NBCI News

NBCI, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership Strike Agreement to Represent Bobwhites in the Beltway

The National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP) have joined forces in the nation’s capital to address national issues critical to wild bobwhite restoration.

“Many of the barriers to and opportunities for broad-scale restoration of bobwhites and grassland birds are rooted in decisions made – or not made – by the federal government, too often in the absence of credible information about bobwhite and grasslands wildlife conservation needs,” said NBCI Director Don McKenzie. “It is vital to the 25 NBCI states that key barriers and opportunities be effectively addressed.”

Tom Franklin

TRCP Senior Director of Science and Policy Tom Franklin will be the 25-state bobwhite initiative’s “face” in the nation’s capital. A certified wildlife biologist, Franklin has extensive experience in conservation policy and is widely known in Washington, including as field director and policy director of The Wildlife Society for 22 years, and in his role on the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council advising the secretaries of the US Departments of Agriculture and Interior.

“TRCP is a coalition of many of the top conservation groups in the country and is a well-known and well-respected entity in Washington and around the country,” said McKenzie. “This new partnership enables NBCI to enlist the support and assistance not only of TRCP but also of numerous other conservation groups, while adding NBCI’s strengths to address common priorities of the alliance. And Tom Franklin has a lifetime of unparalleled conservation policy experience. Wild bobwhite restoration on a landscape scale — which is what we’re about — needs that level of experience and visibility to inform and educate decision makers.” 

“The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership is excited to partner with NBCI and help advance national policies that restore bobwhite habitat,” said Whit Fosburgh, TRCP President and CEO.

Added Franklin, “Restoring abundant bobwhite populations to their historic strongholds is a challenge crucial to all who have shared the thrill of flushing a covey of bobs behind a pointing dog. I am pleased to join the NBCI team that is working tirelessly to ensure that we will again hear the bobwhite whistle throughout rural America.”

The new national partnership is also facilitated and strengthened by a grant of private funds from the Park Cities Quail chapter of the Quail Coalition in Texas, said McKenzie. “Park Cities Quail’s mission focuses primarily on conserving Texas quail, but we greatly appreciate the organization stepping up with strong support of the NBCI and bobwhite conservation at this national level. This endeavor illustrates the comprehensive network of partnerships and collaboration nationally and among the 25 states necessary to meet a challenge as daunting as bobwhite restoration.”

“Through its fund raising and allocation of grants, Park Cities Quail, a chapter of Quail Coalition, is dedicated in its efforts to reverse the decline of the bobwhite quail,” said Jay Stine, coalition executive director.  “We understand the importance of having a voice in Washington, D.C., and feel that Tom Franklin will work with our same determination for our beloved bobwhite.  We are honored to be a part of this alliance by assisting with funding for an advocate for bobwhite quail in the nation’s capital.”

Franklin will fill the position of Agriculture Liaison for the NBCI, working as support staff and implementation leader for the Agriculture Policy Subcommittee of the National Bobwhite Technical Committee, the technical brain trust behind the NBCI.

 

About NBCI

Headquartered at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture’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, various academic research institutions and private conservation organizations. Financial 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.  

 

About TRCP

Inspired by the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, the TRCP is a coalition of organizations and grassroots partners working together to preserve the traditions of hunting and fishing. For more information, please visit http://www.trcp.org/.  

 

About Park Cities Quail

Park Cities Quail (PCQ) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization run by Dallas, TX-area volunteers who are passionate about our sporting tradition and are determined to make it available to future generations. By being completely volunteer, we are able to donate virtually 100% of every dollar raised towards quail research and youth education. In the past eight years this group of individuals has raised and donated over $4,500,000 directly to our cause! PCQ also spawned Quail Coalition, a statewide organization which now boasts 13 chapters and over 4,000 members. For more information, please visit http://www.parkcitiesquail.org/.

Long-Sought CRP Practice Adds New Possibilities to ‘Bobwhite Buffers’ Program

A policy long sought by the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) — and just this week approved by the Farm
Service Agency (FSA) – makes over 3.6 million additional acres in 24 of the 25 NBCI states eligible for the federal Conservation Reserve Program’s (CRP) Habitat Buffers for Upland Birds practice (CP-33), commonly known as “Bobwhite Buffers.”

Aerial of Center Pivot Fields

Aerial of Center Pivot Fields

Essentially, CP-33 (which was originally established in 2004 at the urging of NBCI) allows agricultural landowners to contract with FSA to use marginal borders of working cropland for grassland wildlife habitat in exchange for annual rental payments. Specifically, the policy change now allows inclusion of the un-irrigated corners of crop fields irrigated with center pivot irrigation systems without those corners being connected by field borders also enrolled in the program. Previously those corners had to be connected by 30-foot field border strips, an impractical requirement. FSA, which administers the program, said “studies suggest that the shapes of these patches and their proximity to each other create an attractive environment for the birds, even without the connecting strips.”

