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Pheasant Restoration Initiative is Underway in Southeast Michigan

April 25th, 2012

Lake Hudson Pheasant Cooperative’s 1st Annual Meeting was a Success!

Lenawee County – On Saturday, April 21, 2012 the Lake Hudson Pheasant Cooperative (LHPC) hosted its 1st Annual meeting for members, curious neighbors and partners (Lenawee Conservation District, Lenawee and Monroe Pheasants Forever Chapters, U.S. Fish and Wildlife and Michigan DNR) at Margarita’s Restaurant in Hudson, Michigan.

The LHPC is off to a good start, at their first meeting they appointed 6 members to serve as a core committee and discussed producing coverage for the 1st LHPC pheasant crow survey. They also learned from an existing local deer co-op on how they set-up their cooperative, managed their cooperative and kept members interested. The meeting generated a lot of great discussion among the attendees and members.

“This meeting today was for those truly interested in forming and continuing LHPC. The people really do care about quality habitat and bettering the pheasant populations in the area. And this cooperative will help them all get together for a common cause, a common goal.” said Lauren Lindemann, Lenawee Conservation District’s Farm Bill Biologist. “This cooperative has a life of its own now. There are passionate people here.”

LHPC is more than cooperating between landowners. It is also cooperating with DNR at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. Multiple Pheasant Forever Chapters are providing volunteer labor and funds to improve habitat at Lake Hudson where the MDNR budget cannot manage this fiscal year. This process has been made easier now that the Volunteer Bill (HB 4111 of 2011) became effective last summer through the hard work of sponsor Rep. Bruce Rendon (R-Lake City),  MUCC, Pheasants Forever, and our other conservation partners.

This volunteer work on private and public lands will take several years but will become prime pheasant habitat containing native grass plantings with wildflowers and food plots. It is hoped that local landowners will continue to join with LHPC and connect filter strips, buffers and other blocks of habitat to this site, as well as enhancing existing habitat to create a changed landscape full of quality habitat that will benefit pheasants as well as song birds, migratory birds, deer and other wildlife.

MUCC awarded the statewide Michigan Pheasants Restoration Initiative (MPRI) with the honor of 2011 Conservation Project of the Year. The MPRI is a conservation initiative of diverse partners working together to focus on the restoration of pheasants and habitat in Michigan, while also benefiting a suite of migratory birds and other grassland species and increasing hunter access and improving hunter recruitment. With a mix of public agencies and non-profit partners, including MUCC, the Initiative will work with private landowner coalitions, like LHPC, who will agree to work together to maximize and enhance the pheasant habitat in their collective land holdings.

There are several places to get more information. The Department of Natural Resources website is www.michigan.gov/pheasant; if you are on Facebook LIKE the Lake Hudson Pheasant Cooperative page; or contact the biologist, Lauren Lindemann, at the Lenawee Conservation District at 517-263-7400, ext. 119.

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