2022 Berggren Plan Web

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6 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Since their introduction to Nebraska around 1900, pheasants have become a fixture of the state's agricultural landscape and cultural heritage� Population levels have ebbed and flowed with changes in agricultural land-use and farming practices, which often are driven by technological advancements and federal farm policies� Current policies, along with more efficient farming practices, have created substantial challenges to providing consistently good pheasant hunting in many Nebraska landscapes, particularly where winter wheat and other small grains no longer are part of crop rotations� If pheasant hunters are to have satisfying experiences within these landscapes, and to remain satisfied in our current pheasant strongholds, active management will be necessary� The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission's mission is to provide the best pheasant hunting experiences possible for the largest number of people over the next five years� The Berggren Plan 2�0 seeks to build on past successes, expand partnerships throughout the state, and continue to direct pheasant management activities in most cost- effective way possible� Our guiding principles are: • We will consider all manageable aspects of the pheasant hunting experience, with habitat and hunter access remaining our cornerstone activities� • We will concentrate work where it will be most effective (i�e�, where habitat, hunter access, and community support come together) based on sound science� • We will set realistic management targets and expectations and use our financial and human resources as efficiently as possible to meet them� • We will foster strong partnerships with other public entities, private conservation organizations, and local communities in reaching our shared goals� We created a comprehensive conceptual model to identify all the major factors involved in reaching our objective (Figure 1)� The model proposes four primary driving factors, or "drivers," that influence hunting experiences, each working within a policy and funding environment, and further identifies a suite of factors that can impact each driver� Stated as directional goals, those drivers include: • Increase pheasant abundance • Increase hunter access to land holding pheasants • Increase the number of pheasant hunters • Manage hunter expectations appropriately Of those drivers, increasing pheasant abundance and hunter access to land represent the cornerstone activities that most directly influence hunting experiences� We recommend a targeted approach focusing these efforts in areas of the state where they will be most effective, based on science and past experience� Combined across the priority areas, these efforts consist of more than 286,000 acres of additional habitat improvements and more than 46,000 acres of additional hunting access� Substantial public-private partnerships will be required to implement this ambitiously comprehensive initiative but doing so will create wide-ranging benefits for Nebraska's hunters, environment and rural economy�

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