Federal Premium® and Ruffed Grouse Society Partner for Habitat and Awareness
ANOKA, MN—Federal Premium® is partnering with the Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS) to improve habitat and awareness in one of the most hunted wildlife management areas in the state of Minnesota—The 39,000 acre Mille Lacs WMA and its famed Cranberry Unit. Timber cutting, prescribed burns and the construction of a permanent habitat management kiosk will begin this fall with a donation from Federal of $10,000.
The Mille Lacs WMA is a public hunting area that was the source of extensive research and management tactics employed by the late Gordon Guillion. It is home to the Cranberry Unit—once a prime example for how to properly manage forests for the benefit of ruffed grouse and now facing maturity. With a donation from Federal, RGS will begin to rehab this popular area and assemble a permanent kiosk to make hunters aware of the need for habitat management and the work of organizations like RGS.
“The Ruffed Grouse Society is pleased to partner with Federal, a long time supporter of conservation, on the Mille Lacs project as it is consistent with our mission to promote early successional forests,” said Mike Zagata, Executive Director of RGS. “In doing this, Federal will provide direct benefit to the sportsmen and women of their home state of Minnesota.”
The Mille Lacs WMA is located in central Minnesota just over an hour drive from the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area. The Cranberry Unit can be found on the western edge, in close proximity to Hwy 169. This unique and popular area is where Guillion tested the shape and size of clearcut patches and prescribed burns to determine optimum habitat for ruffed grouse. A team of both undergraduate and graduate researchers spent years measuring the results of these practices and determined that it was possible to increase grouse numbers through these intensive habitat management methods.
The Cranberry Unit was once known as the model habitat for ruffed grouse and woodcock hunting due to its intense management. However, little cutting has taken place in recent years to rejuvenate and maintain this prime location. Much of the unit today is covered by forest stands of mature aspen in danger of converting to hardwoods less ideal for ruffed grouse.
According to outgoing Conservation Manager Bill Stevens, “Federal pledges to help RGS return the Cranberry Unit to its former showcase status as a grouse management area through their proven timber harvest and prescribed burning techniques. We’re excited to get this program underway and the educational kiosk is a great way to keep hunters informed of the important work happening on the lands they hunt.”
The kiosk will be located at the parking lot of the Cranberry Unit and will provide an educational resource for hunters and the public. It will be a wood sheltered structure with one segment dedicated to grouse habitat, another to grouse and woodcock biology, and the third to the historic research that took place on this unit.
For more information on how you can join the ruffed grouse habitat cause, visit www.ruffedgrousesociety.org.
About Federal Cartridge Company
Headquartered in Anoka, Minnesota, Federal Cartridge Company has been providing hunters and shooters with high-quality rimfire, centerfire and shotshell ammunition since 1922. It pioneered the Premium category of ammunition and is part of the world’s leading ammunition manufacturer, ATK Ammunition Systems Group. For more information on Federal, visit www.federalpremium.com.
About ATK Ammunition Systems Group
Headquartered in Anoka, Minnesota, ATK Ammunition Systems Group is a leading supplier of small and medium caliber military ammunition, ammunition propellant, commercial and military smokeless powder, law enforcement and sporting ammunition, ammunition related products and an operator of two U.S. Army ammunition manufacturing plants. The organization employs approximately 5,000 people. More information is available at www.outdoorwriters.atk.com.
ATK is a $4 billion advanced weapon and space systems company employing approximately 16,500 people in 21 states. News and information can be found on the Internet at www.atk.com.
About Ruffed Grouse Society
Established in 1961, the Ruffed Grouse Society is the one international wildlife conservation organization dedicated to promoting conditions suitable for ruffed grouse, American woodcock and related wildlife to sustain our sport hunting tradition and outdoor heritage. Information on the RGS, its mission, management projects and membership can be found on the web at: www.ruffedgrousesociety.org.