Stearns County Pheasants Forever - Habitat Page

Local Habitat Efforts

Local Habitat Efforts

Stearns County Pheasants Forever's members are truly passionate about creating, preserving and restoring habitat that benefits pheasants, quail and other upland wildlife. This unique model empowers local chapters with the responsibility to determine how 100 percent of their locally-raised conservation funds will be spent. Whether it's through improving habitat, informing the public about land management or educating future generations of hunting enthusiasts, conservation is the underlying principle in all we do at the grassroots level.

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Exciting News for fall of 2017 Stearns County has two new WMA's. Both are on the western side of Stearns County.

Prairie Smoke WMA Located in North Fork Township

Flowers Tract - Addition to Sauk River WMA South of Sauk Center

SCPF Public Land Acquisitions 1987-2014

SCPF Public Land Acquisitions 1987-2014

Every year Stearns County Pheasants Forever has on going projects throughout the community. With our proceeds from fundraising and donations from community leaders, we are fortunate enough to give back, putting all our money in the ground to preserve habitat throughout our region.  If you know of a project or would like to learn more about how to help in the effort to preserve your local habitats, please feel free to contact us with any questions.

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Programs For Habitat

Programs For Habitat

Conservation Reserve Program: (CRP) Learn More about the Nations Most Successful Conservation Program

Minnesota's CP38 Back Forty Pheasant Habitat Program.  

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program: (EQIP) is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers through contracts up to a maximum term of ten years in length. These contracts provide financial assistance to help plan and implement conservation practices that address natural resource concerns and for opportunities to improve soil, water, plant, animal, air and related resources on agricultural land and non-industrial private forestland. In addition, a purpose of EQIP is to help producers meet Federal, State, Tribal and local environmental regulations.  Learn More

The Conservation Stewardship Program: (CSP) is a voluntary conservation program that encourages producers to address resource concerns in a comprehensive manner by undertaking additional conservation activities; and improving, maintaining, and managing existing conservation activities.  CSP is available on Tribal and private agricultural lands and non-industrial private forest land in all 50 States and the Caribbean and Pacific Islands Areas. The program provides equitable access to all producers, regardless of operation size, crops produced, or geographic location.  Learn More

Stearns County Awarded NAWCA Small Grants

Pheasants Forever Awarded 8 NAWCA Small Grants
Partnership funds to restore and enhance wildlife habitat in Minnesota & Wisconsin

St. Paul, Minn. – May 29, 2014 – Pheasants Forever has been awarded eight North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) small grants to conserve wetlands and associated grasslands in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Pheasants Forever and partners will employ this round of NAWCA funding to restore and/or permanently conserve habitat on 3,868 acres vital to upland birds and waterfowl, acres also open to public hunting and outdoor recreation.

“Conservation is a partnership effort, and we are thankful for the NAWCA partnership that brings precious resources to aid in the cause of wetland and grassland conservation,” stated Matt Holland, Pheasants Forever and Pheasants Forever’s director of grant development, “And no one can do this work alone, we are continually partnering with landowners, agencies and funders like the Outdoor Heritage Fund in Minnesota and Knowles Nelson Stewardship Fund in Wisconsin to achieve meaningful results.”

Pheasants Forever projects funded with NAWCA small grants in the Midwest for 2014 include:

Project: Detroit Lakes, Waterfowl Production Area Enhancement
Location: Becker, Mahnomen, and Polk Counties, Minnesota
This project will restore 40 acres of wetlands that have been drained or impaired due to siltation, and will also remove invasive trees to enhance waterfowl nesting habitat on 1,719 acres across six Waterfowl Production Areas. The work will increase breeding habitat for grassland nesting birds on the sites, also improving public access for recreational activities such as wildlife viewing and hunting.

Grant: $75,000 / Matching funds: $88,000 / Acres: 1,759

Project: Litchfield Wetland Management District Waterfowl Production Area Enhancement
Location: Stearns and Kandiyohi Counties, Minnesota
This project will enhance 1,014 acres and restore 13 acres of protected wetlands and grasslands to create productive and resilient habitats for waterfowl and other wetland-dependent species. Pheasants Forever and partners will construct a berm to manage water flows and remove invasive trees encroaching on the grasslands. This will improve the nesting success of waterfowl and other grassland nesting birds.

