Des Moines, Iowa – June 17, 2014 – There is a new upland conservation program to help boost Iowa’s pheasant population. Beginning immediately, landowners can enroll in the Iowa Pheasant Recovery - State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE). Part of the federal Conservation Reserve Program, 50,000 acres have been allocated for enrollment on a first-come, first-serve basis. Pheasants Forever’s eight Farm Bill Biologists in Iowa are helping landowners with enrollment and questions.
A continuous Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) practice, the Iowa Pheasant Recovery SAFE is designed to help increase populations of ring-necked pheasants and other grassland wildlife species. Once the acres are fully enrolled and established, there is the potential for the newly-created upland habitat to produce more than 100,000 additional roosters annually for hunters. And all Iowa citizens will benefit from the water quality improvements and soil erosion reductions that are associated with grassland conservation. There are about 4,100 acres currently enrolled in the program, leaving more than 45,000 available to landowners.
“We’ve heard from landowners who want to return pheasants to their property, and this is the program that’s specifically designed to do it,” says Jared Wiklund, Pheasants Forever’s Regional Representative in southern Iowa, “The Iowa Pheasant Recovery SAFE is open to landowners in most Iowa counties, and our team of Farm Bill Biologists is eager to work with farmers and ranchers to add upland habitat while helping improve their business operations.” Enrollment includes a sign-up bonus payment of $100 per acre. Find a Farm Bill Biologist.