Properly conducted prescribed burns (also called “controlled burns”) have multiple benefits, according to Johnny Stowe, wildlife biologist for the S.C. Department of Natural Resources. Prescribed fires help restore and maintain vital habitat for wildlife, including bobwhite quail and other grassland birds, wild turkeys, white-tailed deer, gopher tortoises, and red-cockaded woodpeckers, reports the Times and Democrat of South Carolina.
Visitors at many of Georgia’s state parks, wildlife management areas and natural areas this winter are in for a treat: an up-close glimpse of habitat restoration in progress as trained “firelighters” set controlled, prescribed fires to the forest understory.
These dormant-season burns, taking place outside most plants’ active growing season, improve habitat for dozens of native plant and animal species by opening up overgrown areas of the forest floor. READ MORE
The Army is conducting prescribed burns at the Blue Grass Army Depot in Richmond Kentucky February through April. The burns are designed to support deer, turkey and bobwhite quail recovery areas, and several species of birds that require similar habitat, reports the Richmond (KY) Register.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is offering a one-time incentive payment of $100 per acre for farmers to plant wide (50 feet or more average width) native grass buffers on crop fields under a 10-year contract in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).
Speaking Friday at National Pheasant Fest 2011 in Omaha, Nebraska, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the next general signup for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) will begin on March 14, 2011, and continue through April 15, 2011.
Georgia Wildlife Federation will launch an effort to repeal new fees that have caused sales and renewal of special license plates for wildlife programs (including the state’s Bobwhite Quail Initiative) to plummet, says The Augusta Chronicle’s Rob Pavey.
A significant increase in the price of specialty license plates by the Georgia legislature, including a plate that funds Georgia’s Bobwhite Quail Initiative, is creating a backlash in the Peach State. Check out the January 26, 2011 report by Glover Housman at OnlineAthens.
Journal of Quail Conservation
NBCI continues to be recognized in various outdoor media. Tom Davis, in HELP WANTED: FOR THE BOBWHITE QUAIL, a story in the Quail Forever Journal of Quail Conservation, Spring 2010 edition, page 47: “To be sure, there are state game departments – those in Missouri and Mississippi come to mind – working valiantly to restore quail on properties under their supervision and, with the help of local Quail Forever chapters, to provide landowners with the expertise to implement quail-friendly management practices. The Northern Bobwhite Conservation Initiative, a plan for restoring quail populations to 1980 levels across most of the bird’s American range, is another positive step.”
NBCI Gets ESPN Outdoors Mention
January 26, 2009
Keith Sutton, in WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR QUAIL?, a story on the ESPN web, January 26, 2009: “The brightest news for bobwhite quail and quail hunters is a new program called the Northern Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI).”
1st Area to Achieve Habitat Restoration Goals of the NBCI
The first-in-the-nation area to achieve the habitat restoration goals of the Northern Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) is in the lowlands of southeastern Missouri. The resulting increase in habitat and quail has benefited quail hunters, bird enthusiasts and the local economy. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) stepped-down the NBCI plan with habitat restoration targets for each county in the state. The Scott County habitat restoration goal, in the midst of the intensively agricultural Mississippi Delta region, was 4,500 acres. This quail restoration success story was made possible by USDA Farm Bill programs.
This success validates the NBCI’s vision—MDC’s implementation strategy, the land’s capability to produce abundant wild bobwhites, Farm Bill programs and USDA agencies’ ability to deliver ample quality habitat, and landowners’ willingness to provide wildlife habitat when incentives are right.