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Northwest Kansas Conservation Foundation Awards Conservation Grants

OAKLEY – The Kansas Governor’s Ringneck Classic Northwest Kansas Conservation Foundation (NWKCF) has announced it will award Norton County Community Foundation’s Secure Sebelius Lake fund with a $25,000 grant and Pheasants Forever with a $10,000 grant to help fund a wildlife biologist position in Oberlin.

“The grant requests made by these organizations directly fulfill our mission to support habitat and wildlife conservation in northwest Kansas, and the board was unanimous in their support of grant funding,” said Jim Millensifer, Ringneck Classic Board president.

An agreement between the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) and the Almena Irrigation District ensures approximately ten feet of water is retained in Sebelius Lake. However, that agreement will soon expire and needs renewed. Sebelius Lake – west of Norton – is important to the area’s economy because of the visitors it attracts for camping, boating, fishing and hunting. To renew the agreement, KDWPT committed to 50 percent of the necessary funding, and the Secure Sebelius Lake Committee was formed to raise the other half.

“The Secure Sebelius Lake team is excited about this grant opportunity and we are proud to have great partners in the Northwest Kansas Conservation Foundation,” Tara Vance, executive director of the Norton County Community Foundation and Secure Sebelius Lake Committee member said. “This project is important to the vitality and health of our entire region, both for economic and wildlife purposes. We appreciate the support from a group that continues to support and give back to northwest Kansas in both of these areas.”

Pheasants Forever’s farm bill biologist program places wildlife biologists in local Natural Resources Conservation Service and Farm Service Agency offices to assist landowners in enrolling in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Bill conservation programs. Biologists also provide technical advice and assist those landowners after programs have been implemented.

“Pheasants Forever greatly appreciates the strong partnership and shared vision that we have with the Kansas Ringneck Classic,” said Jordan Martincich, director of development for Pheasants Forever, Inc. and Quail Forever. “Our collaboration has led to many successes for northwest Kansas wildlife habitat, northwest Kansas kids, and northwest Kansas communities. The future is bright for Kansas wildlife habitat conservation and the Kansas upland hunting heritage, thanks to the Kansas Ringneck Classic.”

The Kansas Governor’s Ringneck Classic is committed to contributing to northwest Kansas, community youth, habitat improvement and wildlife conservation. For more information about the classic and the NWKCF, visit www.kansasringneckclassic.com. To learn more about the Secure Sebeilus Fund, contact Vance at (785) 874-5106. And for information about Pheasant Forever and Quail Forever in Kansas, visit www.kansaspfqf.org.