St. Paul, Minn. – Jan. 5, 2021 – Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are proud to announce the promotion of Ron Leathers as the organization’s first-ever Chief Conservation Officer. In his new role, Leathers will provide strategic direction and oversight to the organization’s government affairs, education & outreach, and conservation delivery & field operations teams.
“As the organization continues to grow to meet the habitat needs of our cherished uplands, the National Board of Directors and I saw the need to better align our organization’s leadership with our conservation delivery functions under one shared vision,” stated Howard Vincent, president and CEO of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever. “Throughout his career, Ron Leathers has demonstrated a savvy business acumen that’s grounded in biological science and coupled with an unwavering passion for our favorite birds. I’m thrilled for Ron to lead our habitat mission into 2021 and beyond.”
Leathers began his wildlife career with the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies in Washington, D.C. working on recruitment and retention of hunters through licensing automation. From there, he moved to Nebraska as an ag programs biologist for Nebraska Game and Parks before joining Pheasants Forever as one of the organization’s first Farm Bill biologists. Leathers moved to St. Paul, Minnesota in 2004 to take over administration of Pheasants Forever’s grants program before being promoted to director of public finance in 2008.
During his tenure with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, Leathers has been integral to the organization’s relationships with the United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Land Management. Leathers is a board member of the Intermountain West Joint Venture and helped to lead the organization’s expansion into sage grouse conservation through partnerships with federal and state land management agencies in the West. He was the first Pheasants Forever team member to participate in the National Conservation Leadership Institute in 2009 and was recognized as the organization’s Most Valued Employee in 2012.
“Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s members and employees are some of the most passionate conservationists in the country. I’m so grateful for this opportunity and incredibly excited to work with this team of talented individuals as we deliver our habitat mission for years to come,” expressed Leathers.
Leathers, his wife Sarah, and their two children reside in the Twin Cities, but their roots still run deep in their native state of Wyoming.
About Pheasants Forever
Pheasants Forever, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever, is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 138,000 members and 760 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Since creation in 1982, Pheasants Forever has spent over $900 million on 550,000 habitat projects benefiting 19 million acres nationwide. In fact, more than 200,000 of those acres are now permanently protected as public lands.
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