.
- Accelerate acquisition of land to increase the amount of public land open to hunting across the state’s pheasant range.
- Develop and implement a comprehensive riparian buffer program.
- Improve roadside management to optimize pheasant habitat.
- Secure federal funding to sustain the Walk-In Access program in the pheasant range.
- Expand public education about grassland and pheasant conservation issues and support hunter recruitment and retention.
- Expand monitoring and research capacity for both habitat and population studies of grassland wildlife and clearly communicate these results to the public.