How Pheasants Forever Works

Male Pheasant, Phasianus colchicus, Big Waters Nature Reserve
Male Pheasant, Phasianus colchicus, Big Waters Nature Reserve
Andrew Howe/Photodisc/Getty Images

Phasianus colchicu­s. This may mean nothing to you, but if you revert back to your childhood a bit, it might sound like something out of a Wile E. Coyote cartoon. Phasianus colchicus is the real Latin name for the bird who mimics the same style of sprinting as the Road Runner when being chased -- the pheasant. And much like the Road Runner, this sleek bird has become a star in its own right, inspiring a conservation group called Pheasants Forever (PF).

PF is one of the largest conservation groups in North America with more than 115,000 members in Canada and the United States [source: Pheasants Forever]. This unique group of farmers, ranchers, wildlife specialists, hunters and non-hunters is a grassroots effort to save the habitat and heritage of the ringneck pheasant as well as other wild creatures and their environment. County chapters can be found in almost every state, and each chapter works locally to determine and develop fundraising dollars within its regional community. PF hosts annual fundraising banquets to earn money for operations, and its locally-led model of operation and efficiency in wildlife education, management and optimism has become nationally recognized [source: Pheasants Forever].

­But how did this less flashy -- and much slower -- bird get his own following? And how does this homegrown organization work? Let's take a closer look to see what got this group going, its mission, membership process and fun facts about PF.