451 McCormick Rd
Coraopolis PA 15108
October 5, 2007
For Immediate Release
Multi-year plan includes restoration, regeneration and designation of new habitat management area
Coraopolis, PA — Wildlife species on the Hiawatha National Forest in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula will be the beneficiary of a renewed partnership between the Ruffed Grouse Society, and the US Forest Service.
A recently signed “Collection Agreement” between the two organizations targets projects designed to benefit wildlife species dependent upon plants found in young forests that provide food and cover for wildlife. Both partners will provide funds and staff time to implement projects over a five year period across the Hiawatha National Forest.
Potential projects identified under this agreement include alder restoration, aspen regeneration and the designation of a new habitat management area.
According to RGS Executive Director and CEO Michael D. Zagata, the Ruffed Grouse Society is pleased to be able to partner with the US Forest Service to promote important wildlife habitat improvements on our public forests — improvements that will benefit hunters and non-hunters alike.
“The Society has been the lead organization in the restoration and improvement of upland wildlife habitat — habitat that not only benefits ruffed grouse and woodcock, but many other wildlife species as well,” Zagata said.
Echoing Zagata’s assessment, Hiawatha National Forest Supervisor Thomas A. Schmidt said, “Collaboration with partners in the conservation of public forest land helps us to get the most benefits for the resources we manage. Focused management in upland habitats will improve conditions for ruffed grouse, woodcock and a list of associated species, including other game species and migrant songbirds. Visitors benefit from the increased opportunities to view or harvest wildlife. We look forward to the opportunities provided by this partnership.”
“This is not the first time these two organizations have worked together to improve wildlife habitat,” said RGS Regional Biologist Gary Zimmer. “Since 1986, RGS and the US Forest Service have jointly worked on projects across the United States that have benefited both forest wildlife and those folks who enjoy hunting or viewing wildlife; and just last year, both organizations established a similar cooperative program on the Ottawa National Forest in the Western Upper Peninsula. All these accomplishments would not have been possible without the dedicated members of local Ruffed Grouse Society Chapters who have worked hard to support these programs,” Zimmer said.
Established in 1961, the Ruffed Grouse Society is the one international wildlife conservation organization dedicated to promoting conditions suitable for ruffed grouse, American woodcock and related wildlife to sustain our sport hunting tradition and outdoor heritage.
Information on the RGS, its mission, management projects and membership can be found on the web at: www.ruffedgrousesociety.org or by calling 412-262-4044.
Ruffed Grouse Society
Forest Wildlife Biologist
Hiawatha National Forest