Saturday, May 14, 2011

Bobwhite aficionados take a peek..

It's not exactly news in that it's not exactly new, but the guys at NBCI have been more than a little busy.  They launched a new website, released a revised plan, and now sport a new name.  By all accounts they've shifted this into a higher gear, and one that those of us without a biology degree can sink our teeth into.

Roaming around the site the phrase that comes to mind is user-friendly.  I recall reading the original Northern Bobwhite Conservation Initiative plan when it was released in 2002 and thinking what a great, ambitious piece of work it was and then immediately wondering how to make it happen?  How do you create all this habitat, transform all this marginal land, inspire bobwhite hunters nationwide to step up?  The plan was heavy on objectives but light on instruction.  Now they've started filling in the blanks, naming the pieces and showing how they fit together.  The tag line in the logo above sums up the new direction.

I posted last year about what the future of conservation groups might look like and what their role would be in the restoration of bobwhites.  How this plays out is going to factor heavily in how well the plan succeeds, in fact it has the potential to be the determining factor in whether or not it succeeds.  The money and membership of these groups is invaluable when it comes to making tangible things happen.  Left to their own devices, however, the sum of the effort is likely to be somewhat disjointed in terms of reaching the larger goal.  These guys need to be looking to the NBCI for guidance and the NBCI doesn't need to be shy about giving it.

Naturally the muscle of volunteers won't do the trick all by itself.  Ducks and pheasant benefited greatly from legislative changes that either directly or indirectly established thousands of acres of friendly habitat.  In a recent blog post director Don McKenzie addresses some of the farm bill changes necessary to provide the same lift to bobwhites.  Now they need to go one step further and tell us what we can do as individuals to help make this happen.  Letters to congressmen?  Tell us what these letters need to say. Grass roots level meetings with representatives to show them what's wrong and what could be done?  Give us the names and places. 

Back in 2002 the authors of the plan were thinking on a big scale and change at that level doesn't come in small, isolated pieces.  It comes through many people from many backgrounds in many places working together as part of a coordinated, or to borrow from the tagline, unified effort.  They're still thinking on a big scale, a grand scale even, and that's what it's going to take to return populations to their 1980s levels.  Now they're going to have to embrace the role as leader of this massive, monumental effort, giving to-do lists to the states for the states to pass down to NGOs, property owners, hunters and other volunteers.  It's picking up speed.  Momentum is one of the most curious things in physics - and one of the most powerful.


  1. I hope it catches on around South Georgia and North Florida.

  2. That's a cool photo with your profile. Your dog?