“After many years of effort we got the pivot-corner practice we have been asking FSA to authorize in the Continuous CRP!” said NBCI Director Don McKenzie. “This new practice is a direct result of persistent efforts by the NBCI and our founding group, the National Bobwhite Technical Committee, who led the national campaign for this practice. Although ultimate success of this practice depends on the level of landowner enrollment in priority bobwhite conservation regions, it has potential to be a very big deal for bobwhites and numerous other species in landscapes dominated by center-pivot irrigation.  It’s another major win for the NBCI, NBTC, state wildlife agencies and birds!!” FSA has already made some 250,000 acres available nationally to be enrolled in the new practice.

Every NBCI state except West Virginia can potentially benefit, with approximately 17.6 million acres of cropland irrigated with center pivot systems in 24 NBCI states.

Headquartered at the University of Tennessee’s Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, NBCI is an initiative established by the National Bobwhite Technical Committee (NBTC) to elevate bobwhite quail recovery from an individual state-by-state proposition to a range-wide leadership endeavor. NBTC 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,

National Park Service Agreement Extends Bobwhite Restoration Efforts to National Military Park

NPS nbci-logo Arkansas

A unique new partnership between the National Park Service (NPS), the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission (AG&FC) and the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) is providing a new dimension to national efforts to restore declining wild bobwhite quail populations on a landscape scale.
Working cooperatively, the three organizations will establish the nation’s first NBCI Bobwhite Focal Area ever located on National Park Service land, the 4,300-acre Pea Ridge National Military Park (Pea Ridge) in northwestern Arkansas, near the Missouri border.
NBCI is a national effort by 25 state wildlife agencies, including Arkansas, to restore bobwhite quail whose populations—and those of

Pea Ridge

Pea Ridge


other grasslands wildlife species—have plummeted over the past decades because of habitat decline. NBCI is working to establish large-scale “focal areas” where habitat—and the birds—can be restored to demonstrate that recovery of bobwhites and other grassland songbirds and wildlife is possible given proper habitat management at the proper scale. The plan is to establish a large healthy resident population of bobwhites that can be a source population that will expand to neighboring properties if the habitat is there. The three partners will also work cooperatively on the development of interpretive and educational materials. Pea Ridge will serve as a location for public education and outreach.  

“This partnership is an excellent opportunity for Pea Ridge to benefit from the expertise and knowledge of both of these outstanding organizations. It will promote large landscape conservation, and will support, protect, and provide for the restoration and preservation of our cultural landscape.  As we approach our National Park Service Centennial, this is an excellent time to work with our partners on restoring the bobwhite habitat.” said Superintendent Kevin Eads.

“The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is delighted to share in this opportunity to restore and enhance habitat that is beneficial to bobwhite quail, as well as other grassland species,” said Steven Fowler, assistant chief of the AGFC’s wildlife management division.  “Pea Ridge presents a very visible, high-profile location whereby visitors can learn about history and also observe quail and other wildlife thriving as a result of proper and focused wildlife management practices.”
“Rural agricultural settings in this era were bobwhite habitat,” said NBCI Director Don McKenzie. “The park has already recorded some bobwhite response from its vegetation management work and has chosen the bobwhite as an ‘indicator’ species to help measure their success. That the NPS is willing to work with us to achieve mutual goals is a huge step for the restoration of wild bobwhite populations along with other grassland songbirds and wildlife species in Arkansas … and possibly other states in the future,” said NBCI Director Don McKenzie. “It’s also an unparalleled opportunity to reach the public with the story about what has happened to not only bobwhites but also other grasslands wildlife species in this country … and why. We hope this is just a first step in working with the National Park Service wherever we have mutual objectives,” McKenzie said.

About Pea Ridge National Military Park
Pea Ridge National Military Park is a 4,300-acre Civil War Battlefield that preserves the site of the March 1862 battle that saved Missouri for the Union. On March 7 and 8, nearly 26,000 soldiers fought to determine whether Missouri would remain under Union control, and whether or not Federal armies could continue their offensive south through the Mississippi River Valley. Major General Earl Van Dorn led 16,000 Confederates against 10,250 Union soldiers, under the command of Brigadier General Samuel R. Curtis. Van Dorn’s command consisted of regular Confederate troops commanded by Brigadier General Benjamin McCulloch, and Missouri State Guard Forces commanded by Major General Sterling Price. The Confederate force also included some 800 Cherokees fighting for the Confederacy. The Union army consisted of soldiers from Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and Ohio. Half of the Federals were German immigrants. The park also includes a two and one-half mile segment of the Trail of Tears. The Elkhorn Tavern, site of bitter fighting on both days, is a National Park Service reconstruction on the site of the original. The park is one of the most well preserved battlefields in the United States. More information can be found on the web at http://www.nps.gov/peri or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pea-Ridge-National-Military-Park/221857251198706.

