Call of the Highlands® National Campaign Tops 11+ Million Acres of Wildlife Habitat Successes
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have announced the completion of their unprecedented national campaign, Call of the Highlands, following six years of science-based strategy to protect, enhance or restore upland habitats across North America. The campaign’s final accomplishments – more than $565 million raised and 11 million acres improved – were announced by President and CEO Howard Vincent in front of a sold-out crowd at the 2023 National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic.
“More than forty years ago, a group of visionaries dreamed that they could bring the glorious ring-necked pheasant back to the landscape. They knew that the habitat was the answer,” said Vincent. “From that vision an organization was born, and six years ago we launched Call of the Highlands to protect and preserve substantially more habitat in equally difficult times for upland birds. The volunteers, members, partners, donors and employees who make Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever such a powerful force today truly ‘answered the call’ to protect upland landscapes. This is a new beginning for more important work to come because, as our name states, our mission is forever.”
Highlighting mission triumphs as part of Call of the Highlands it includes the organizational pillars of habitat, access, education and promotion; each plays a critical role in furthering the conservation goals of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever. Campaign statistics include the following:
- Total Acres of Habitat Restored, Enhanced, and Protected: More than 11,000,000
- Total Access Acres (Walk-Ins, Fee Title, Easements): More than 2,000,000
- Total education and outreach events: More than 16,000 events, reaching more than 1,000,000 participants
The stroke of a pen can have a major impact on what happens to upland wildlife habitat, game populations, and hunter access throughout the United States; Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever made great strides in defense through Call of the Highlands. In fact, since 2017, the voice of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever in Washington DC and in state houses has been greatly amplified by the 420,000 members, supporters and partners who engaged in the campaign to help achieve:
- Passage of the Great American Outdoors Act: A landmark conservation bill that permanently funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund with $900 million per year and allocates billions of dollars to the National Park Service and other land management agencies to improve public lands.
- Introduction of the North American Grassland Conservation Act (NAGCA): The largest new grassland legislative effort in the organization’s history, NAGCA ran in the United States Senate in 2022 after several years of hard work and more than 50,000 individual calls/emails to Congress. This Act will help initiate voluntary protection and restoration of sagebrush grasslands and shrub steppes in North America.
- Introduction of the American Wildlife Recovery Act: In the spring of 2022, advocacy on behalf of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever members and employees helped pass this bill through a full House and Senate committee. More than $1.39 billion annually would be provided to states, territories, and tribes to restore habitat and protect threatened species.
- Farm Bill conservation title: The Farm Bill and its suite of conservation programs provide habitat and access to millions of acres each year. Reauthorization of the 2023 Farm Bill, including a strong Conservation Title, is vitally important to the future of upland landscapes: Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are leading the way in critical land conservation advocacy high in DC
vision for Call of the Highlands was created in response to continuing threats to North American highland landscapes, one of the world’s most threatened ecosystems. In the past two decades, this vast region has lost more than 50 million acres of grassland, an area the size of Kansas, due to changes in land management practices.
“The campaign served as a catalyst for future grassland conservation efforts for Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever on behalf of our volunteers, members, donors, partners and employees,” Vincent added. “It is our promise to never stop working to protect upland habitat, wildlife and the meaningful experiences we share outdoors; this is a new beginning forever.”
For more information on Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s Call of the Highlands campaign, ways to contribute or get involved with The Habitat Organization, please contact David Bue, Director of Development at DBue@PheasantsForever.Org.
About Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever make up the nation’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. This community of more than 420,000 members, supporters, and partners is dedicated to protecting our highlands through habitat improvement, public access, education, and advocacy. A network of 754 local chapters spread across North America determine how 100 percent of their locally raised funds are spent—the only national conservation organization to operate through this grassroots structure. Since its inception in 1982, the organization has dedicated more than $1 billion to more than 575,000 habitat projects benefiting 24 million acres.