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Quail Initiative Habitat Tour and Dinner

Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism

 

Landowners and others interested in improving quail habitat on their property are invited to attend a Quail Habitat Tour and free dinner scheduled for Tuesday, October 21st at Melvern Wildlife Area, Reading, Kansas. Starting at 4:30 PM, a tour of completed and active habitat projects on Melvern Wildlife Area will take place. Those interested in attending the tour will meet at the KDWPT shop on the east side of Reading. Following the tour, a free catered meal, compliments of the Neosho Valley Quail Forever and Emporia Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation chapters, will be held at the Reading city building around 6:00 pm.

Following dinner, Kansas Wildlife, Parks & Tourism (KDWPT) will update participants on the progress of the Quail Initiative Project and present information on bobwhite biology and habitat management. Local Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) personnel will also be on hand to discuss relevant cost share programs available, as well as representatives from other local conservation organizations. The evening will wrap up with a time for questions, discussion, and the opportunity to sign up for habitat planning assistance.

The Kansas Quail Initiative is an effort spearheaded by the KDWPT to implement additional funding in two areas ofEastern Kansas to improve habitat for quail and monitor the changes over the next five years. The goal is to improve quail populations by 50% in these focus areas. The area of focus area for this meeting includes the Melvern Wildlife Area and over 190,000 acres in portions of Lyon, Wabaunsee, Osage and Coffey counties. “We plan to offer 100% cost sharing for landowners in these areas to implement ‘quail friendly practices’ on their land,” according to Jim  Pitman, Kansas small game coordinator. “KDWPT has designated $100,000 each year to this effort and those dollars can be used to supplement the normal 75% cost share rate from federal habitat programs. The bottom line is that landowners in this focal area will work with biologists to plan habitat improvements for quail and cost-share payments will cover all the costs,” according to Pitman. Some of the practices eligible for cost-share funding include native grass and forbs planting, removal of invading trees from grasslands, prescribed burning, hedgerow renovation and prescribed grazing. During its first two years, the Initiative has directly impacted nearly 1,300 private land acres and 4,400 public land acres.

To learn more about this effort, call 620-342-0658 by October 15th to make your reservation for the habitat tour and/or meal. If cannot attend, but would like to know more about the initiative, call Pat Riese, District Biologist at 620-583-5049.