The National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) is moving to hire a new forestry coordinator for the 25-state effort after their first coordinator was recently hired to direct the new Shortleaf Pine Initiative. The job announcement and description can be accessed on the NBCI’s homepage at www.bringbackbobwhites.org, along with similar information for the new grasslands coordinator and data analyst positions.

“This is a critical position for us because we believe about half of the opportunity to restore bobwhites to recreationally viable populations across the species’ range are in forested landscapes,” said NBCI Director Don McKenzie. “There is a new shortleaf pine initiative to promote savannah habitats in that ecosystem primarily because of NBCI’s leadership and active involvement in its development, and we expect that to bear big fruit for bobwhites in the long term. So we intend to continue our aggressive leadership in the forestry arena on behalf of bobwhites.”

McKenzie says NBCI is looking for a forester with a wildlife background or a wildlife biologist with a strong forestry background. Preference will be give to those with a basic understanding of the ecological and economic aspects of integrating bobwhite management into forested habitats and who are very familiar with the NBCI and the NBTC, and with state wildlife and forestry agency structures and functions. The forestry coordinator will work primarily at regional and national levels as a liaison with and technical resource for a variety of entities, so is expected to travel extensively.

 

Headquartered at the University of Tennessee’s Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, NBCI is an initiative of the National Bobwhite Technical Committee (NBTC) to elevate bobwhite quail recovery from an individual state-by-state proposition to a range-wide leadership endeavor. The committee is comprised of representatives of 25 state wildlife agencies, academic research institutions and private conservation organizations. Support for NBCI is provided by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program, state wildlife agencies, the University of Tennessee and Park Cities Quail. For more information, please visit www.bringbackbobwhites.org,

Application Deadline Dec. 8

 

The National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) is taking the next big step necessary in fulfilling its mission following its recent designation of eligibility for Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration support from the states – hiring a spatial data analyst. An announcement for the position is posted on the University of Tennessee website. Application deadline is December 8.

The analyst, which has been in NBCI’s action plan for 3 years, will be part of the NBCI Coordinated Implementation Program (CIP) -- designed to achieve a consistent approach in developing and monitoring bobwhite focal areas across the range -- and will lead to the development of a centralized national data warehouse, and better services to the states in the design, implementation and analysis of NBCI bobwhite focal areas. 

“Most NBCI data is spatial, based on the software program, ArcGIS,” said NBCI Director Don McKenzie. “As such, we will be able to more fully develop the NBCI 2.0 Conservation Planning Tool for easier use by NBCI member states and other partners.”  These data are currently available via the Conservation Planning Atlas of the Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks Landscape Conservation Cooperative, http://gcpolcc.databasin.org/.

 “With the adoption of the CIP and the designation of NBCI as a Pittman-Robertson eligible national project, along with the resources that provides, bobwhite conservation has a new look, a stronger foundation of leadership by the states and new momentum. Filling this position is the next big step,” McKenzie said.

The position, IT Spatial Data Analyst III, is with University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA) Information Technology Services (ITS) department in conjunction with Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries (FWF) department, Knoxville, TN. The position will be based at the UTIA Knoxville campus. The application is available online at:  https://ut.taleo.net/careersection/jobdetail.ftl?job=140000018S&lang=en&sns_id=mailto

Questions about the position can be directed to Thomas V. Dailey, Ph.D., assistant director/science coordinator, National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , (573) 881-1782; or Robert Ridenour, executive director, Information Technology Services, University of Tennessee, Institute of Agriculture, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , (865) 974-8630.

 

Headquartered at the University of Tennessee’s Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, NBCI is an initiative of the National Bobwhite Technical Committee (NBTC) to elevate bobwhite quail recovery from an individual state-by-state proposition to a range-wide leadership endeavor. The committee is comprised of representatives of state wildlife agencies, academic research institutions and private conservation organizations. Support for NBCI is provided by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program, state wildlife agencies, the University of Tennessee and Park Cities Quail. For more information, please visit www.bringbackbobwhites.org,

 

Chuck Kowaleski, the chairman of the National Bobwhite Technical Committee (NBTC) and the Farm Bill coordinator for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), is the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) Directors 2014 Wildlife Biologist of the Year.  SEAFWA made the announcement at its annual meeting in Destin, Florida recently.                                                                                                                                                   

SEAFWA President Presents Plaque to Chuck  
   

 

Kowaleski chairs the NBTC, which is the founding body for and provides the technical guidance to the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI). Prior to the chairmanship, Kowaleski  also led the group’s Agricultural Policy Subcommittee and served as treasurer, secretary and vice chair.

With Texas Parks and Wildlife for 24 years, Kowaleski has spent the last 12 years as the state’s Farm Bill coordinator and liaison with USDA, working with various partners to implement programs to create special focus areas benefitting various wildlife species, including bobwhites. The areas have provided $35.3 million in federal cost share to 1,208 landowners in habitat improvements for priority species on 1.79 million acres. Over 325,000 of those acres were specifically for bobwhites.

