Wet meadows, or mesic areas, contain crucial brood-rearing habitat for the Greater Sage Grouse and host numerous benefits to other wildlife and livestock. In these sagebrush rangelands of northwestern Colorado elk and mule deer along with neo-tropical migratory birds use these wet meadows at some point throughout the year. Over time the meadows have been damaged by erosion and lower water tables altered by drought, intense rain events, and a changing climate.
Using simple but innovative techniques derived from restoration guru Bill Zeedyk the group was able to start restoring the meadow with rock, or “Zeedyk” structures. The goal with these structures is to raise the water table, slow erosion, and support a diversity of plants and insects. These wet meadows are crucial to the Greater Sage Grouse as within the first few weeks of being hatched chicks need high protein insects to survive into adolescence and these mesic areas provide this excellent habitat. The wet meadows also allow plants to stay green, and grow later in the season, providing excellent forage for elk, deer, and livestock. Since soil disturbance is an integral facet of the rock structure implementation the PF Seed Program was able to provide a native pollinator forb seed mix in and around these structures to promote greater insect pollinator activity, providing excellent early brood rearing habitat for Greater Sage Grouse. The South Denver Metro Pheasants Forever Chapter of Colorado donated the seed and PF Chapters in CO help contribute to our private land’s biologist program ensuring that projects like these continue to grow.
Dozens of volunteers were mentored and led by Bob Timberman of USFWS Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, Shawn Conner of Bio-Logic, Brian Holmes of CO Parks & Wildlife, William Vieth of Wildlands Restoration Volunteers, and Rebecca Burton a Working Lands for Wildlife Biologist with Pheasants Forever/NRCS. Wildlands Restoration Volunteers, a Colorado based non-profit who organizes volunteers to work on conservation projects in Colorado and southern Wyoming, was an integral component of the project as they organized and provided the manpower to make quite an impact. The Covid-19 pandemic brought additional challenges implementing the project, but by limiting the group size to 25 volunteers per day, maintaining social distancing of 6+ feet whenever possible, and wearing masks while working in close proximities allowed to make it a reality.
Throughout the 4-day event almost 50 structures were built, new partnerships developed, and numerous encounters with the Greater Sage Grouse to the point where a few were able to harvest this iconic bird on surrounding public lands. Special thanks goes out to all the partners involved while Pheasants Forever looks forward to other opportunities of wet meadow restoration in the West.
We want to thank every South Metro Pheasants Forever Member and their respective guest, Sponsors, Underwriters, Table Purchasers for turning your Spring 2020 banquet tickets into a donation to the South Metro Pheasants Forever postponed Banquet. It was an unfortunate event that we were not able to hold our live banquet this year because of the current Environment and COVID-19 as this is always a time of camaraderie and fun for all supporting a common goal. Our top priority was the safety and well being of everyone of our members to keep everyone healthy and safe to be able to enjoy the upcoming Pheasant Season and future seasons.
For this donation, South Metro Pheasants Forever took a few of our Guns scheduled for raffle items at our banquet to put into to a raffle to say thank you for your efforts and your generosity. We additionally added in our Pheasants Forever 2020 Print of the year and our Quail Forever 2020 Print of the year.
The Winners of the Raffle are listed below. We will contact each winner directly and work out a time to pick up the Prints and also work out a day and time to go to Bass Pro Shops in Denver to pick up their firearm and do the back ground Check. (All winning firearms are subject to a successful background check. Any person not able to pass the background check will automatically relinquish the winning firearm back to South Metro Pheasants Forever.)
Winner of the Legacy Pointer 12 Ga. O/U: David McDonald
Winner of the Savage Axis .30-.06 with Synthetic Stock: Michelle Seubert (Michelle works for CPW at Barr Lake and we are proud to have her as a South Metro Pheasants Forever Chapter Member)
Winner of the CZ Quail 20 Ga. Youth Shotgun of the year: Beverly Edwards
Winner of the Pheasants Forever 2020 Print of the Year: William Oneill
Winner of the Quail Forever 2020 Print of the Year: Jeff Terrill
Again thank you for your donation and generosity. We look forward to seeing everyone at the Spring 2021 South Metro Pheasants Forever Banquet March 13, 2021 at the Marriott South in Lone Tree, CO
Be Well, Stay Healthy & Have a great 2020 Pheasant Season!!!!!