Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Great Bobwhite Revival - Inching Forward

The season's over and looking at the sheet I send to the state's hunter survey it appears this little project is coming at the right time.  Cliffs Notes version: we need more wild birds.

So here's the latest on the Call to Action....

Support your state's quail initiative

We're scheduled to present out plan to the board of the DNR on 3/23.  Honestly I'm surprised and pleased at how quickly this all came together.  No idea what to expect out of the meeting but we have a pretty good pitch given that what we're proposing won't cost the DNR a dime, and if I were a government agency in a broke state and someone offered a high visibility project for free I'd be hard pressed to turn it down.

Tell your local Congressional delegation to prioritize Farm Bill conservation programs

As of my last post on this topic I'd written to one of my senators and one congressman and hadn't heard from either. Since that time I've received the standard form letter reply from the senator, a letter that didn't even mention the issue by the way, and heard nothing from the congressman.  For what it's worth, though, I ran across this post on the Quail Forever blog yesterday.  In it Dave Nomsen notes
I hope today’s announcement brings a sense of gratification to every Quail Forever member who has contacted a legislative official in support of CRP these last few months.  Our meetings and your conservation testimonials have led us to these new acres.
 So maybe those letters did a little bit of good after all.  And its a nice segue to the third item....

Join a grassland-habitat related conservation organization immediately

I took a pass on this in the last update claiming that I wanted to do some research and put my $$ behind the groups that were willing to play ball with us in SC.  I contacted QF and immediately received a "Count us in" and returned the favor by joining QF/PF.  I also called Bill Bowles, president of QU, and left a message.   And then I emailed.  And then I called and left another message.  Cue the crickets.  Maybe the guy is really busy, but if you're going to post a letter on your website inviting anyone to call or write, you might want to at least get a secretary (please tell me QU has at least one secretary) to return the message.  We'll still take their help if they want to jump in at some point but I don't think I'm going to send my money down there.

Ironically this was one of the same complaints that so many people had about the "old" QU.  I know they've had their troubles lately and I don't want to pile on, but for a group that's struggling to regain a foothold in the game this sure would be a fine opportunity to associate with a state-level project, one that will get plenty of favorable press (I'll see to it).  I understand that their coffers aren't exactly overflowing - whose are these days? - and while this project will need financial support down the road, it will also need expertise, manpower, and as wide and diverse a network as possible.  Plenty of ways for any individual or group to contribute.  QU, if you're listening, you really might want to give us a call.

Next update following the board meeting later this month.  Stay tuned...

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