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Sebring, Fla. – May 12, 2008 – Bobwhite quail conservationists have formed Florida’s second Quail Forever chapter (QF), the Kissimmee River Valley Chapter of QF. The chapter has focused its attention on quail habitat efforts in Polk, Highlands, Osceola, Hardee and Okeechobee Counties in south-central Florida.

Leading the new Kissimmee River Valley chapter is James Martin of Kenansville, a graduate student and PhD candidate at the University of Georgia who is part of the game bird research team for the Tall Timbers Research Station. Tall Timbers conducts a wide variety of research projects to develop the best management practices for bobwhites, and manages over 3,500 acres of upland habitat for bobwhites in the southeast United States.

“What a lot of people don’t realize is how remote and rural south-central Florida can be – almost like South Dakota,” Martin said, “This new chapter gives the area a centrally located group that has the capability to find solutions for the challenges this great game bird faces.” Martin said the chapter’s main goals include maintaining hunter access, promoting the use of prescribed fire on public and private lands and stimulating youth interest in quail hunting and outdoor sports.

The Kissimmee River Valley Chapter of QF has also elected Paul Weaver of Babson Park as treasurer, Wayne Taylor of Babson Park as habitat chair and Cody Vickers of Sebring as youth/education chair. The chapter will hold its next meeting on Tuesday, May 13th at 6:30 PM at the Sebring Ag Center. The public and media are invited to attend. For more information about the meeting and the chapter, contact James Martin at (407)436-1841 or via email at MartinJ@Warnell.uga.edu.

Florida’s other QF chapter is the South Florida Flatwoods Chapter of QF (find information at http://flatwoods.fl.quailforever.org/ ). For more information on QF in Florida, 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.

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.

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.

For additional information about Quail Forever, please visit www.QuailForever.org