Over 200 people attended Saturday’s Cedar Creek Pheasants Forever 34th annual banquet, held for the first time at the St. Patrick’s Georgetown Hall.
PF is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and conservation of America’s wildlife habitat, which is necessary to the existence of countless species of wildlife and upland game birds, which includes the ringneck pheasant and bobwhite quail.
Local PF President Jim Nelson awarded Mark Carlton the Polaris Habitat Stewardship Award. The former Iowa State University Extension Agronomist has farms near Blakesburg and Humeston and has been an avid supporter of wildlife plantings and food plots offered through Pheasants Forever.
The Cedar Creek Chapter of Pheasants Forever presented the award to Russ Parker, who owns land near Lake Miami, last year and the description of the work he is doing with PF was entered into the national Polaris Habitat Stewardship contest and was named the national winner. Cedar Creek PF received a Polaris UTV and sold it for $8,500 that will be used to continue the work of PF in Monroe County.
Over the past five years, Cedar Creek PF has supported the Albia High School trap team by contributing $3,300 for team shells, targets and national competition trips. Through matching funds, PF has been responsible for a $30,000 increase to the ACHS Trap team’s Midway USA Scholastic Shooting Trust Account. The chapter has also supported Iowa hunter education/safety courses and the youth fishing club. It also assisted in the construction of the Lake Miami Trap and Skeet ranges and developed upland bird habitat and food plots on 80 acres west of Lovilia.
Cedar Creek PF also aided in planting 35 acres of native grass nesting cover and pollinators. Monroe County landowners were provided enough corn, sorghum, soybean and sunflower seed to establish 197 acres of food plots on 25 different projects. Cedar Creek PF contributed to the salary for Monroe County’s PF Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist, Shane Weinberg, who assists landowners with habitat projects and finding federal, state and local funding.
To improve nesting and brooding cover, 225 acres of CRP were burned. The chapter has also joined in partnership with Cargill and Monroe County Soil and Water Conservation to provide cracked corn and whole corn for feeding song birds and game birds throughout the winter. A $500 scholarship was established and presented to a graduated high school senior and the chapter donated eight shade trees that were planted at the Monroe County Sports Complex.
Banquet committee members included Nelson, Nate Ammons, Rod Perry, Colton Cason, Curt Mick, Andy Wuebker and Luke Nissen. Todd Renfrew was auctioneer for the fund-raising auction.