Chapter member Sheri O’Brien ­honored as top volunteer

Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s 2017 National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic drew a record-setting 30,462 supporters to the Minneapolis Convention Center.

The national event, which incorporated the Minnesota Pheasants Forever annual convention also, was well represented by the greater Pelican Rapids area.

The Pelican River Chapter 690 had the distinction of being honored as “Chapter of the Year” in 2015, and members of the local unit received recognition at the 2017 event.

At the 2017 Awards and Recognition ceremony, differing chapters and chapter members may be nominated for an award in the categories of: Above & Beyond, Brood Booster, partnership of the Year, Dedication, Long-Spur Society, Bill Sandy – Making a Difference, Youth Chapter of the Year, Best Banquet of the Year, Volunteer of the Year and Chapter of the Year.

Chapter 690 President Erick Johnson and Treasurer David Johnson nominated Sheri O’Brien for the 2017 Dedication Award.

“I was completely unaware of the nomination,” said O’Brien, an active member of the chapter who is on the faculty at Pelican Rapids Viking Elementary School. “To be given the award is very humbling, and I am grateful to be a member of such an incredible local volunteer organization. This award is a definitive reflection of our amazing committee members synergizing together in organizing our annual February PF banquet and our other conservation endeavors.”

The Pelican River Chapter 690 committee members participated in numerous seminars regarding trap shooting lower body positioning, movement skills and gun mount techniques, firearm safety practices, Minnesota habitat & conservation practices and the national farm bill outlook. Members also attended the 2017 Minnesota PF & Quail Forever Awards & Recognition Ceremony, where O’Brien was honored.

Pheasant’s Forever Chapter 690 members attending were:

David Johnson – Treasurer

Patty Johnson – Youth Co-Coordinator

Gary Kowalski – Secretary

Pete Waller – Habitat & Conservation Practices

Brian Johnson – Youth Co-Coordinator

Marv & Winnie Martinson

Sheri O’Brien – Banquet Coordinator

In 2015, the Chapter of the Year Award was presented for the Pelican River group’s dedication to financially supporting the local firearm safety training program, which is coordinated by Randy and Regina Waskosky. In addition, the Pelican chapter facilitated marginalized land purchase and restoration.

The chapter helped establish and supports Pelican Rapids High School Trap Team.

The annual national convention and outdoor tradeshow featured a very successful, first-ever National Pheasant Summit. Of particular note, elected officials all voiced their support for a robust Conservation Reserve Program as part of the 2018 Farm Bill, and Peterson – the Ranking Member on the House Agriculture Committee – voiced his support for raising the national acreage cap from the current allotment of 24 million acres to 46 million acres.

Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever also hosted the “Bees, Butterflies, Birds & You” Pollinator Symposium. The event featured eight of the nation’s top pollinator experts who highlighted new programs, strategies and research being used to provide quality habitat for a host of grassland and wildflower-dependent species, including pollinators, upland birds and other wildlife. As part of this effort, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever launched an exciting new partnership over the weekend – the Bee & Butterfly Habitat Fund – that is expected to become a frontrunner in the effort to restore critical habitat for bees, butterflies, and other wildlife.