llinois – February 8, 2008 – Illinois quail enthusiasts continue to be leaders in quail conservation, having formed three new Quail Forever (QF) chapters in the state. New QF chapters in Madison, McDonough and Perry Counties bring the total to 15 QF chapters dedicated to improving Illinois quail habitat.
“Illinois conservation leaders are joining together all across the state to help counter the rapid decline in quail populations,” explained Tim Caughran, QF regional wildlife biologist in Illinois, “Each of these chapters has the potential to provide quality habitat for quail and other wildlife in their respective areas. I encourage more conservationists, outdoorsmen and hunters in Illinois to join in QF’s efforts to rebuild quail populations.”
Big Rivers Chapter of Quail Forever
Three conservation leaders from the Nature Institute in Godfrey, Illinois, have started the Big Rivers Chapter of QF. John Sommerhof, the Institute’s Executive Director, is leading the conservation efforts as the chapter’s first president.
The new chapter plans to work with local landowners and state agencies in providing better habitat for quail. The chapter’s main focus in Madison County will be prescribed burning in order to restore prairie lands. The burning process will aid in the conservation of topsoil by releasing a wide variety of nutrients into the ground to encouraging the growth of wild grasses and cover for wildlife.
The chapter has also elected Tim Schofield, the Institute’s Director of Stewardship, as treasurer/habitat chair and Patti Brown, the Institute’s Education Director, as youth chair. To join the chapter or for more information about upcoming meetings and events, contact Sommerhof at (618)466-9930 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
McDonough County Chapter of Quail Forever
With quail populations declining year after year, quail enthusiasts in McDonough County have formed the McDonough County Chapter of QF in an effort to reverse the trend.
“Quail numbers are not where they used to be in and around our area,” remarked McDonough County chapter president and local county police Lieutenant Justin Lundgren. “It’s time we start doing something about that and QF has the best grassroots model to build habitat for upland birds in our area. I want my daughter to be able to see the bird numbers that I saw and experienced as a kid.” QF employs the unique model of empowering local chapters with 100 percent control over their locally-raised funds to complete habitat and youth education projects in the chapters’ own communities.
The McDonough County chapter wants to work with area landowners in creating habitat through various government programs such as the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and other wildlife conservation practices administered by the Farm Service Agency and the United States Department of Agriculture. The chapter also hopes to host youth events to connect more children to the outdoors so they can experience the benefits of conservation and wildlife.
The chapter has also elected Dave Walton as treasurer and Neal Thurman as secretary. The chapter’s next meeting will be on Tuesday, February 19th at 7 PM at the Macomb Eagles Club on Deere Road. The media and public are invited to attend. To join the chapter or for more information, contact Lundgren at (309)255-6909 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
Perry County Chapter of Quail Forever
Landowner Clyde Dempsay initiated the efforts in southern Illinois to bring back the quail in Perry County. Dempsay is a resident of Pinckneyville who grew up an avid outdoorsman and quail hunter. He is one of the founding members of the Perry County Chapter of QF and is a great example of a true conservationist. All 80 acres of his own land are enrolled in CRP to provide habitat for quail and other wildlife.
“Quail are almost non-existent in our parts,” remarked Dempsay. “I put my acres into CRP to give them what little habitat I can, but if we are going to do something to rebuild quail populations on a larger scale, we all need to contribute. I helped start a QF chapter in our county so we can all work together to get the ball rolling on bringing back the quail.”
For join the chapter or for more information about upcoming meetings and events, contact Dempsay at (618)336-5258 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on QF in Illinois, to start a chapter or join one of the state’s 15 existing chapters, contact Tim Caughran at (618)467-2586 or via email at email@example.com.
From 1980 to 2000, bobwhites declined range-wide by an average of nearly 70%, and much more in specific states. In fact, the Northern Bobwhite Quail topped the National Audubon Society’s List of Top 20 Common Birds in Decline. The National Audubon Society stated the northern bobwhite quail has declined by a staggering 82 percent during the past four decades. Nationwide, quail numbers have fallen from an estimated 31 million in 1967 to just 5.5 million today.
Pheasants Forever launched Quail Forever in August of 2005 to address the continuing loss of habitat suitable for quail and the subsequent quail population decline. QF chapters promote local, state, and federal conservation programs that help landowners protect environmentally sensitive acres for quail and other wildlife. Since the organization’s inception, over 90 QF chapters have formed in 26 different states. The QF mission is accomplished through habitat improvement, land management, public awareness, education, and conservation advocacy.
For additional information about Quail Forever, please visit www.QuailForever.org