About Arkansas Game & Fish Commission
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission manages wildlife and natural habitat, and sets hunting, fishing and trapping regulations. It works with local, state and federal groups to enhance conservation efforts, and educates the public about the importance of healthy wildlife populations and their habitats. For more information visit www.agfc.com.
About NBCI
Headquartered at the University of Tennessee’s Institute of Agriculture/Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, NBCI is an initiative of the National Bobwhite Technical Committee (NBTC) to elevate bobwhite recovery from an individual state-by-state proposition to a range-wide leadership endeavor. The committee is comprised of state wildlife agencies, academic research institutions and private conservation organizations. Financial 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, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/bringbackbobwhites, on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/user/BringBackBobwhites and on Slideshare at http://www.slideshare.net/bringbackbobwhites.  
 
Contacts:
Don McKenzie, NBCI Director, (501) 941-7994 
Kevin Eads, Acting Superintendent, Pea Ridge, (479) 451-8122                                                                                                
Clifton Jackson, Quail/Small Game Coordinator, Arkansas Game & Fish, (501) 223-6471

                                                                                                                  

                                                                                                    

 

NBCI Hiring New Forestry Coordinator

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 atwww.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,

Spatial Analyst Hire Next Big Step for NBCI

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, tdailey7@utk.edu, (573) 881-1782; or Robert Ridenour, executive director, Information Technology Services, University of Tennessee, Institute of Agriculture, ridenour@tennessee.edu, (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,

New Shortleaf Pine Initiative A ‘Major Victory’ for Bobwhite Restoration Effort

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 tohttps://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,

NBTC Chair Named 2014 Wildlife Biologist of the Year

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.Continue reading

NBCI Approved For Funding Under Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program

… transformational new chapter in the history of bobwhite conservation

With the approval and assistance of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, participating states and the University of Tennessee, the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) is now eligible for and receiving financial support from states through the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program, commonly referred to as “Pittman-Robertson.”Continue reading

NBCI’s State of the Bobwhite 2014 Chronicles Major Increase In Habitat Management, Historic New Funding Source

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 newNBCI’s Bobwhite Almanac, State of the Bobwhite 2014, the digital version of which is available on NBCI’s website at www.bringbackbobwhites.org.

2014 SOTB-report-interactive-FINAL 1_RESIZED 2Additional 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,

NBCI Presents First ‘Fire Bird Conservation’ Awards

The contributions to wild bobwhite restoration by entities and/or individuals in six states claimed the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative’s (NBCI) National Fire Bird Conservation Awards during ceremonies at the annual meeting of the nation’s bobwhite experts in Iowa recently. Award recipients are chosen by the respective NBCI-member state’s quail coordinator for their contributions to that state’s efforts toward habitat-based restoration of wild bobwhite populations.

“We wanted to provide an avenue for states to recognize and thank those making meaningful contributions to their science-based restoration agendas, illustrate the variety of those contributing to the bobwhite restoration cause and perhaps help encourage others to join in,” said NBCI Director Don McKenzie. “We need as many individuals, agencies and organizations as possible actively contributing to this unified 25-state strategy.”

The award’s name symbolizes the historic reliance of bobwhites on fire in much of its range to maintain the landscape in an “early successional” stage, that is, in the native grasses, wildflowers and “weeds” providing bobwhites with suitable habitat. Both wildfires and fires intentionally set by landowners to clear farm fields and woodlots historically resulted in abundant habitat for bobwhites, as well as numerous other wildlife species. The term “fire bird” in relation to bobwhites was first coined by naturalist Herbert Stoddard, who researched bobwhites and worked to restore bobwhite habitat in the early 20th Century.

Today, “prescribed” fire under controlled conditions by trained professionals has become an increasingly important tool for helping create and manage habitat for bobwhites, as well as a suite of songbirds and other wildlife that require early successional habitat to survive.

2014 award recipients were:

GEORGIA: Di-Lane Plantation Wildlife Management Area Team

(John Bearden, Henry Williams, Steve Kyles, John Lovett, Haven Barnhill, I.B. Parnell, Vic VanSant, Lee Taylor, Buck Marchinton)

“Despite landscape and site limitations, management has produced an excellent bobwhite population and public land quail hunting,” wrote Reggie Thackston, Georgia quail coordinator. “The success at Di-Lane has been widely acclaimed and is stimulating strong interest and support for bobwhite management on public and private lands; and thereby contributes greatly to the Wildlife Resources Division’s efforts in attaining NBCI goals.”

