Kearney, NE – This past weekend’s 28th annual State Habitat Meeting brought in a record attendance of almost 300 participants. “We are thrilled with the number of attendees this year as we strive to offer something for everyone at this event,” said Kelsi Wehrman, Pheasants Forever State Coordinator in Nebraska. “The entire weekend was a huge success.”
The State Habitat Meeting, hosted by Pheasants Forever, Quail Forever and Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is an annual event, open to the public. The weekend started off with a Friday night social, with the main event following on Saturday, February 9th at the Holiday Inn Convention Center in Kearney, NE.
Past participants may have noticed a few changes this year. Covey Corner offered a new and unique room for youth and young adults, complete with an inflatable archery and BB gun ranges. Additional activities such as, make your own bee box, seed butterflies, coloring sheets and more were available to provided activities for all ages.
Just down the hall was a new addition for adults, the Wine and Craft Room. Participants had the chance to paint with The Rustic Patch, while also sampling local wine from Mac’s Creek Winery & Vineyards.
Many guest speakers were in attendance from around the Midwest, and topics included everything from cover crops, precision agriculture, habitat management, and saline wetlands to education and outreach opportunities, dog training, R3, monarch butterflies, and more.
A break in activities midday led to the first ever Upland Slam Grand Prize Drawing, including an overview of the program with submission highlights.
State awards as well as winners of the Pheasants Forever Scholarship were also recognized for their hard work and achievements in conservation. The 2019 awards and recipients include:
• 2019 Pheasants Forever Scholarship – Jordan Giese and Caleb Roberts
• Master Conservationist of the Year – Tim Carlisle
• Wildlife Conservationist of the Year – Nebraska Environmental Trust
• Special Recognition Award – Nebraska Game and Parks Foundation
• Wildlife Professional of the Year – Scott Luedtke
A Saturday night banquet concluded the weekend, hosted by the local Prairie Hills Pheasants Forever Chapter.
The date for the 29th annual State Habitat Meeting has been set, so mark your calendars for February 1st, 2020 in Kearney, NE. We hope to see you there!
Pheasants Forever, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever, is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 149,000 members and 725 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Chapters are empowered to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation funds are spent; the only national conservation organization that operates through this truly grassroots structure. Since creation in 1982, Pheasants Forever has spent $784 million on 530,000 habitat projects benefiting 17 million acres nationwide.
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are dedicated to the conservation of pheasants, quail and other wildlife through habitat improvements, public awareness, education and land management policies and programs.