Quail Forever on the Rise

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As we enter our 15th year, a heartfelt "thank you" to our chapter volunteers, members, and partners 

Quail Forever was established on August 10, 2005 with a mission focused on the conservation of our six native quail species, and as we celebrate this anniversary and look forward to entering our 15th year of incredible achievements, unprecedented growth, and a bright future, we're extremely proud of what we've achieved.

However, we are especially proud of the chapter volunteers, members, and partners that are the true heart and soul of the organization. Over the past 14 years the 181 chapters and over 18,000 members of Quail Forever have created almost 16,000 habitat projects that have affected close to one million acres. Our Farm Bill biologists have made nearly 16,000 landowner contacts affecting over 5 million acres of habitat. 

It is no coincidence that Quail Forever works like a covey of quail. For a quail, the integrity of the covey is everything. Alone, a quail stands no chance of survival. But together, within the covey, there is strength, security, and a fighter’s chance to survive, thrive, and help ensure the future of the group. Together, we are a chorus, a juggernaut of a covey coming together for a shared passion, working toward a shared goal.
  
It's hard to believe, looking back to that day in 2005, that QF could make such an outsized impact, but just in the past year alone Quail Forever completed thousands of acres of wildlife habitat projects and worked with landowners to implement voluntary conservation programs, improving habitat for quail, pheasants, and other wildlife. In addition, in 2018 Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever grew once again in dollars generated for upland wildlife conservation – more than $97 million was generated, with $96.4 million going directly to the nonprofit’s mission, a 90.1 percent efficiency rating.
 
Quail Forever Farm Bill wildlife biologists – who help interested landowners enroll in voluntary conservation programs – made thousands of landowner contacts in 2018, leading to even more acres of habitat improvement for wildlife. Quail Forever all-volunteer chapters spearheaded on-the-ground projects that included nesting cover improvements, upland & wetland restorations, food & cover plots and land acquisition projects. Added to grant-funded projects by staff and staff biologists, the organization’s efforts (QF and PF included) topped 1.5 million acres for wildlife habitat in the United States and Canada.
 
But direct conservation work is not our only task. Advocacy is a key component of our mission as well. The 2018 Farm Bill, signed into law December 20, was a key development for upland wildlife conservation. Quail Forever’s government affairs team worked toward making sure the bill’s conservation title provided billions of dollars annually to impact tens of millions of habitat acres across the country. “The Habitat Organization” points to a 27-million-acre Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) – an increase of 3 million acres – an expansion of the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP), and long-term funding for wetland/agricultural easements as earnest upland habitat improvements.
 
Historic agreements and cooperation with partner organizations is also a hallmark of our working model. In 2018 Quail Forever signed a partnership agreement with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for the Working Lands for Wildlife program. Quail Forever was awarded a NFWF grant to provide technical assistance delivering the National Resource Conservation Service’s WLFW bobwhite projects, focusing on working grassland and pine savannah habitats. The total partnership, including the NFWF funding, state agency partner support, QF chapters, and other sources will result in $4.9 million dollars invested in producing bobwhite habitat.
 
But despite this, we also recognize that without the continuation of our cherished quail-hunting traditions, all our work is for naught. That's why Quail Forever has, since its inception, always been a strong advocate for hunter recruitment, retention, and reactivation. In the last year alone, Quail Forever set new benchmarks for sharing our hunting heritage and outdoor traditions with youth and families. In addition to a record number of events and participants, Quail Forever joined a national hunter recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) movement made up of state, federal, private, corporate and nonprofit stakeholders. 

There have been many challenges conquered and many lofty goals achieved in the 14 years since that fateful August day. But the most difficult challenges, and the most satisfying victories, are still ahead of us. We promise to keep up the fight for your vision, and ours. Happy anniversary, Quail Forever, and here's to making the next 15 years even better.