A Brief History of RGS…
On October 24, 1961, Bruce R. Richardson, Jr.; Seybert Beverage; and Dixie L. Shumate, Jr., incorporated The Ruffed Grouse Society of America (now RGS) in Monterey, Virginia. RGS works to improve woodland habitat for ruffed grouse, American woodcock and many other kinds of forest wildlife.
To achieve its goals, RGS bases its work on scientific research into the needs of ruffed grouse and woodcock. In addition, RGS-supported research exploring the dynamics of forest growth has been the key to developing effective methods of forest wildlife habitat improvement. Much of this habitat improvement information is available in several books and pamphlets, either published by the Society or made available through the Society.
RGS publications have proven to be invaluable aids to the woodland owners and managers who want to integrate wildlife habitat considerations into their overall forest plans.
Before the late 1970s, RGS research was supported primarily by funds from membership dues. Following a 1977 reorganization and reaffirmation of its mission, the Society dramatically expanded its fund-raising program. This enabled RGS to significantly increase the number of its conservation enterprises.
The Society’s membership roll currently stands at approximately 20,000, with 130 chapters in the U.S. and Canada. The Society’s annual budget is roughly $3 million, of which more than $1 million comes from fund-raising events organized by local chapters.
Among the dividends of the Society’s continued fund-raising success are two RGS conservation programs that in the first few years of their existence have influenced many thousands of acres of woodland wildlife habitat.
One of these programs — Coverts — uses special seminars to educate owners and managers of private, non-industrial woodlands in conservation-related issues. The companion Management Area Projects (MAP) allows the Society to help directly implement forest wildlife habitat development on public lands.
In brief, the Ruffed Grouse Society is an organization that traditionally works in three interrelated areas: research, education and habitat development; with a fourth area, introduction/reintroduction used less often.