What is it?
The Aberdeen Pheasant Coalition (APC) is a group of Aberdeen businesses, the Aberdeen tourist industry, sportsman clubs, spearheaded by the Northern SD Chapter of Pheasants Forever. The APC was formed to improve the local economy by increasing the amount of excellent pheasant habitat open to public hunting locally. This in turn brings in more hunters to Aberdeen providing a very strong economic benefit to our local businesses and community.
The members of the APC donated a total of $100,000 to be used as a onetime sign up incentive for farmers and landowners enrolling 40 acres or more into the CRP program (excellent pheasant habitat) and at the same time, enrolling these same acres into the South Dakota Game, Fish, & Parks (GFP) public access program (the Walk In Program) opening these acres to public hunting (all contracts are a minimum of 10 years up to a maximum of 15 years). The APC provides a $25/ acre sign up incentive. When coupled with the CRP sign up incentive and the GFP sign up incentive along with yearly rental payments these programs provide, this becomes a very attractive offer for farmers and landowners to enroll. The APC is in the process of enrolling 4000 acres into the APC program. In addition to the $100,000 raised for the sign-up incentive an additional $7800 was raised for expenses (field signs, sign posts, and promotion of the program).
How does it work?
Pheasants Forever is a 501 c 3 nonprofit organization who has held a 4 star rating by Charity Navigator for the past five years in a row. The Northern SD Chapter of Pheasants Forever has established a separate bank account from its own account where all funds for the APC are deposited. Donations are tax deductible and receipts are provided to all donors.
A Pheasant Forever Farm Bill Biologist (FBB) or USDA personnel complete a CRP contract with a landowner. Once this contract is approved, the FBB completes a GFP walk in contract. After GFP approves the walk-in contract, a check is issued to the farmer or landowner from our PF Chapter APC account.
It is critical that our members are kept apprised of the success of the program. Each summer our members are provided a complete status report showing the # of contracts enrolled, the number of acres enrolled, and complete financial report- shows income, expenses, money paid to farmers and landowners, and the account balance.