About Us
About MSGS

The Minnesota Sharp-Tailed Grouse Society (MSGS) was founded in 1986 by
Roche Lally of Duluth.

MSGS is “dedicated to the management and restoration of sharptails in
Minnesota for hunters and non-hunters” and works hard towards that goal.

With around 300 members, it has provided funding to DNR for prescribed
burning equipment, printing of informational brochures, land acquisition, and
habitat management. MSGS builds and maintains observation blinds,
publishes a quarterly newsletter, and sponsors an annual habitat management
project. In the last three years, MSGS has received $236,120 in state Heritage
Enhancement Grant for contracted habitat work on WMA’s.

MSGS’s success hatched three other groups, The Wisconsin Sharp-tailed
Grouse Society, The Michigan Sharp-tailed Grouse Association, and Sharptails
Plus of Manitoba.

After 18 years at the helm of MSGS, Lally is still enthusiastic about sharptails,
and has watched his old hunting grounds in St. Louis County again have
huntable sharptails.
Male sharpie dancing.
Photo courtesy of Mike Paulbeck.
Male sharptail strutting.

When the Minnesota Sharp-tailed Grouse Society (MSGS) was founded in
1986, its goal was to keep the sharptail from going extinct in Minnesota. MSGS
hoped that through education of both the public and resource managers,
renewed interest in the sharptail and its habitat would generate additional
funding from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for habitat
work on public and private lands. Fairly soon, MSGS had a membership base
of about 300 members and a Board of Directors. MSGS adopted bylaws and
became incorporated, and was approved by the IRS as a 501-C tax-exempt

MSGS soon had various fund raisers. There were annual raffles for a shotgun
and other prizes, and other types of fund raisers. While there was never a
bulging treasury, MSGS was able to get a lot done for a small organization.
Following is a summary of some accomplishments.

  • Donated $500 to DNR for repair of a J-7 Bombardier tracked vehicle for
    use in prescribed burning.
  • Obtained small grain seed for giving to farmers to seed food plots on
    private land.
  • Donated $1,000 to DNR for equipping support trailers for heli-torch
    prescribed burning.
  • Purchased promotional materials for cooperators in Conservation
    Reserve Program sign-ups.
  • Printed a MSGS Sharptail Management Guide for private landowners.
  • Assisted DNR in printing Wildlife Research Bulletin No. 10, Sharp-tailed
    Grouse in Minnesota.
  • Hosted bi-annual Spring Fling Meetings.
  • Sponsored annual habitat management winter brush cutting projects in
    northern Minnesota.
  • Donated $700 to DNR to pay DNR Technicians for overtime in
    prescribed burning.
  • Donated $500 to DNR for printing its Sharp-tailed Grouse Management
    on Private Lands brochure.
  • Recipient of the Minnesota Chapter of The Wildlife Society Conservation
    Award in 1999.
  • Donated building materials to DNR for building sharptail observation
  • Helped obtain a $300,000 LCMR grant to research the feasibility of
    brush biomass for energy.
  • Received a $30,000 grant from LCMR to evaluate brush savannas in
    east-central Minnesota.
  • Donated to the Long Lake Conservation Center building fund.
  • Helped form sharptail advocate organizations in Wisconsin, Michigan,
    and Manitoba.
  • Participated in DNR’s Long Range Sharptail Management Planing
    process, and the Hunting Round-table.
  • Since 1986 sponsored a hands-on brush-land winter habitat project,
    which has resulted in the management of hundreds of acres of habitat.
  • Received over $500,000 in Heritage Enhancement habitat grants from
    DNR since 2002 which enabled MSGS to manage several thousand
    acres of open land habitat using shearing, hydro-axing, prescribed
    burning, mowing, and hand cutting.

That’s just a partial list of what MSGS has accomplished in its short life. But
without a doubt, MSGS’s greatest feat has been the public education of
sharptails and their habitat, for the benefit of hunters and non-hunters alike.
That goal will persist as foremost as long as MSGS is around.

For a more complete listing of what MSGS has done, please request a list from
Copyright 2008-2017 Minnesota Sharp-Tailed Grouse Society.
Pre-burn sharptail habitat.
Post-burn sharptail habitat.
      MSGS Board of Directors:

Executive Board:

  • President - Dave Pauly
  • Vice President - Kyle Arola
  • Secretary - Martha Minchak
  • Treasurer - Derek Frost

Regional Representatives:

  • NW MN Rep – Scott Laudenslager
  • NE MN Rep – Jeremy Maslowski
  • SW MN Rep – Walt Gessler
  • SE MN Rep - Vacant

Coordinators/Committee Chairs:

  • Habitat – Dave Pauly, Jamie
  • Outreach/Newsletters – Melissa
  • Website/Facebook – Matt Breuer
  • Membership – Dave Dickey
  • Fundraising/Merchandise – Bailey
  • Student Advisor – Bill Faber

Directors At Large:

  • Roche Lally
  • Bill Berg
  • Jamie Slade

MN DNR Representative:

  • Jodie Provost
Sharptail in the snow.
Photo courtesy of Terry Crayne