Grant: $75,000 / Matching funds: $77,063 / Acres: 1,027

Project: Whitney Waterfowl Production Area Addition
Location: Stearns County, Minnesota
Acquisition of grassland and wetlands for habitat, game production, and recreation is important to the future of habitat conservation and migratory birds. This project aims to accomplish these goals by protecting at-risk prairie and wetlands. This project will build upon the Whitney Waterfowl Production Area by protecting 54 acres of wetlands and grasslands that adjoin the existing 346-acre unit. The protected complex will function at a high level for grassland birds, migratory birds, other wildlife, as well as improve water quality.

Grant: $55,425 / Matching funds: $55,425 / Acres: 54

Project: Mud Lake Waterfowl Production Area Addition
Location: Sibley County, Minnesota
This project will permanently protect 47 acres of grasslands and wetlands for bird habitat and outdoor recreation, building on existing protected areas around Mud Lake in Sibley County, Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has designated the shallow Mud Lake as a migratory waterfowl feeding and resting area. 

Grant: $75,000 / Matching Funds: $177,500 / Acres: 47

Project: Selk Wildlife Management Area Addition
Location: Stevens County, Minnesota
Building on past investments, this project will add 40 acres of wetlands and grassland habitat needed by breeding waterfowl to the Selk Wildlife Management Area. The land is a remnant of the native tallgrass prairie in the Prairie Pothole Region and is threatened by agricultural land conversion and degradation. This and other protected areas will create a linked habitat for waterfowl, grassland birds, and other migratory birds and wildlife. Maintaining the wetlands will also improve water quality for nearby communities.

Grant: $75,000 / Matching funds: $86,000 / Acres: 40

Project: Swift County Wetland Conservation
Location: Swift County, Minnesota
This project will protect a 96-acre addition to the Svor Waterfowl Production Area and restore 16 acres of wetlands and 65 acres of wetland-associated uplands. Both sites provide for public access to bird, hunt, trap, or enjoy wetlands and prairies. This project will benefit upland nesting waterfowl species and species that require grasslands to survive, such as pheasants, marbled godwit, upland sandpiper, Henslow’s sparrow and bobolink.

Grant: $75,000 / Matching funds: $228,000 / Acres: 117

Project: Tiger Marsh Wildlife Management Area Addition
Location: Carver County, Minnesota
This project will permanently protect 110 acres with over 2,800 feet of shoreline on Tiger Lake. The site includes existing wetlands as well as eleven wetlands with the potential for restoration. Tiger Lake is designated by the state of Minnesota as a wildlife lake, where water levels can be managed for wildlife and motorized recreational vehicles are regulated. The waterfowl population on the lake will benefit from additional protected wetlands for migration habitat, on a site where the land was previously used for agriculture.

Grant: $75,000 / Matching funds: $757,500 / Acres: 110

Project: H&L Farms Acquisition
Location: Rock County, Wisconsin
This project will protect 714 acres of the H&L Farm property, to provide public access and enhance management of the wetlands already protected on the farm. This acquisition will prevent the farm from being subdivided for housing, and instead provide for outdoor recreation and education on the property. The protected land will be adjacent to a 2,734-acre state wildlife management area. Improved management will allow sufficient grasslands for nesting birds and provide habitat for grassland insects.

Grant: $75,000 / Matching funds: $746,100 / Acres: 714


The North American Wetlands Conservation Act was established in 1989 to provide matching grants for organizations and individuals who have developed partnerships to carry out wetlands conservation projects in the United States. As part of the Act, both the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission and Northern American Wetlands Conservation Council were formed to recommend and approve worthy conservation projects. From September 1990 through March 2014, some 5,000 partners in 2,421 projects have received more than $1.3 billion in grants. They have contributed another $2.7 billion in matching funds to affect 27.5 million acres of habitat. NAWCA funding is awarded through a Standard and a Small Grants Program.

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