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Chapter News - May 05, 2014

Developing Food Plot Projects

Developing Food Plot Projects

Date: Monday, May 05, 2014

Our chapter is once again trying to develop food plot projects on private lands adjacent to the Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge and Waterfowl Production Areas in Phillips County, MT. These projects consist of direct payments to the landowners to offset the cost of leaving standing food crops in their fields, adjacent to areas open to public hunting. We implemented one successful project last year adjacent to Bowdoin and are looking to implement a similar project this year. Our motivation is based on our belief that this effort results in more birds on the adjacent publically accessible lands.

Our chapter is continuing to work with MT Fish, Wildlife, and Parks at the Canyon Ferry Wildlife Management Area (WMA) near Townsend. We have retained our allocated funds to assist with development of new water and wetland habitat development on the Meyer Lease located in the southeast portion of the WMA. Development of these wet areas is expected to occur later this year.

We will continue to support the Central Montana Chapter (Lewistown) with habitat development, maintenance and property taxes on the Wolf Creek and Coffee Creek properties near Denton, Montana.

Our chapter will continue to support the DNRC’s Tongue River Ranch property south of Miles City with a multi-year commitment to restrict grazing in the riparian corridor and hay unit along the river.

The Chapter has been coordinating with several  state land lessees and Montana DNRC in the Geraldine area to improve Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) enrolled lands and adjacent cover to benefit sharptail and pheasant populations in the area.  These lands are accessible to the public and offer a means to improve habitat and expand quality hunting areas open to the public. The Chapter is working to develop the management plans and contribute funds to assist with the habitat improvements.

For more information regarding our habitat projects, please contact our Habitat Chair Tom Pick (thomaspck@gmail.com).

Our fundraising efforts have gone towards the purchase and habitat enhancements of lands open to public hunting that include:

20,284 acre Tongue River Ranch, located 30 miles southwest of Miles City
1,200 acres on Coffee Creek near Denton
1,535 acre Beaver Creek WPA  complex near Malta
Canyon Ferry WMA shelterbelts
Goose Bay at Canyon Ferry shelterbelts
Moylan/Wolf Creek property consisting of 1,000 acres of deeded land and 640 acres of State lease located at Denton MT.  Property is located adjacent to 11,600 of additional public access lands

In addition to the projects listed above, we have allocated funds towards several emergency feeding programs in various areas of the state over the past few winters.