For Immediate Release
Marc Puckett, VDGIF, (434) 392-8328
Galon Hall, NRCS, (804) 287-1669
NOTE: This news release was distributed on 3/8/2012. The information below may no longer be the most up-to-date information available, or may pertain solely to events that occurred in the past. Please contact the person listed as the contact person for this release for the most current information.
NRCS Awards 2012 Funding for Quail Habitat Restoration
Richmond, VA, March 8, 2012 - The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service has awarded $85,000 to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries for ongoing partnership activities to create or improve quail habitat in Sussex, Halifax, Wythe, Culpeper, King and Queen, and Augusta counties.
Although program signup is continuous, deadlines for upcoming ranking periods are March 30, April 30, and May 31. Assistance is available to help farmers install conservation practices to:
• Create new or manage existing early successional habitats such as field borders, hedgerows and old fields.
• Manage existing pine and hardwood forests to create open herbaceous early successional habitat understories (manage thinned stands with prescribed fire).
• Restore rare or declining habitat (Longleaf pine historic range and grassland greater than 25 acres for grassland birds).
"The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is a key partner in our efforts to help landowners improve wildlife habitat on their land," says NRCS State Conservationist Jack Bricker. "Working through shared Private Lands Wildlife Biologists, we are continuing to piece together 'quail quilts' of habitat to help the species recover."
This is the third year NRCS has provided funding through the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI) to support Virginia's Quail Recovery Initiative, a cooperative effort between several agencies, groups, and individuals. These landscape-scale quail recovery projects are beginning to yield positive results with surveys in one rural Virginia county recording one quail per three acres.
States Marc Puckett of VDGIF, "NRCS continues to be a 'diamond' partner in Virginia's quail recovery efforts. Their support is playing a key role in helping Virginia's landowners strive to reach habitat goals outlined in the Quail Recovery Initiative. While dubbed 'quail habitat,' these projects help dozens of wildlife species, including pollinating insects."
Visit your local NRCS Office in Emporia, Tappahannock, Halifax, Culpeper, Verona, or Wytheville to learn more about signing up for this CCPI funding for quail recovery activities.
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About the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
It is the mission of the VDGIF to maintain optimum populations of all species to serve the needs of the Commonwealth; to provide opportunity for all to enjoy wildlife, inland fish, boating and related outdoor recreation and to work diligently to safeguard the rights of the people to hunt, fish and harvest game as provided for in the Constitution of Virginia; to promote safety for persons and property in connection with boating, hunting and fishing; to provide educational outreach programs and materials that foster an awareness of and appreciation for Virginia's fish and wildlife resources, their habitats, and hunting, fishing, and boating opportunities. To learn more about wildlife in Virginia visit www.dgif.virginia.gov.