It’s easier to get momentum than it is toIt’s easier to get momentum than it is to
maintain it.maintain it.
Virginia’s QRI...
Where we’ve been…
2
3
4
This is our second quail plan…
 Which should tell you something about the momentum
of the first 
 We did learn some les...
Baking a layer cake…
1) The base, or foundation for long term success – 5
jointly funded positions – focus on quail full t...
What the QRI is NOT…
 Will not restore quail statewide
 Not a cash cow for landowners
 Does not mean DGIF staff show up...
What the QRI is…
 Restore quail across 6 focus areas (15 counties)
 Increases technical assistance and cost-share
progra...
9
5 Private Lands Wildlife Biologists
 Has been a very good partnership between DGIF,
NRCS and CMI
 Greatly reduces admi...
5 Private Lands Wildlife Biologists
Major accomplishments
Fiscal year Site visits New
contacts
Managem
ent plans
Outreach
...
VDGIF funded Wildlife BMPs
 2010 – 566 acres and $128,962.00
 2011 – 782 acres and $219,139.00
 2012 – 270 acres and $5...
Cooperative Conservation
Partnership Initiative
 Special grant through NRCS and the WHIP program
 Allowed targeting of t...
14
Layer 3 – The Quail Management
Assistance Program - QMAP
 QMAP serves landowners statewide regardless of
participation...
QMAP landowners by acres owned
15
16
Outreach, outreach and more outreach
 Virginia Quail Council listserv – 100 contacts
 QMAP – listserv – all enrolled ...
17
Large Scale DVD outreach.
 DVD – “Answering the Call: Virginia’s Quail Recovery
Initiative”
 Designed to appeal to la...
18
Co-Coordinator hired…research and
monitoring (Jay Howell)
 Monitoring / tracking is critical to detecting and
reportin...
National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative
 By having a strong national presence, it helps states
maintain momentum
 NBCI...
Quail Quilts
 Within target counties, places where clusters of projects
start to develop
 Key in on those, and further t...
21
22
23
Landowner and partner recognition
24
Recognizing and promoting success
 Landowner signage has been developed
 Success articles in VW and other newsletters...
So why is maintaining momentum so
challenging???
 Personal / individual “leader” momentum
 Core team momentum
 Within a...
Why are so many quail biologists
bald and gray?
26
Short term funding to fix long term
problems
 “Fits and starts” as Steve Capel aptly described it
 High turn over among ...
Over abundance versus under
abundance
 Back in the good old days – everyone was focused on
under abundance – everyone was...
Unexpected but unavoidable
missions
29
Lines in the sand - polarization
 You say either “some use of Pen-raised quail is OK” – or
“NOT AT ALL” “NEVER!”
 You sa...
Most important – never give up,
what we do is important
 Dr. Ralph Stanley – in his mid 80s – still touring
 Won a Gramm...
Virginia's Quail Restoration Initiative: Challenges to Momentum
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Virginia's Quail Restoration Initiative: Challenges to Momentum

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Marc Puckett, chair of the National Bobwhite Technical Committee and Virginia's quail coordinator, updated the committee on Virginia's quail initiative at the organization's annual meeting in Roanoke, VA in July 2013. The video of his presentation can be seen on our YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksrrtcRzdwA&feature=share&list=UUwsptd3Yi61PGE2TXNiFnYQ

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  • Culpeper, Madison and Orange
  • Virginia's Quail Restoration Initiative: Challenges to Momentum

