Martinsville, Ind. – April 8, 2008 – In an effort to reverse the dramatic decline in the local bobwhite quail population, conservationists in Indiana’s Morgan, Johnson and Hendricks Counties have formed the state’s newest Quail Forever (QF) chapter, known as the Tri-County Chapter of QF.
Development and clean farming have eaten away vital bobwhite quail habitat in the counties, which are south of Indianapolis. “We have a few coveys here and there, but it is pretty light,” said Jerry Henson of Martinsville, the chapter’s president, “This area’s quail have been begging for some attention.”
Henson says the chapter is excited about Quail Forever because it will help involve local communities in fighting the problem. 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. They also employ the organization’s unique model of empowering local chapters with 100 percent control of the chapters’ locally-raised funds to complete habitat and youth education projects in the chapters’ own communities.
Visiting with local landowners and educating them about the benefits of conservation programs will also be a chief focus of the Tri-County chapter. One such opportunity for landowners is the federal Conservation Reserve Program’s Conservation Practice 33, or CP-33. Commonly referred to as Bobwhite Buffers, CP-33 is a conservation practice targeted at improving bobwhite quail habitat through the creation of habitat buffers along row crops. Indiana has been allotted 20,000 acres, and currently over 10,000 acres have been enrolled.
“Indiana quail hunters and conservationists continue to show a strong commitment to conservation and improving quail habitat,” said Brian Grossman, QF Regional Wildlife Biologist, “The Tri-County chapter cares about maintaining and bettering this resource and keeping the great tradition of quail hunting alive.”
The chapter has also elected Julie Henson of Martinsville as treasurer, Chris Layton of Martinsville as vice president and Ed King of Martinsville as youth/education chair. The chapter will hold its next meeting on Thursday, April 10th at the Morgan County Fairgrounds 4-H Building in Martinsville. The public and media are invited to attend. For more information about the meeting and the chapter, contact Jerry Henson at (765)349-1839or via email at JHenson@JDHContracting.com.
For more information on QF in Indiana, to start a chapter or join one of the state’s existing chapters, contact Brian Grossman at (502)538-7656 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since the organization’s inception, over 95 QF chapters have formed in 26 different states. The QF mission is accomplished through habitat improvement, land management, public awareness, education, and conservation advocacy.