A new collaboration is growing the voice of sportsmen and women who cherish public land and waters – and expanding public hunting opportunities in Minnesota.
Led by Pheasants Forever, Minnesota’s Outdoor Heritage Fund and the Minnesota Prairie Chicken Society and supported by a broad coalition of other partners, including Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, the effort has resulted in the expansion by 955 acres of the Cupido Wildlife Management Area in northwestern Minnesota. Featuring native prairie ecosystems and abundant greater prairie chicken habitat, the expansion also provides hunters a valuable public lands upland hunting destination.
The Cupido Wildlife Management Area (photo: Pheasants Forever)
The Cupido WMA expansion was able to be finalized thanks to revenue generated during the 2020 National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at the inaugural Public Lands Pavilion. BHA President and CEO Land Tawney joined the Minnesota chapter of BHA at this year’s gathering and celebrated North America’s public lands. BHA, along with the Ruffed Grouse Society, Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters, Project Upland, Filson, Modern Carnivore, Randy Newberg and others, dedicated 10 percent of their proceeds from this event to the Cupido expansion.
Left to right: BHA CEO Land Tawney, PF/QF CEO Howard Vincent, RGS CEO Ben Jones and TRCP CEO Whit Fosburgh
The Public Lands Pavilion was a huge hit with Pheasant Fest attendees and a centerpiece of the show. In characteristic fashion, the Minnesota chapter worked diligently to engage those at the 30,000-attendee event in support of public lands and signed up over 150 new members in the process. Tawney joined Ruffed Grouse Society CEO Ben Jones, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership CEO Whit Fosburgh and Pheasants Forever/Quail Forever CEO Howard Vincent in leading a Public Lands State of the Union Roundtable during the show.
Minnesota BHA at the Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers celebrated the expansion of the Cupido Wildlife Management Area.
“Minnesota BHA is proud to be involved in helping BHA – for the first time ever – create public lands,” said Minnesota Chapter Chair Matt Lee. “Expanding the public land estate within Minnesota through working with Pheasants Forever and all the Public Lands Pavilion partners has been an amazing experience.”
BHA thanks Pheasants Forever and all the partners in this project. We’re looking forward to building on this momentum – and we’re already anticipating the next opportunity to collaborate in the name of conservation, public access and our outdoor legacy.
Check out Hal Herring’s recent interview with Howard Vincent on BHA’s Podcast & Blast.
Event photos courtesy of Minnesota BHA Chair Matt Lee