Quail Forever Preserves Critical Illinois Habitat

fae9fbc1-5977-481f-a81f-e84febaa6ecb Earlier this year, Quail Forever’s historic Call of the Uplands® national campaign was launched with the ambitious, but vitally important goal of raising $500 million for upland habitat conservation.
Now the first tangible effects of this historic effort are being realized with the announcement that Quail Forever, in a sprawling, one-of-kind assignment of conservation easements in Illinois’ primary bobwhite range, has acquired 5,600 acres of easements in Saline and Williamson Counties, Illinois.
Formerly a landscape of surface-mined coal properties mostly reclaimed for farmland and recreational use, Quail Forever’s newest easements include over 40 landowners with a contiguous acreage of nearly nine square miles — a conservation rarity in the 21st century — whose remediation efforts have transformed the region into a wildlife oasis.
Featuring a mix of working lands, native prairie and forest, this territory of Saline and Williamson Counties is rated as “high response potential” by the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative for quail habitat and populations, further emphasizing the importance of the hard work of Quail Forever in acquiring such a significant project.
“Quail Forever’s role in this easement assignment is to perpetuate the vision of the Land Conservation Trust of Southern Illinois while helping to tell the incredible conservation narrative of this landscape-level project over its lifetime,” stated Jordan Martincich, director of development for Quail Forever. “Quail Forever is proud to hold the easements which are now the largest conservation easement complex in the organization’s history, and we’re prepared to ensure wildlife have a place to thrive in the southern reaches of The Prairie State, forever.” The Land Conservation Trust of Southern Illinois was pleased to wrap up its conservation efforts by assigning all of its conservation easements to Quail Forever.
Although the easements are held by Quail Forever, it should be noted that the customary rights of ownership are retained by the fee-title holder and public access is at the discretion of the landowner. In its simplest form, a conservation easement is a set of restrictions voluntarily placed on a property by a landowner to protect certain conservation values. The restrictions are enforced (or “held”) by a non-profit organization, like Quail Forever, to ensure the environment flourishes indefinitely.
This easement project is part of a permanent habitat protection strategy contributing to the goals of Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever’s Call of the Uplands national campaign, a recently announced monumental initiative to save America’s uplands and cultivate the next generation of conservationists and hunters.
Click here to learn more about Call of the Uplands, and how you can join us in the fight to save our beloved upland habitats and the countless outdoors opportunities and environmental benefits  they provide us