The Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) recently helped establish three wildlife management cooperatives that unite public and private hunting lands for better deer habitat and hunting thanks in part to a $50,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). The three cooperatives – two in Oklahoma and one in Michigan – are built on and around National Wildlife Refuges and encompass nearly 65,000 acres of public and private hunting land.
Wildlife management cooperatives (WMC) are groups of neighboring landowners or property lessees working together to improve wildlife and/or habitat management programs. The grant to establish the three new WMCs was announced last September, and as of late March, all three Cooperatives have now been launched:
· The Shiawassee Flats QDM Cooperative, which surrounds the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Michigan, was formed on March 12 and includes 25 individual landowners and 12,039 acres.
· The Washita River Deer Management Association, which surrounds Washita River NWR in Oklahoma, was formed on March 26 and includes 12 individual landowners and 40,311 acres.
· The Deep Fork Deer Management Association, which surrounds Deep Fork NWR in Oklahoma, was formed on March 28 and includes 15 individual landowners and 12,484 acres.
QDMA’s Director of Education and Outreach Kip Adams and Certification Programs Manager Matt Ross helped launch the cooperatives and will meet with the groups again in five to six months. QDMA will oversee each WMC during the first year of establishment to ensure continued success. After year one, QDMA will remain involved as a member and turn oversight of the WMCs over to the respective NWR managers.
QDMA is dedicated to ensuring the future of white-tailed deer, wildlife habitat and our hunting heritage. Founded in 1988, QDMA is a national nonprofit wildlife conservation organization with nearly 50,000 members in all 50 states and Canada. To learn more about QDMA and why it is the future of deer hunting, call 800-209-3337 or visit www.QDMA.com. QDMA can also be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheQDMA and Twitter at www.twitter.com/TheQDMA.