Shelterbelts help upland game birds in the cold!
By angelamontana

Posted: February 12, 2021
Here is a cool post from FWP about shelterbelts and how you can help wildlife with one yourself:
shelterbeltWhat temp is it today where you live? -4 or maybe -30? BRRR! When temperatures plunge below zero, the wind howls, and it snows sideways, everyone eventually wonders– how will wildlife survive this?
For upland game birds living in agricultural areas of the state, like pheasants, sharp-tailed grouse, and Hungarian partridge, the answer is often to find a shelterbelt! Shelterbelts are rows of shrubs and trees that have been planted to protect farmsteads, fields, livestock, and wildlife from severe weather on the Great Plains where natural shrub cover is very limited. Since 1990, Montana FWP’s Upland Game Bird Enhancement Program (UGBEP) has helped landowners establish nearly 400 shelterbelts to benefit wildlife in the eastern half of the state. This assistance includes covering the costs of materials, like shrub seedlings and fabric weed barrier; and providing technical advice about the right species to plant, the design, and best maintenance practices. By setting aside spots as small as ½ acre and planting a shelterbelt, landowners can provide a winter haven for wildlife for decades. If you or a landowner you know might be interested in planting shelterbelts for wildlife, contact your nearest FWP habitat specialist or visit fwp.mt.gov/ugbep