No other wildlife conservation organization is dedicated to protecting and restoring and creating early successional forests that provide habitat for ruffed grouse, woodcock and songbirds.
Managing habitat for ruffed grouse is accomplished primarily by judicious logging – and usually clear-cut logging – which is widely unpopular among environmental activists who take a rigid and oftentimes myopic "preservationist" approach to managing natural resources. There is also a growing antipathy towards habitat manipulation as a method of resource management among younger, more liberal environmental scientists and wildlife biologists who advocate a hands-off philosophy towards forest management. Moreover, some organizations are quick to seize on any potentially unpopular aspect of the sport to further their emotional appeal to restrict or eliminate sport hunting using changes in local ordinances, zoning regulations and hunting prohibitions of state and federal land.
Habitat Management is Essential to the Future of Grouse and Woodcock Hunting. Grouse and woodcock habitat must be responsibly and intelligently managed to maintain or grow grouse populations, whether it be by private landowners or government agencies. Left unmanaged, even the best habitat will outgrow its ability to provide grouse with food, cover and protection from predators – and populations will decline.
These factors, combined with a general misunderstanding of the benefits of active forest management can generate negative public opinion about forest products and natural resources industries.
While so-called "old growth" forests are both visually and emotionally appealing, they are no friends to wildlife, whether they be ruffed grouse, woodcock, whitetail deer, golden-winged warblers or the dozens of species of other songbirds and other forest creatures that rely on young forest habitats. But this is an argument that we are sure to lose in the court of general public opinion, and it has the potential to create more problems than it resolves.
Your membership, contributions, and participation at chapter banquets and other RGS events will help fund much needed research, education and habitat improvement which is essential to the preservation of quality grouse hunting in the future.
For nearly the past 50 years, The Ruffed Grouse Society has actively participated in the restoration or improvement of 500,000 acres of land on federal, state and country lands.
RGS is the only national/international organization dedicated to the preservation and improvement of grouse hunting and critical grouse habitat through research, education and active participation in habitat management projects.