Quail Forever

McCormick, S.C. – February 28, 2008 – Concerned with the area’s declining bobwhite quail population, residents in South Carolina’s McCormick County have formed the state’s second Quail Forever (QF) chapter, the Long Cane Chapter of QF. The chapter joins the Peak/Chapin Chapter of QF in central South Carolina in leading efforts to restore the state’s bobwhite quail habitat.

“We just don’t have the habitat anymore, and that’s what Quail Forever is interested in creating,” said Wayne Kirkland of Parksville, the chapter’s newly elected president, “To bring back the bobs we need to do it from the ground up.”

Pheasants Forever launched Quail Forever in 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.

The major habitat culprit in McCormick County, which is home to a significant amount of pastureland, has been wildlife-choking fescue. Fescue forms a dense, mat-type growth in which quail cannot raise broods. It doesn’t allow for efficient feeding for chicks or adults. “Much of the success of the Long Cane chapter will come in the conversion of fescue grass back to native warm-season grasses that are more conducive to quail production,” Kirkland said.

The Long Cane chapter also has a goal of introducing youth to the outdoors. “For me, hunting was a way of life growing up,” Kirkland said, “While I know our members would like to see more quail, it’s really for our children so that they may find the enjoyment in hunting and the outdoors like previous generations have.” The chapter plans on holding a number of youth events, from firearm and hunting safety events to mentor hunts, in the future.

The Long Cane Chapter of QF has also elected Bo Young of Troy as treasurer and Todd Self of Parksville as habitat chair. The chapter will hold its next meeting on Thursday, March 6th, at the Long Cane Academy in McCormick. Meeting time is 7 PM. The media and public are invited to attend. For more information about the chapter, contact Kirkland at (864)391-1730. The chapter can also be reached via email at tlself@wctel.net.

For more information on QF in South Carolina, to start a chapter or join one of the state’s existing chapters, contact Andy Edwards at (931)424-3211 or via email at aedwards@quailforever.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.
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For additional information about Quail Forever, please visit www.QuailForever.org