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A look at five conservation organizations

When reading “Field Notes,” you’ll often see nationally-based conservation organizations mentioned. Some are very active in our area and it’s important to know their role in preserving our outdoor heritage.
• Pheasants Forever, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever, is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation.
Founded in 1982, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s 140,000 members and their 745 chapters have improved more than 10 million acres for habitat.
“The Habitat Organization” chapters are empowered to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation funds are spent, the only national conservation organization operating through this truly grassroots structure. Visit www.pheasantsforever.org.
• Whitetails Unlimited was founded in 1982 as a nonprofit conservation organization and has remained true to its mission, having made great strides in conservation. It has gained the reputation of being the nation’s premier organization dedicated to the betterment of the white-tailed deer and their environment.
Since its inception, it has spent over $58.1 million on projects, including research, wildlife agency assistance, habitat enhancement and acquisition, college scholarships, public education materials, hunter education, anti-poaching measures, and cooperative projects with other conservation organizations. Visit www.whitetailsunlimited.com.
• The National Wild Turkey Federation is a nonprofit organization and leader in upland wildlife habitat conservation in North America. Founded in 1973, it is headquartered in Edgefield, S.C., and has local chapters in every state.
It is dedicated to the conservation of the wild turkey and the preservation of our hunting heritage. Through vital partnerships with state and federal wildlife agencies, it has helped restore wild turkey populations from a mere 30,000 in the entire United States to nearly 7 million today. Learn more at www.nwtf.org.
• Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America’s continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 13 million acres, thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent.
Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, Ducks Unlimited works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies forever. For more information, visit www.ducks.org.
• The National Rifle Association has long been a staunch defender of law-abiding citizens’ constitutional rights but it is somewhat lesser known for its other work.
Founded in 1871, its goal was to “promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis,” a result of Union Army veterans Col. William Church and Gen. George Wingate’s observations of poor marksmanship in the service.
In 1949, in conjunction with the state of New York, it established the first hunter education program. Hunter education courses are now taught by state fish and game departments across the country and Canada and have helped make hunting one of the safest sports in existence.
The National Rifle Association continues its leadership role in hunting today with the Youth Hunter Education Challenge, a program that allows youngsters to build on the skills they learned in basic hunter education courses. Visit www.nra.org.
Along the Way:
From March 1 through April 30, the daily bag limit on all Ohio waters of Lake Erie for any combination of walleye, sauger and saugeye is four with a minimum size restriction of 15 inches. The daily limit has been six since last May.
Regulations from May 1 through Feb. 28, 2015, will be set later this spring after the Lake Erie Committee meeting.
Anglers can review fishing information and regulations at www.wildohio.com.
Step Outside:
• Today-tomorrow: Maumee Valley Gun Collectors Show, Lucas County Recreation Center, Maumee.
• March 14-16: Deer & Turkey Expo, Bricker Building, Ohio State Fairgrounds. www.deerinfo.com/ohio.
• March 22: Seneca County Pheasants Forever Banquet, Meadowbrook Ballroom, Bascom. Contact: Val Gillig 419-934-3891 or email vgillig2005@yahoo.com.
• March 28: Pheasants Forever Banquet, Hancock County Humane Society. Contact: Andrew Crates at 419-365-7777.
Abrams is a retired wildlife officer supervisor for the state Division of Wildlife in Findlay. He can be reached at P.O. Box 413, Mount Blanchard, OH 45867-0413 or via email at jimsfieldnotes@aol.com.

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