By Alan Sorensen
Montana's Pheasants Forever Chapters received nearly $4,000 for habitat preservation during their annual convention in Helena in March.
The donation came from a percentage of last summer sales in a cooperative effort by Town Pump Inc. and Miller Brewing Co.
Havreite Robert Markwardt, vice president of the North Central Montana Pheasants Forever Chapter, said the chapters elected to direct the proceeds to a large project in the Denton area. The Central Montana Pheasants Forever Chapter out of Lewistown is overseeing the project that has drawn strong support from throughout the state, Markwardt said.
The project has involved the purchase, development and enhancement of an 800-acre farm on Coffee Creek. The Coffee Creek Project, as it is called, has been a focal point of the state's chapters since 1998.
Markwardt said that the North Central Chapter that stretches along the Hi-Line has members from Chinook to Rudyard. The chapter was organized in 1987, he said, and has done several project in this area.
"We've done tree shelter projects in the area and projects on CRP, seeding for pheasant habitat," Markwardt said.
He said that he and North Central Chapter Secretary/Treasurer Wally Duchscher, also of Havre, represented the Hi-Line group at the state convention and approved the donation for the Coffee Creek Project.
The chapter's president is Darwin Anderson of Rudyard.
The North Central Pheasants Forever Chapter's primary fund-raiser is its annual banquet. Proceeds from that event, which includes raffles and other fund-raising activities, are retained by the chapter.
"All our money is spent locally," Markwardt said. "And I think ours is really a fine banquet."
This year's banquet is scheduled for Oct. 11 at the Duck Inn. Tickets will go on sale approximately 30 days before the banquet, Markwardt said.
According to a press release about the donation, there are 550 Pheasants Forever Chapters in the United States that complete more than 25,000 projects each year. Billed as the nation's premier upland wildlife conservation organization, Pheasants has 92,000 members and tries to cooperate closely with farmers and ranchers to improve wildlife habitat.
For more information about the organization, contact any of the Pheasant Forever officers or members.