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Nobles county PF acquires more land!!!!


Eric Wettschreck

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Way to go Nobles!!!!!!! For those not in the know, the Nobles county PF chapter has done HUGE things for habitat. Here is just another example of their work. From the Worthington Daily Globe .

WORTHINGTON — The Nobles County Pheasants Forever chapter will celebrate the recent purchase of two parcels during the organization’s annual banquet later this month in Worthington.

The newly acquired land includes a nearly 18-acre parcel purchased from John and Yolanda Donkersloot and a 23.4-acre parcel purchased from Gary and Virginia Drost. Both properties are located in Section 26 of Bigelow Township.

Local PF Chapter president Scott Rall said the acquisitions, finalized in late February, are key to improving wildlife habitat in southern Nobles County.

“Wildlife habitat does best in complexes,” Rall explained. “You will raise more pheasants, more ducks, more game in one large tract than you will in the same amount of acres split up into five or six small tracts.”

The two new parcels adjoin land previously purchased by the PF chapter, including Pheasant Run 1. Two other parcels in the neighborhood — former Hallstrom and Christopherson properties — were acquired in 2008 by the organization.

“We’ve completed seven land acquisitions in 18 months,” said Rall. “That makes your local chapter truly one of the leaders nationally from a habitat on the ground perspective. We were fourth in the nation and second in Minnesota for the last reporting period for dollars raised and habitat produced.

“I think there’s a very good chance we’ll be No. 1 in the nation for the next reporting period,” he added.

As with all of the land previously purchased by the Nobles County PF chapter, the two recent acquisitions will be transferred to the state to be developed as wildlife management areas. Rall expects the transfer to be completed by Dec. 1.

Rall said the latest land purchases make it possible to connect smaller parcels previously purchased by Pheasants Forever in Bigelow Township and square them off into a complex. Doing so makes it easier for hunters to identify the boundaries of the public hunting ground.

The marginal land also meets the organization’s objective. The Donkersloot parcel has been enrolled in the CRP program, and the Drost land will be seeded to grass this fall by the Department of Natural Resources.

While there will be a definite boost to wildlife with the purchase of the two parcels, the acquisitions will also benefit the Okabena-Ocheda Watershed District.

“The reason that we are excited (is), as a watershed district, we get habitat, plus the public gets these other benefits too,” said OOWD administrator Dan Livdahl. “It’s been a great partnership locally in Bigelow Township.”

Livdahl said the new acquisitions are located within the Lake Bella wellhead protection area, which is why both the watershed district and Worthington Public Utilities offered funding to help purchase the parcels.

“The Christopherson property is a very high priority area and an area that Lake Bella’s well field recharges from,” said Livdahl. “Holding water there should improve water quality and the amount of water that’s available for the city of Worthington.”

Other agencies also contributed to the funding pool for the land acquisition. Livdahl said money was received from the Build a Wildlife Area program, the Minnesota Habitat Fund, and a grant through the North American Waterfowl Conservation Act.

The Minnesota Habitat Fund, created by metro-area Pheasants Forever chapters, distributes money to chapters in Greater Minnesota involved in projects to improve pheasant habitat; while the Build a Wildlife Area program involves matching funds from corporate sponsors.

“Each privately-raised dollar can be matched four or five times,” said Rall of the program. “Those dollars are doled out to many different area wildlife projects.”

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This isn't just about land for pheasant hunting. This is a win-win for everyone and a great example of different orginazations working together to accomplish a common goal. This will not only help with pheasant habitat, but a large variety of habitat for other animals as well, not to mention the assistance to the watershed. Once again, good job guys.

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Relay the thanks to all who help and volenteer, That is great. And I appreciate there efforts.

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We (Nobles County PF) Have our annual banquet coming up March 27th if anyone is interested in attending. It will be held at the Longbranch in Downtown Worthington. Doors open at 5pm meal starts at 7pm with Raffles and Auction at 7:20.

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