NBCI Video Accepted for International Fire Ecology Film Fest

The National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative’s (NBCI) Fire Up Your Beef Production – A Ranchers’ Perspective of Prescribed Burning for Range Management is one of 23 videos/documentaries from nine countries accepted for a virtual fire ecology film festival that runs now through October 20. The winner will be selected by a public vote, which ends Oct. 20. The winner will be invited to show the film at an international fire ecology conference in Italy in 2021.

NBCI’s entry was filmed and produced by NBCI Grasslands Coordinator Jef Hodges. The video features ranchers who use prescribed fire on their ranches and share their experiences related to woody encroachment control, animal performance, forage production, utilization, and economics.

“Opportunities like this help put bobwhite and grassland issues in front of more people—not only the US, but around the world,” said NBCI Director John Morgan. “It also characterizes the quality and currency of content the NBCI partnership provides for its 25 state agency, federal, university, and non-profit investors.”

The film festival is in conjunction with a free two-day webinar series Oct. 20-21. Each day of the webinar series will feature a panel of international fire scientists and managers providing short presentations. The webinar series is serving as a prelude to an in-person Fire Across Boundaries conference scheduled for Fall 2021 in Florence, Italy. The winner of the film fest, which will be announced during the webinar series, will be invited to present the film at the conference.

The film festival, the webinar series, and the Fall 2021 conference are sponsored by the Pau Costa Foundation and the Association for Fire Ecology. To view and vote on the films, go to http://fireacrossboundaries.org/virtual-film-fest/.

About NBCI
Headquartered at the University of Tennessee’s Institute of Agriculture/Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, NBCI is a science and habitat-based 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 to restore wild bobwhites on a landscape scale. The committee is comprised of representatives of 25 state wildlife agencies, various academic research institutions and private conservation organizations. Support for NBCI is provided by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program, 25 state wildlife agencies, the Joe Crafton Family Endowment for Quail Initiatives, the University of Tennessee, Roundstone Native Seed, and Lotek. Media contact: John Doty, jdoty3@utk.edu

An Integrated Approach to Sericea Lespedeza Management

This technical video will assist land managers in controlling sericea lespedeza, one of the most invasive, problematic exotic weeds in the northern bobwhite range.

A native of Asia, sericea lespedeza was introduced for erosion control, mine reclamation and wildlife habitat in the late 1800s. There are beneficial native lespedezas and other exotic lespedeza species. The low-growing, herbaceous lespedezas are popular for forage and wildlife, but the tall, upright shrub-type are problematic, and none as invasive as sericea. With the ability for uncontrolled populations to increase up to 24% annually, sericea lespedeza poses a serious threat to wildlife habitat and native ecosystems.

“For all practical purposes, sericea is impossible to eliminate,” said NBCI Grasslands Coordinator Jef Hodges. “It thrives under common wildland management practices. It’s a perennial and is allelopathic, which means it creates a chemical barrier to other plants. Its hard seeds will last decades in the soil, but they provide little nourishment to wildlife. In 2003, it infested an estimated 8.3 million acres, so it’s a threat to cattle producers as well as wildlife managers. It can’t be totally eliminated but it can be controlled with an integrated approach of burning/grazing/mowing and herbicide application for the most severe infestations.”

Fire Up Your Beef Production

America’s grasslands evolved with fire and grazing. Unfortunately, fire has been largely missing from rangelands for decades and in its absence range health has declined and woody encroachment is robbing producers of productive pastures. Prescribed fire is a proven tool to control woody encroachment and restore range health, increasing livestock production. Fire Up Your Beef Production is aimed at ranchers who are curious about prescribed fire, seeking cost effective range management. The video features ranchers who use prescribed fire on their ranches as they share their experiences related to woody encroachment control, animal performance, forage production, utilization, and economics.

Click here to view a longer version of the video included with this post.

Bobwhites on the Brink

Welcome to the five-part series “Bobwhites on the Brink.” For several months, NBCI worked with a syndicated public TV show, This American Land, to examine the “big picture” of the bobwhite decline in settings that once produced copious quantities of quail and no longer do – forests, row crop farming and cattle grazing. For examples of each we visited South Carolina (forestry), Texas and Kentucky (livestock grazing), and Kansas (row crop agriculture) to see how these activities have changed over the decades and how public and private landowners, and public policy makers can make room for bobwhites and other grassland birds once again.

Bobwhites on the Brink

Welcome to the five-part series “Bobwhites on the Brink.” For several months, NBCI worked with a syndicated public TV show, This American Land, to examine the “big picture” of the bobwhite decline in settings that once produced copious quantities of quail and no longer do – forests, row crop farming and cattle grazing. For examples of each we visited South Carolina (forestry), Texas and Kentucky (livestock grazing), and Kansas (row crop agriculture) to see how these activities have changed over the decades and how public and private landowners, and public policy makers can make room for bobwhites and other grassland birds once again.

Bobwhites on the Brink

Welcome to the five-part series “Bobwhites on the Brink.” For several months, NBCI worked with a syndicated public TV show, This American Land, to examine the “big picture” of the bobwhite decline in settings that once produced copious quantities of quail and no longer do – forests, row crop farming and cattle grazing. For examples of each we visited South Carolina (forestry), Texas and Kentucky (livestock grazing), and Kansas (row crop agriculture) to see how these activities have changed over the decades and how public and private landowners, and public policy makers can make room for bobwhites and other grassland birds once again.

Bobwhites on the Brink

Welcome to the five-part series “Bobwhites on the Brink.” For several months, NBCI worked with a syndicated public TV show, This American Land, to examine the “big picture” of the bobwhite decline in settings that once produced copious quantities of quail and no longer do – forests, row crop farming and cattle grazing. For examples of each we visited South Carolina (forestry), Texas and Kentucky (livestock grazing), and Kansas (row crop agriculture) to see how these activities have changed over the decades and how public and private landowners, and public policy makers can make room for bobwhites and other grassland birds once again.

Bobwhites on the Brink

Welcome to the five-part series “Bobwhites on the Brink.” For several months, NBCI worked with a syndicated public TV show, This American Land, to examine the “big picture” of the bobwhite decline in settings that once produced copious quantities of quail and no longer do – forests, row crop farming and cattle grazing. For examples of each we visited South Carolina (forestry), Texas and Kentucky (livestock grazing), and Kansas (row crop agriculture) to see how these activities have changed over the decades and how public and private landowners, and public policy makers can make room for bobwhites and other grassland birds once again.