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Pair of new Pheasants Forever Farm Bill Wildlife Biologists in Kansas
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Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever announce the addition of two new Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist positions in Kansas. Kirby Calhoun will cover Dickenson, Clay, Ottawa and nearby counties, while Mark Witecha will be covering Ness, Lane, Hodgeman and nearby counties. The positions were created in partnership with the Kansas division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.
Pheasants Forever’s Farm Bill Biologists provide on the ground technical assistance to farmers putting into practice the benefits of federal Farm Bill conservation programs (such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Conservation Reserve Program). They also assist farmers in implementing various programs and practices recommended by Pheasants Forever and partner organizations. Pheasants Forever has more than 60 Farm Bill Biologists working from Pennsylvania to Idaho.
“I am really excited about the additions to the growing Kansas Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever team,” said Steve Riley, Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist Manager with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, “They come with some great experiences, and both are just finishing up their Master’s degrees. They will be able to immediately help us achieve our habitat goals.”
Kirby Calhoun will complete his Masters degree in Wildlife from Texas A&M this year. Previous to this, Calhoun spent 2010 working for the U.S. Forest Service as a Wildlife Biologist. Kirby has four years of military experience in the Army, during which he was well decorated. Kirby is based out of the NRCS Service Center in Abilene and can be reached at (785) 263-1351 / Email Kirby.
Not new to conservation organizations, Witecha previously interned at the Aldo Leopold Foundation near his home in south central Wisconsin. Witecha will join Pheasants Forever in early June after finishing his Master’s of Science at Texas A&M - Kingsville, where he has been studying the effects of wildfire and drought on the abundance, movement and species richness of small mammals. Witecha will be based out of the Ness City Service Center and can be reached at (785) 263-1351 / Email Mark.
Pheasants Forever, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever, is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 135,000 members and 700 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Chapters are empowered to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation funds are spent, the only national conservation organization that operates through this truly grassroots structure