Helping to fund and expand organization’s permanent habitat programs
Des Moines, Iowa – Jan. 17, 2023 – Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are proud to announce the hiring of Eric Sytsma as the organization’s first habitat protection officer. A longtime employee of the organization in the state of Iowa, Sytsma’s new primary role will be to accelerate efforts to permanently protect habitat in priority upland bird landscapes.
“Eric’s passion for the organization’s Build a Wildlife Area® program was obvious in his efforts with chapters to build and grow the program in Iowa,” said Matt Holland, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s vice president of grant development. “We are so excited to expand Eric’s role that brings a programmatic approach across a larger landscape, increasing our ability to partner and deliver our collective vision for pheasants and quail, while creating hunter access opportunities.”
Sytsma has been instrumental in providing wildlife habitat conservation solutions for farmers and landowners in southern Iowa since he began working for Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever in 2010 as a Farm Bill wildlife biologist. In 2014, he took on the role as a regional representative in the Hawkeye State and was promoted to senior regional representative in 2020. A lifelong Iowa resident who enjoys hunting and fishing, Sytsma earned a Bachelor of Science degree in animal ecology from Iowa State University.
As the organization’s habitat protection officer, Sytsma will work to develop relationships with agency partners, willing sellers and donors, and other stakeholders to accelerate Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s permanent protection efforts. He will participate in the development and execution of landscape-level land protection plans that align with PF & QF’s strategic plan, as well as streamlining and building out protection protocols and processes to achieve permanent habitat protection efficiently and effectively.
“Working with our incredible partners and supporters to permanently protect wildlife habitat and open it to the public is a critical part of our organizations mission, and something I’m personally very passionate about,” said Eric Sytsma. “I’m excited to be in this new role working with a great team to expand our capacity to do more!”
About Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever make up the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. This community of more than 400,000 members, supporters and partners is dedicated to the protection of our uplands through habitat improvement, public access, education and advocacy. A network of 754 local chapters spread across North America determine how 100 percent of their locally raised funds are spent — the only national conservation organization that operates through this grassroots structure. Since its creation in 1982, the organization has dedicated more than $1 billion to 567,500 habitat projects benefiting 22 million acres.