Habitat & Conservation  |  01/18/2023

Volunteer-Led … Our Past and Our Future


Our volunteers have always answered the Call of the Uplands

By Jordan L.K. MartincichPhoto by Trevor Day

Many moons ago, a couple passionate upland hunters founded Pheasants Forever based on the belief that people across the pheasant range cared enough about pheasants to take action. Those founders’ crystal ball was probably at first a bit blurry, but their vision for a volunteer-led habitat organization was very clear.

Sixteen years ago, that same group founded Quail Forever with the same vision and passion.They believed upland hunters understood what was causing the demise of quail populations, and they predicted people would answer the call. Were they ever right.

Since 2006, Quail Forever has been a volunteer-led organization dedicated to upland wildlife habitat conservation. We may be partial, but we believe we have the best volunteers in the world. From Quail Forever’s National Board of Directors … to the Call of the Uplands® Campaign Steering Committee… to our ardent Chapter Leaders … to Quail Forever members that make habitat and hunting heritage happen in and around their communities … we are blessed to have tremendous, committed, and unmatched volunteers.

Not only do Quail Forever’s volunteers provide financial support to the organization, but they also give their time, which is everyone’s most valuable resource. Volunteering takes time away from family, friends, and livelihoods to deliver Quail Forever’s mission. Without volunteers rallying support, the actions of hosting fundraising events, delivering mentored hunts, and working to acquire lands for using the Build A Wildlife Area program, Quail Forever would not exist in its current form.

Volunteers are the foundation of this great organization, and the future of the uplands. The success of the Call of the Uplands Campaign is a wonderful example of the outcomes that can be generated when volunteers commit to a worthy cause with an overwhelming sense of urgency.

The campaign is rapidly accelerating Quail Forever’s impact on upland habitat while also serving as a mechanism to activate our constituents more deeply in wildlife habitat conservation. Together Quail Forever volunteers, in partnership with Quail Forever’s employee team, donors and conservation partners, are delivering the Call of the Uplands campaign.

With history as our witness, future generations will look back on this team effort and use it as a roadmap for their conservation endeavors.

As is the case with all campaigns, the Call of the Uplands campaign will inevitably come to an end. It will be essential when the campaign wraps up for us not to view it as an ending but as a beginning. This campaign is the start of a new way of doing business designed to overcome the challenges facing upland wildlife.

This new way of doing business is something all of us need to embrace. The world is a swiftly changing place so we must observe, adapt, react, and overcome, to save our beloved uplands.

We need to look at things differently and implement innovative strategies that motivate all Americans to prioritize upland habitat as part of their daily lives. Call of the Uplands is a step in the right direction but, again, just a beginning.

Your support as a member is greatly appreciated. But quail need you to begin doing more. In fact, Quail Forever needs you to give more of your most valuable commodity. We need you to give time.

Giving time can take many forms. You can start a Quail Forever chapter, join an existing chapter committee, take your bird dogs to a mentored hunt, host a pint night, help with a Hands-on-Habitat Day, or even just visit with someone each day about why you support Quail Forever. Don’t discount the outcomes that a simple conversation can generate.

We need people of all ages from all walks of life to answer the call by giving time to Quail Forever. We know this works, because our volunteers have proven it works. Please join us as we embark on the next leg of our journey to save the uplands: Become a Quail Forever volunteer today. For more information on the many benefits associated with becoming a Quail Forever volunteer, please visit quailforever.org/participate

Have thoughts on innovative volunteer-led strategies you feel Quail Forever should explore? Got advice on things we should consider doing differently? Please email me at jmartincich@quailforever.org.

This story originally appeared in the 2023 Winter Issue of the Quail Forever Journal. If you enjoyed it and would like to be the first to read more great upland content like this, become a Quail Forever member today!