Berggren Plan for Pheasants
This updated plan seeks to improve the pheasant hunting experience in Nebraska with an emphasis on improving habitat and increasing public access in key areas.
Since their introduction to Nebraska around 1900, ring-necked pheasants have become a fixture of the state’s agricultural landscape and cultural heritage. Populations 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 quality pheasant hunting opportunities in many Nebraska landscapes, particularly where winter wheat and other small grains are no longer 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 Commission’s mission is to provide the best pheasant hunting experience possible for the largest number of people over the next five years. The Berggren Plan 2.0 update seeks to build on past successes, expand partnerships throughout the state and continue to direct pheasant management activities in the most cost-effective way possible.
- Consider all manageable aspects of the pheasant hunting experience, with habitat and hunter access remaining our cornerstone activities;
- Concentrate work where it will be most effective (i.e., where habitat, hunter access and community support come together) based on sound science;
- Set realistic management targets and expectations, and use our financial and human resources as efficiently as possible to meet them; and
- 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 objectives. 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.
- 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. 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.
Berggren Plan Public Input
In 2021, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission encouraged the public to provide input on a draft of the updated Berggren Plan, which will guide pheasant management in Nebraska over the next five years. The public provided input through a comment form and during a virtual public input meeting held on Dec. 8, 2021.
Part of the Berggren Pheasant Plan involves targeting financial incentives for habitat work that benefits pheasants within specific regions of Nebraska. Interested landowners are encouraged to contact their local Game & Parks Biologist (private lands) or Pheasants Forever Farm Bill Biologist for more information.