UMC Hosts Prairie Grouse Technical Council Conference

A male prairie chicken displays on a northwest Minnesota booming grounds. (Forum News Service photo)

Prairie grouse take center stage Thursday through Saturday, when conservationists from across the U.S. and Canada gather at the University of Minnesota-Crookston to share info and appreciation of prairie grouse populations.

The 30th meeting of the Prairie Grouse Technical Council begins at 5:30 p.m. Thursday with registration and a reception in the Prairie Room of Sargeant Student Center on the UMC campus.

According to a news release from UMC, conference participants will hear about the impact of changing land use, energy development and Farm Bill programs such as the Conservation Reserve Program on prairie grouse populations across their range. Biologists and graduate students will present technical papers on research and conservation programs in efforts to reduce factors which are limiting populations. In addition to various prairie grouse reports, the event will include a business meeting and a field trip to local prairie grouse habitat.

“We’re fortunate in northwest Minnesota to have both sharp-tailed grouse and the greater prairie chicken living side by side and enjoyed by students, researchers, sportsmen and nature lovers,” said Dan Svedarsky, conference organizer, UMC wildlife professor and research biologist at the Northwest Research and Outreach Center.

In addition to primary sponsorship by the University of Minnesota, other sponsors include the Crookston Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Minnesota Prairie Chicken Society, Truax Co., the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Nature Conservancy.

Registration for the full conference is $150 per attendee. For more information, contact Svedarsky at (218) 281-8129 or