Kowaleski is also very active in numerous advisory capacities with the national Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, including chairing the Environmental Quality Incentives Program Working Group.  He also is a leader in their work with NBCI to establish a national Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) policy favoring the use of native plants in Farm Bill programs and native grasses as federally-subsidized replacements for drought-susceptible, exotic pasture grasses that USDA traditionally promotes. 

Headquartered at the University of Tennessee’s Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, NBCI is an initiative of the National Bobwhite Technical Committee (NBTC) to elevate bobwhite quail recovery from an individual state-by-state proposition to a range-wide leadership endeavor. The committee is comprised of representatives of state wildlife agencies, academic research institutions and private conservation organizations. Support for NBCI is provided by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program, state wildlife agencies, the University of Tennessee and Park Cities Quail. For more information, please visit www.bringbackbobwhites.org,

Applauding the news, the director of the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) says the formal launch of the new Shortleaf Pine Initiative at the University of Tennessee is a “major victory” for bobwhite restoration … even if NBCI is losing its own forestry coordinator in the process.

The university recently announced establishment of the Shortleaf Pine Initiative and the hiring of NBCI Forestry Coordinator Mike Black as its director. The initiative is aimed at restoring much of the shortleaf pine savannah ecosystem across its range. The effort is supported by the U.S. Forest Service, UT and the Tennessee Division of Forestry.  

“In 2010, NBCI targeted the launch of a major national initiative for shortleaf pine savannah ecosystems, similar to the ongoing longleaf pine initiative, because these ecosystems were historically so important to widespread bobwhite populations,” said NBCI Director Don McKenzie. “And the forested landscape, especially southern pine forests, is where we see the majority of opportunity for bobwhite restoration to exist. Only four years after setting that goal not only has NBCI been successful in leading the launch of that shortleaf pine initiative, but we also have our own passionate quail guy, Mike Black, who served as our forestry coordinator, as its new director. Black, working on behalf of the NBCI, was a key champion in the conception, development and culmination of the initiative.

“And although we certainly hate to lose Mike, he isn’t the first and I suspect he won’t be the last. But each of our departing staff went to their new job as a champion for bobwhites and for NBCI, and in a position to help us advance our cause. We know Mike will do the same. Consequently, NBCI’s influence and impact across the bobwhite range only continues to grow,” said McKenzie.

 

For more information on the Shortleaf Initiative announcement, go to https://ag.tennessee.edu/news/Pages/NR-2014-11-SPIdirector.aspx

 

 

Headquartered at the University of Tennessee’s Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, NBCI is an initiative of the National Bobwhite Technical Committee (NBTC) to elevate bobwhite quail recovery from an individual state-by-state proposition to a range-wide leadership endeavor. The committee is comprised of representatives of state wildlife agencies, academic research institutions and private conservation organizations. Support for NBCI is provided by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program, state wildlife agencies, the University of Tennessee and Park Cities Quail. For more information, please visit www.bringbackbobwhites.org,

 

There was a major increase in bobwhite habitat management by the states in 2013 over the previous drought year and the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) was approved for funding from the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program. These are but two of the subjects detailed in the new NBCI’s Bobwhite Almanac, State of the Bobwhite 2014, the digital version of which is available on NBCI’s website at www.bringbackbobwhites.org.

Cover of State of the Bobwhite 2014 Report  
   

Additional topics include the positive impact on bobwhites of two national pine (longleaf and shortleaf) forest restoration initiatives, the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife’s ability to create four bobwhite focal areas in one the nation’s smallest, most densely populated states, the U.S. Forest Service’s approval of a bobwhite emphasis area in the Kisatchie National Forest in Louisiana and the designation of South Texas as the nation’s first “legacy landscape for bobwhite conservation.” 

“There are so many things moving in the right direction now,” said NBCI Director Don McKenzie. “States have shown their commitment by increasing their habitat management efforts and now by stepping up to actually fully fund NBCI through Pittman-Robertson or other sources. The states’ support will allow us to fill some critically-needed positions, including a grasslands coordinator and national bobwhite database manager that we’ve needed in order to push progress in key ways.”

McKenzie says it’s important to note that NBCI doesn’t duplicate the states’ efforts, but works at regional and national levels to identify opportunities and remove obstacles for bobwhite restoration at those levels, something individual states working alone cannot do.

“If fact, I believe we will be able to report success on one of those major ‘opportunities’ very soon,” McKenzie said.

Headquartered at the University of Tennessee’s Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, NBCI is an initiative of the National Bobwhite Technical Committee (NBTC) to elevate bobwhite quail recovery from an individual state-by-state proposition to a range-wide leadership endeavor. The committee is comprised of representatives of state wildlife agencies, academic research institutions and private conservation organizations. Support for NBCI is provided by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program, state wildlife agencies, the University of Tennessee and Park Cities Quail. For more information, please visit www.bringbackbobwhites.org,

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