Tishomingo County Residents Form Quail Forever Chapter

10/26/07

Belmont, Mississippi - Residents in Tishomingo County have formed a new Quail Forever (QF) chapter in the state of Mississippi, the Bear Creek Chapter of QF. The new chapter joins the Metro Jackson chapter in the Jackson area, the Whistling Pines chapter out of the McComb area, and the Golden Triangle chapter based out of Clay, Lowndes, and Oktibbeha counties as Mississippi QF chapters.

"You can walk all day and not find any quail," said Alan Williams, a longtime quail hunter from Dennis and the Bear Creek chapter's newly-elected president," I think through Quail Forever, things can be done that make a difference."

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.

The Bear Creek chapter has targeted the area of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway - navigable rivers and canals connecting the Tennessee River and inland Mississippi and Alabama with the Gulf of Mexico - as in need of habitat improvement. The area contains 33,000 huntable acres, and although it used to hold a fair number of quail, as Williams puts it, "Now it's so thick, you can't walk through it." Williams added the chapter plans to work in conjunction with the Army Corps of Engineers and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks to improve habitat in the area.

"To restore Mississippi's quail populations, we're going to have to work hard to help landowners understand the importance of conservation practices," said Andy Edwards, QF Regional Wildlife Biologist in Mississippi, "And we need to work with landowners who already have acres enrolled in those practices to manage those acres. The Bear Creek chapter is up to that challenge."

The Bear Creek chapter has also elected Jeff Gray of Belmont as treasurer and Barry Wren of Dennis as habitat chair. For more information about the chapter, including upcoming meeting information, contact Alan Williams at (662)279-6620 or via email at gawilliams@hughes.net.

For more information on QF in Mississippi, 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.

Since the organization's inception, 90 QF chapters have formed in 26 different states. The QF mission is accomplished through habitat improvement, land management, public awareness, education, and conservation advocacy.

Media Contact:
Anthony Hauck (651)209-4972