KENTUCKY:  Team Leaders, “Road to Recovery: The Blueprint for Restoring the Northern Bobwhite in Kentucky”

(Tom Edwards—Bluegrass Army Depot Focal Area; Nathan Gregory—Clay WMA Focal Area; Philip Sharp– Livingston County Focal Area; and Eric Williams—Peabody WMA Focal Area)

“As a group, they have put KY’s bobwhite restoration effort on the national map,” wrote Kentucky’s quail coordinator, John Morgan. Kentucky reported a 57% increase in bobwhites observed in its annual statewide mail carrier surveys between 2012 and 2013, the Peabody WMA has demonstrated a 91% increase in its fall bobwhite population over five years, the Shaker Village project is holding steady with 50 coveys of bobwhites, and the Hart County Quail Focus area has demonstrated a 771% increase in bobwhites from 2008-2012, while the Bluegrass Army Depot Focus Area registered a 57% increase during the same period.

LOUISIANA: U.S. Forest Service, Kisatchie National Forest

 
   

The U.S. Forest Service recently approved the creation of a new Bobwhite Emphasis Area in the Vernon Unit of the Calcasieu Ranger District of Kisatchie National Forest. Explained Louisiana’s quail coordinator, Jimmy Stafford, “The U. S. Forest Service manages some 604,000 acres in Louisiana known as the Kisatchie National Forest. Most of Kisatchie N.F. is upland pine habitat ranging from shortleaf pine in the north to longleaf pine in the south. The primary management on these lands is timber harvests and prescribed fire. Approximately, 121,000 acres are prescribed burned each year. The Forest Service has demonstrated its commitment to maximize early successional habitats through widespread prescribed fire … and have also eagerly joined with state quail biologists to identify ways to further improve habitats for bobwhites.”

SOUTH CAROLINA: Mark Coleman, Spartanburg

According to South Carolina’s quail coordinator, Willie Simmons: “As a private citizen, Mark Coleman has been a cooperator in SCDNR’s Quail Hunter Survey for over 15 years.  During that time, he has maintained constant contact with the Small Game Project Supervisor offering assistance with projects and initiatives. 

“Mark is a staunch supporter of SCDNR and of scientific wildlife management in general. Following publication of the NBCI 2.0 (in 2011), Mark was one of the few quail hunters, if not the only one in South Carolina, to embrace the new planning paradigm, openly and wholehearted supporting the plan in conversations with other bird hunters and in various public forums… 

“Through conversations with the SCDNR Small Game Project Supervisor and with NBCI Director Don McKenzie, Mark heeded the call to action from the initial State of the Bobwhite report and immediately engaged policy makers in South Carolina.  He personally appeared before the SCDNR Board to request and promote wild bobwhite management in South Carolina. 

“Although he is far too modest to accept any credit or praise, he was directly responsible for renewed emphasis and urgency on completion of South Carolina’s statewide quail restoration plan. He continues to this day to offer financial and logistic support for establishment of a statewide quail council, the next step in implementation of the South Carolina plan.”

TENNESSEE: Bill Smith, TWRA

 
   

From Tennessee’s quail coordinator, Dr. Roger Applegate: “Bill manages Kyker Bottoms Refuge and Foothills Wildlife Management Area in eastern Tennessee. Kyker Bottoms is 525 acres of true early-successional habitat that likely produces the best bobwhite population in Tennessee. Bill manages this habitat as old field and is a one-man show. He also permits a very conservative hunting opportunity on a quality bobwhite resource. Bill is an example to other land managers in Tennessee and other states by providing the habitat that bobwhite evolved in.”

<

p style=”text-align: center;”>VIRGINIA: The Virginia Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Conservation Management Institute at Virginia Tech

 Wrote bobwhite coordinators Marc Puckett and Jay Howell: “They are two legs of the 3-legged stool that supports our private lands quail recovery program… While we have many valued partners, without which our quail plan would be much less effective, the two recognized in this nomination are the backbone of the program.” Cited was the comprehensive  support of the two organizations in the recruiting, hiring, paying and administratively supporting the state’s team of private lands biologists working to restore bobwhites on private lands in Virginia.

Headquartered at the University of Tennessee’s Institute of Agriculture, 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 coordinated, range-wide leadership endeavor. The committee is comprised of representatives of 25 state wildlife agencies, various academic research institutions and private conservation organizations. Funds for NBCI are provided from a variety of sources, including the respective state wildlife agencies, the Wildlife Restoration Program, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Park Cities Quail

 

 

NEWS 2