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Partnership to Benefit Private Landowners

Oct 06, 2011

Private landowners interested in improving habitat for quail and early successional wildlife will have extra help as a result of a grant from the Missouri Department of Conservation to three conservation organizations devoted to improving habitat for upland wildlife.

This summer, the Department awarded a total of $133,000 in funding to Quail Forever, Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation, Quail Unlimited and National Wild Turkey Federation. Through the Habitat Challenge Grant, each conservation organization provides matching funds to help landowners complete habitat work on their land.

This is the fifth year the Missouri Department of Conservation provided the Habitat Challenge Grant to conservation groups interested in improving upland habitat on private land. Over the last five years the Department has provided more than $600,000 in funding through the Habitat Challenge Grant, totaling more than $1.2 million with partner contributions.

“Without a doubt, the key to wildlife restoration depends on dedicated landowners. The combination of passionate landowners, strong conservation organizations and the Department of Conservation creates an incredible partnership that has resulted in improved habitat for bobwhite quail in parts of the state,” said Tom Draper, deputy director for the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Missouri Department of Conservation private land conservationists work with local chapters of each organization and landowners to administer the cost share funds for habitat projects throughout the state.

“The funds will help landowners improve nesting, brood and escape cover for quail, rabbits, turkey and songbirds,” said Nick Prough, chief wildlife biologist for the Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation. “What’s good for quail is good for deer, turkey and most other wildlife.”

Habitat Challenge Grant funds are used by landowners to plant native grasses and wildflowers, eradicate undesirable vegetation, plant shrubs and conduct prescribed burns. Cost share is also provided for other quail friendly practices such as edge feathering, timber stand improvement, and strip disking.

Other cost share programs such as the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Landowner Assistance Program and federal Farm Bill conservation programs, such as the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) provide critical habitat for early successional wildlife. A significant portion of these programs, which equals millions of dollars in cost share, are aimed at improving habitat for quail and early successional wildlife.

“The Quail Challenge Grant partnership helps landowners address missing habitat on the edges of CRP fields, field borders and filters strips,” according to Elsa Gallagher, regional biologist for Quail Forever. “The key is having the right mix of habitat close together and the Habitat Challenge Grant helps make that a reality.“

“Funds for each organization are raised by local chapters sponsoring banquets and fundraising events,” according to John Burk, regional wildlife biologist the National Wild Turkey Federation. “Each organization depends on the commitment and energy of local volunteers to make it happen. Their dedication means better habitat for wildlife in Missouri.”

The Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation, Quail Forever, Quail Unlimited and National Wild Turkey Federation have local chapters throughout Missouri. Visit their websites listed at the bottom of the blog page for additional information on participating conservation groups and local chapter banquets and fundraising events.

For additional information on how to improve your property for quail and other early successional wildlife visit /wildlife/attracting-wildlife/managing-crp-grasslands-bobwhite-quail



Jan and Bruce Sassmann, Kyle Lairmore
Land Management for Quail Habitat
Jan and Bruce Sassmann work with Private Land conservationist Kyle Lairmore on how best to manage their land for quail habitat improvement.


This is a great idea!! We have a power-line that bisects our 80 acres. The power company owns it outright, as it does most transmission line property. It is not public land. I have a lease on the portion that crosses our land. I'm limited in what I can do for wildlife, although currently most of the line is cool-season grasses. I have planted food plots on some parts. A bigger problem may be landowners/farmers that see wildlife, especially deer, as competition and do little for wildlife. MDC has a great site and offers excellent advice. I wisjh Michigan's was as good.

That is great news sir, I dearly hope that some sort of an agreement can be reached with the utility companies to help with the improvement of quail habitat state and nation wide.

Our blogs are posted on the Missouri Department of Conservation Facebook page

Thank you Jerry for your comment. There are now a couple of efforts underway statewide to do just that. I can share more with you once we finalize our agreements.

While I applaud the efforts of the MDC, NWTF, QU, QUWF and QF, I think one area that has not recieved enough attention is habitat connectivity or more appropiately, lack thereof. Studies have shown and biologist will agree that while having isolated pockets of quail is a start to their recovery, there has to be a way to "connect the dots" so to speak to bring these area together somewhat. And from purely a laymans point of view, the best way for this to happen is with the utility rights-of-way that criss cross not only this state but the nation as a whole. Just think of all the millions of acres that could be improved and or converted to ideal habitat for all species of small game, even deer, not that they need much help, and the travel corridors that these areas can and do provide. I think this is a topic that should be discussed at great length with the different utility companies and other associated groups and the landowners themselves. This needs to happen before its too late. What say you?

Does this site have a page on Facebook?

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