RGS History 2010's


The 2010's -- Full Force Drumming Continues Ever Louder...



The Ruffed Grouse Society’s roots are in the mountains. The organization, founded in the small Virginia town of Monterey, in the mountainous country near the West Virginia border, was granted a Virginia charter dated October 24, 1961 as The Ruffed Grouse Society of America.

RGS continues to adapt to meet the new demands of a "smaller" world. New leadership will again take RGS ahead with new plans and initiatives.

What RGS can accomplish in the future, however, will owe much to past investments and achievements, a half century of building on the principles of sound science and commonsense forest management. 

2010 and Beyond


Standing Tall - Ruffed Grouse by Brian Jarvi
RGS Print of the Year for 2010, Standing Tall - Ruffed Grouse painted by Brian Jarvi, Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

Individual state Drummer Funds are created to make monies raised by local chapters through sportsmen's banquets and other chapter activities available for projects. The funds set aside in one year will be allocated to projects in the following year. RGS staff modify logo and begin planning and announcements about next year's 50th anniversary celebration.

Thomas Hoffman, Pittsburgh, PA elected to RGS Board of Directors. After serving for 25 years director and past-president, Joe Irwin, retires from the board as does Steve Quill who served for 16 years.

Cooperative Project with CONSOL Energy Evolves: RGS sold its first timber sale on behalf of CONSOL Energy in southwestern Pennsylvania in August.

Mark Lindstrom, Pennslvania, was the Under Broken Wings recipient for 2010. He and his family attended the NGWH in Grand Rapids, MN.



RGS Print of the Year for 2011, Fan Dancer - Ruffed Grouse painted by Gerald Putt, Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania.

The 50th Anniversary Commemorative Publication is published in early 2011 and pre-orders mailed in January. It garners an APEX Grand Award Winner for publication excellence.

RGS names Dr. Larry Visser as its new Eastern Great Lakes Regional Wildlife Biologist and Dr. Linda Ordiway of Bradford, Pennsylvania as its Mid-Atlantic/Appalachian Regional Biologist.

Having served 11 years, Scotty Searle retired from the RGS board of directors. Bruce Ogle and Terry Wilson also retired.

The Grand Rapids, MN Chapter's National Grouse & Woodcock Hunt, designed to showcase and encourage use of hunting dogs, both pointers and retrievers, when pursuing ruffed grouse and woodcock, turned 25 in mid-October. Keano Munoz, New York, the Under Broken Wings recipient for 2011 and his family attended the NGWH.

RGS turned 50 years old on October 24!!

RGS creates the Ruffed Grouse Society Doubles Club with pins for current RGS members who shoot a "true double": two ruffed grouse, two American woodcock or one of each on a simultaneous flush with one or two shots.



RGS Print of the Year for 2012, Old Stone Wall - Ruffed Grouse painted by Cole Johnson, Deposit, NY.

RGS appears on three different television outdoor shows.

RGS formally announces the Upper Mississippi Habitat Initiative in Minnesota in April.

President & CEO Mike Zagata retires and is replaced by John Eichinger in late May.

Daniel Dessecker, RGS Director of Conservation Policy, named by USDA Agricultural Secretary to his 21-member planning rule advisory group, representing commercial or recreational hunting and fishing interests.

Following on the heels of the 2011 APEX award for the 50th Anniversary Publication, RGS has won two awards for Ruffed Grouse Society magazine - Magazine/Journal Design and Layout, and for Editor Anna Stubna's, Editor’s Log during the 2012 APEX 24th Annual Awards.

A joint project between the USFS and RGS publishes newly available maps of potential ruffed grouse and blue grouse habitat on national forests in Oregon and Washington.

Amicus Curiae (friend of the court) brief, on behalf of RGS, was filed in August with the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). This is an important milestone in RGS' 51 year history by taking RGS’ advocacy for wise and careful management of our nation’s forests to the highest court in the land. This was a joint effort by attorney Ryan Woody and RGS staff members Dan Dessecker and Gary Zimmer in response to a 2011 9th Circuit Court ruling that rainwater runoff from forest roads caused by timber harvest activity is an "industrial pollutant".

Matt Grgurich, Michigan, was the Under Broken Wings recipient for 2012. He and his family attended the NGWH in Grand Rapids, MN.

Shane Mengel, Manhattan Beach, CA elected to RGS board of directors and Dennis Karnosky retires.


2013 (partial)

RGS Print of the Year for 2013, The Fall Shuffle painted by Christopher Smith, Interlochen, MI.

New Ruffed Grouse Society editor named - Matthew Soberg.

In a case in which RGS filed an Amicus Curiae brief in 2012, SCOTUS reversed the 9th Circuit Court decision concerning rainwater runoff from forest roads caused by timber harvest activity.

Gary Zimmer, the Ruffed Grouse Society’s coordinating biologist, was appointed to the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board by Governor Scott Walker.

RGS Logo 2013
Redesigned logo includes new tag lines.

Grant received from Richard King Mellon Foundation for information technology hardware replacement and software upgrades, new habitat equipment and development of Consulting Forester Workshops

Ruffed Grouse Society Editor's and Habitat Blogs were started.

Ruffed Grouse Society magazine wins 2013 APEX Award For Publication Excellence, following two won in 2012.

Jade Vickers, Illinois, was the Under Broken Wings recipient for 2013. She and her family attended the NGWH in Grand Rapids, MN.

Terry Wilson was re-elected to the RGS board of directors after taking some time off and David Moore, Lake Forest, IL was elected.

Membership rates and levels changes for 2014 and beyond announced.


What will the future hold for RGS? We hope you will want to help RGS grow in its ability to influence habitat decisions and to develop more ruffed grouse and American woodcock habitat that also benefits a host of other wildlife species. Become a volunteer or member today. Click the Join & Renew Direct link in the upper right of the site.

After the 1977 restructuring that ushered in a new era, RGS fills a unique niche in the conservation world. No other organization dedicates itself to the improvement of forest wildlife habitat, and does so by actively seeking partnerships with those who have primary responsibility for the forests, including both public land managers and private landowners. At the core of the Society’s philosophy is that forests can be managed by science-based methods that benefit both the forests and the wildlife species that live within them.

At 50 years old in 2011, and with the last half-century a time of the Ruffed Grouse Society’s growing in complexity to meet the mounting challenges of forest wildlife habitat conservation, there have been remarkable changes. But what hasn’t changed is the attitude that started the whole thing.

“For all of us, it was a labor of love,” said Bruce Richardson, RGS’ first president, many years ago.

It remains so today.

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Created February 20, 2012
Revised Nov. 21, 2013


Mission Statement

Established in 1961, the Ruffed Grouse Society is North America's foremost conservation organization dedicated to preserving our sporting traditions by creating healthy forest habitat for ruffed grouse, American woodcock and other wildlife. RGS works with landowners and government agencies to develop critical habitat utilizing scientific management practices.

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