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OUTDOORS: Woodcock society aims to address habitat

by The Indiana Gazette on February 18, 2014 10:20 AM

CORAOPOLIS — The Ruffed Grouse Society has announced the creation of the American Woodcock Society to expand forest habitat efforts and upland hunting opportunities to new landscapes across the nation.

“The formation of the American Woodcock Society is a landmark event for forest conservation in the United States,” John Eichinger, RGS/AWS president and CEO, said. “The Ruffed Grouse Society has been the leader in woodcock conservation for decades. The creation of AWS expands existing efforts while advancing habitat creation and membership reach to additional regions that may not have ruffed grouse populations.”

While grouse and woodcock share similar habitats, they don’t coexist across all landscapes, and AWS advances forest management and mission outreach to states that may not have grouse populations, especially in the southern U.S., where the majority of woodcock spend the winter months. Enhancing habitat in these regions also benefits many songbirds and other wildlife that rely on young forest habitats. In addition, these regions continue to have a strong bird-hunting culture, and the habitat created by RGS/AWS will strengthen and expand these sporting traditions.

“The goal of our organization is, and always has been, to preserve our sporting traditions by creating healthy forests for grouse, woodcock and other forest wildlife,” Eichinger said. “At this crucial time in forest management from Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico, the AWS allows us to positively affect our nation’s forests and to spread awareness of our mission to a significantly larger group of supporters. The bottom line is that RGS and AWS will be able to collectively benefit more members, officials, conservationists and hunters who are passionate about the birds we love,”

For information on AWS habitat efforts, chapters or membership, call (412) 262-4044 or email aws@ruffedgrousesociety.org.

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