    1. 1. It’s easier to get momentum than it is toIt’s easier to get momentum than it is to maintain it.maintain it. Virginia’s QRI – “Momentum Madness”
    2. 2. Where we’ve been… 2
    3. 3. 3
    4. 4. 4
    5. 5. This is our second quail plan…  Which should tell you something about the momentum of the first   We did learn some lessons – number 1 is, if you do not have the support of your Board for the long haul, you are sunk.  Every effort has to be made to let those who want to see a quail plan know there are no quick fixes.  Initial momentum may be about charisma, excitement, etc. – but long term success is more about guts and perseverance. 5
    6. 6. Baking a layer cake… 1) The base, or foundation for long term success – 5 jointly funded positions – focus on quail full time 2) Increased and targeted cost-share – BMPs and WHIP / EQIP in 6 target counties – some statewide 3) QMAP – something for everyone, Quail Quilts and Quail Recovery Teams
    7. 7. What the QRI is NOT…  Will not restore quail statewide  Not a cash cow for landowners  Does not mean DGIF staff show up on your farm, trap predators, create habitat, etc.  Not a quick fix…none exist  It will not invoke a miracle…will take sustained effort
    8. 8. What the QRI is…  Restore quail across 6 focus areas (15 counties)  Increases technical assistance and cost-share program delivery  An effort to target cost-share funds and habitat  Demonstrate county scale population effects  Builds interest, networking, importance  Is a flywheel that will require a lot of inertia in the beginning…in hopes a breakthrough is achieved at some point 8 to 10 years down the road
    9. 9. 9 5 Private Lands Wildlife Biologists  Has been a very good partnership between DGIF, NRCS and CMI  Greatly reduces administrative burden for DGIF and landowners  These 5 biologists are the “heart and soul” of the entire QRI…their attention is solely focused on habitat development  Dramatically increases liaison between partners
    10. 10. 5 Private Lands Wildlife Biologists Major accomplishments Fiscal year Site visits New contacts Managem ent plans Outreach sessions Managed acres Total farm acres 2010 251 235 104 47 1,168 21,080 2011 540 406 270 160 5,354 81,972 2012 429 397 295 276 5,145 32,955 2013 412 164 300 257 ? 41,160 Total 1632 1202 969 770 11,667 (?) 177,167 11
    11. 11. VDGIF funded Wildlife BMPs  2010 – 566 acres and $128,962.00  2011 – 782 acres and $219,139.00  2012 – 270 acres and $54,793.00  Approximately 1600 acres and $402,894.00  And there are $88,773.00 worth of projects carried over to 2013 for a grand total of $491,667.00 plus all new sign-up to come this spring. 12
    12. 12. Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative  Special grant through NRCS and the WHIP program  Allowed targeting of the special WHIP funds specific to the 6 initial quail focus counties  Has brought in $256,000.00 in NRCS funds to support the quail plan  Funded 23 projects for an average of $11,130.00 per project, or an average cost of $73.00 per acre  Has funded a total of 3572 acres  Combined CCPI and VDGIF BMPs approximately $820,000.00 in habitat acres on the ground 13
    13. 13. 14 Layer 3 – The Quail Management Assistance Program - QMAP  QMAP serves landowners statewide regardless of participation in government cost-share  278 landowners enrolled (67,732 acres 16% managed)  Each year we have added more new applicants than during the previous year, this year we topped 100 new applicants  They all get a certificate of appreciation, a management packet and enrollment on our list serve  Big part of QMAP is our list serve (maintained by CMI for free)
    14. 14. QMAP landowners by acres owned 15
    15. 15. 16 Outreach, outreach and more outreach  Virginia Quail Council listserv – 100 contacts  QMAP – listserv – all enrolled landowners on it  Website updated  Articles in Virginia Wildlife, QU Magazine and Covey Rise  Articles in Richmond Times Dispatch, Federicksburg Star, Roanoke Times and others  Mass mailing on cost-share to 20,000 landowners in 15 target counties – have done 4 separate mailings  Have been on Virginia public TV and radio, and on RFD- TV nationally
    16. 16. 17 Large Scale DVD outreach.  DVD – “Answering the Call: Virginia’s Quail Recovery Initiative”  Designed to appeal to landowners who are “on the fence” in deciding to participate  Highlights successes of real landowners  Uses an emotional appeal “quail don’t need help 10 years from now, they need it now, and here is YOUR chance to be involved in conservation.”  2500 made, over 2000 distributed so far
    17. 17. 18 Co-Coordinator hired…research and monitoring (Jay Howell)  Monitoring / tracking is critical to detecting and reporting success (Model Focus Areas)  Maintain long term surveys, too.  Research is key to identifying new opportunities  Liaison to the songbird community...new survey protocols help monitor species in addition to quail  Non-game partnerships will be critical to landscape level success  Other research ongoing / planned
    18. 18. National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative  By having a strong national presence, it helps states maintain momentum  NBCI serves a key role which I think is to unite 25 state agencies, key NGOs, other partners under one umbrella  It is only really 3 years old with staffing  Building momentum, but finding stable funding is a huge key  NBCI is a state initiative – your directors told us to do this and they comprise the NBCI Management Board – so ultimately NBCI’s success depends on their leadership 19
    19. 19. Quail Quilts  Within target counties, places where clusters of projects start to develop  Key in on those, and further target outreach  Looking for 1500 acres of habitat within a 6000 acres area (about 10 square miles) (called Model Focus Areas by NBCI)  This is 25% useable habitat within that context  Then plan intense monitoring to document successes  Only 2 or 3 developing so far  Need a public lands focus and help!! 20
    20. 20. 21
    21. 21. 22
    22. 22. 23 Landowner and partner recognition
    23. 23. 24 Recognizing and promoting success  Landowner signage has been developed  Success articles in VW and other newsletters  Success stories on National Bobwhite Technical Committee webpage  Field tours of farms where success has occurred  Wildlife conservation awards through SWCDs (some already occurring and have for years)  Statewide recognition of wildlife conservationists is needed badly
    24. 24. So why is maintaining momentum so challenging???  Personal / individual “leader” momentum  Core team momentum  Within agency momentum  Public / landowner momentum  Partner momentum  National momentum 25
    25. 25. Why are so many quail biologists bald and gray? 26
    26. 26. Short term funding to fix long term problems  “Fits and starts” as Steve Capel aptly described it  High turn over among short term funded staff  Time demands for hiring and training new staff can be draining  Please read the paper I made a copy for all of you (“The Gassett Doctrine”) I will call it – from Quail 7  Why don’t upland game and non game birds (wildlife) have the equivalent of what has been done for waterfowl?  Until we fix the funding problem… 27
    27. 27. Over abundance versus under abundance  Back in the good old days – everyone was focused on under abundance – everyone was focused on making more critters and habitat  In this era – ½ to 2/3 of many agencies’ biologist staff are focused on addressing over abundance  And many focused on under abundance focus on T&E species  So not only have agencies suffered losses in total staffing, they have taken on new missions that demand a high portion of remaining staff 28
    28. 28. Unexpected but unavoidable missions 29
    29. 29. Lines in the sand - polarization  You say either “some use of Pen-raised quail is OK” – or “NOT AT ALL” “NEVER!”  You say to landowners “well – sorry you don’t have 1500 to 2000 acres so there is nothing you can do for quail.”  You say “use of translocated quail that may not be genetically the same as local populations is unacceptable.”  You take the approach that habitat management is the only real solution, that there is no place for predator control, supplemental feeding, and use of parent-reared chicks (I term TTRS Birds). 30
    30. 30. Most important – never give up, what we do is important  Dr. Ralph Stanley – in his mid 80s – still touring  Won a Grammy in 2002 – in his mid 70s “for best male vocalist”  Awarded honorary Doctorate of Music from Lincoln Memorial University, in Tennessee  Awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2006  Wrote book “Man of Constant Sorrow” with guest writer Eddie dean 31

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