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01/27/2012

NWTF is first to support new Kansas Quail Initiative


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The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism (KDWPT) is introducing a new initiative aimed at improving habitat conditions for bobwhite quail, an upland species that has declined throughout most of its range.

The NWTF Kansas State Chapter was the first conservation group to provide financial support of this important conservation effort, committing $12,500 toward the Kansas Quail Initiative. The NWTF also will help deliver and promote the program by assisting with locating interested landowners and assisting with habitat improvements as needed.

The NWTF has 33 chapters in Kansas with more 2,800 dedicated members. More than $885,715 has been raised and spent by Kansas chapters on projects within the state.

"It was a no-brainer for the Kansas State Chapter to step up and become the first conservation organization to support the Quail Initiative," said Todd Adolph, NWTF Kansas State Chapter president. "We have a positive working relationship with KDWPT and I expect this initiative will be a big success."

The Kansas Quail Initiative aims to increase quail populations by 50 percent in five years within the focal areas. A northern focal area includes portions of Lyon, Osage and Wabaunsee counties; a southern focal area includes parts of Neosho and Labette counties.

KDWPT biologists identified these regions as areas with high restoration potential and they both contain sizable amounts of public land that can be used as the core for habitat improvement efforts.

The NWTF is a leader in upland wildlife habitat conservation in North America. A nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving the wild turkey and preserving our hunting heritage, the NWTF and its volunteers work closely with state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies and other partners.

Through these dynamic partnerships, the NWTF and its members helped restore wild turkey populations throughout North America, spending more than $372 million to conserve 17 million acres of habitat. Wild turkeys and hundreds of other species of upland wildlife, including quail, deer, grouse, pheasant and songbirds, benefit from this improved habitat.

"The fact that the NWTF was the first conservation organization to commit funding to this initiative speaks volumes about the NWTF's dedication to conserving upland habitat," said Jared McJunkin, NWTF conservation field supervisor – western region. "It also shows that the NWTF is not just about turkeys and that our volunteers understand the urgency to conserve habitat for quail and also for future generations of hunters."

Understanding the importance of partnering with landowners and conservation groups to ensure success, KDWPT reached out to conservation groups for support of the Kansas Quail Initiative.

For private landowners in the focal areas, this initiative will increase available cost-share assistance to 100 percent of the estimated costs for implementing quail-friendly practices on their property. Partner funding, such as the funding committed by the NWTF, will help increase cost-share assistance available to landowners.

KDWPT is committed to spending up to $100,000 per year on private land habitat improvements in the focal areas for each of the five years of this initiative.

KDWPT also will emphasize the voluntary public access and habitat improvement program in these focal areas to increase enrollment in continuous Conservation Reserve Program practices.

To become an NWTF member, or for more information about the NWTF, visit www.nwtf.org or call (800) THE-NWTF.

Follow NWTF Kansas on Facebook to keep up with news in Kansas!

To learn about the Kansas Quail Initiative contact your local KDWPT office.

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