Influential Mission Accomplishments During an Unprecedented Year Define Quail Forever 2020 National Chapter of the Year Award Recipients

Quail Forever volunteer chapters throughout America are being honored this week for their mission-driven accomplishments over the past year in the categories of habitat work, membership, education and outreach, and advocacy. These attributes are what propel the organization’s conservation accomplishments from year-to-year, now accounting for more than 20 million acres since 1982.
“Quail Forever’s take-home message from 2020 is this: it takes more than a worldwide pandemic to distract dedicated volunteers and chapters from accomplishing the organization’s upland wildlife habitat and hunting heritage missions,” stated Howard Vincent, president and CEO of Quail Forever. “The lifeblood of Quail Forever – our engaged chapter base – never ceases to amaze me, which is why I am honored to announce our deserving national chapter award recipients of ‘The Habitat Organization.’”
National Chapter of the Year - Habitat Award
Southern Arizona Chapter of Quail Forever
Receiving national honors for their conservation efforts on public lands, the Southern Arizona Chapter of Quail Forever has taken a multi-faceted approach to habitat improvement and restoration in the challenging desert landscape of Arizona. Featuring impactful projects that benefit wildlife, hunters, ranchers, and other recreationists who use the state’s vast public lands network, the following activities demonstrate the committee’s dedication to wild things in wild places over the past year:
  • Completed 380 rock dams to control erosion in their ongoing Grassland Restoration Project along the Mexico border. This venture is in collaboration with the Borderlands Restoration Project, bolstered with a federal grant from the United States Forest Service, helping mitigate and control erosion in areas negatively impacted by wildfires, overgrazing, and drought.
  • In conjunction with the rock dams, chapter volunteers and biologists planted seed balls of locally sourced, native vegetation to restore vital ecosystem functions and wildlife habitat.
  • Chapter volunteers installed quail ramps built by the Bureau of Land Management and Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) so that quail and other species can escape water tanks without drowning.
  • Chapter volunteers assisted with the installation of wildlife-friendly fencing and surveying for missing coveys in support of recovery efforts for endangered masked bobwhites in the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge.
  • Chapter volunteers assisted AZGFD with quail check stations and the annual Mearns' and Gambel's quail collection survey.
  • Chapter maintains responsibility for, and regularly completes, a highway cleanup for Hog Canyon. This region is known for heavy public hunting pressure (and litter) due to concentrations of Gambel's quail, Mearns' quail, and Coues whitetail deer.
  • In coordination with the Coronado National Forest, the chapter monitors grazing activities on government leases, and helps to resolve overgrazing issues that impact wildlife habitat health and resilience.
The chapter aims to restore over 12,000 acres of desert habitat in the coming year and has secured federal funding to continue many of these projects for the foreseeable future.
National Chapter of the Year – Membership Award
Southern Wyoming Chapter of Quail Forever
For a second consecutive year, the Southern Wyoming Chapter of Quail Forever has once again earned national recognition for hosting the nation’s largest Quail Forever banquet resulting in 274 adult memberships for 2020. One of the most unique aspects of this growing chapter is their location, based in the quail-free, distinctive region of Cheyenne, Wyoming.  These chapter volunteers simply love Quail Forever’s model empowering local volunteers with 100% control over the funds they raise for conservation efforts benefiting a wide array of local wildlife with an eye on improving the habitat health of the broader landscape nationwide.
Committee volunteers have quickly transcended the boundaries of bobwhite quail to gain massive public support for their overarching mission of wildlife habitat conservation. Outside of their membership successes, the chapter also delivers the organization’s mission at a high level by supporting legislative advocacy, youth programs, a private lands biologist, and state hunting access initiatives such as Wyoming’s “Access Yes” program by contributing matching funds.
National Chapter of the Year – Education & Outreach Award
Llano Estacado Chapter of Quail Forever
Based in Lubbock, Texas, the Llano Estacado Chapter of Quail Forever has earned national honors for creating quality outdoor experiences that fulfill and exceed organizational pillars for conservation education and outreach at the local level.
Llano Estacado volunteers sponsored youth attendees for the Texas Brigades leadership camp, designed to introduce kids to wildlife conservation through leadership activities. The committee volunteers also donated $10,000 to the No Child Left Indoors initiative for the second consecutive year and have provided direct support for their local 4H shooting sports team with $28,467.50 in financial contributions.
This chapter continues to set a positive example as a leader in youth support throughout the state of Texas, helping to groom the next generation of conservation leaders in the southern Great Plains.
National Chapter of the Year – Advocacy Award
Music City Chapter of Quail Forever
The ability of Quail Forever to create habitat often begins in Washington, D.C. and state legislatures as federal and stateside conservation programs become approved for delivery on the landscape. To that end, local chapters are asked to support Quail Forever’s advocacy efforts through the Legislative Action Fund, assuring that the voice of conservation is being presented to political platforms on behalf of the organization’s 18,000 members. For fiscal year 2020, the Music City Chapter of Quail Forever in Tennessee is being recognized as a national leader in this category.
As staunch supporters of our advocacy work, the Music City Chapter of Quail Forever rose to the occasion by donating $5,000 to the organization’s Legislative Action Fund. This contribution has helped support two staffers in the halls of Congress, passage of the Great American Outdoors Act in 2020, and constant influence on the nation’s Farm Bill and associated conservation programs. Additional financial support for biologist positions in the state of Tennessee has aided the organization in creating free technical assistance throughout the region for landowners interested in implementing voluntary conservation programs – turning advocacy into boots-on-the-ground conservation work.
About Quail Forever
Pheasants Forever, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever, is the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 138,000 members and 760 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Since creation in 1982, Pheasants Forever has spent over $900 million on 550,000 habitat projects benefiting 19 million acres nationwide. In fact, more than 200,000 of those acres are now permanently protected as public lands. 

Media Contact
Jared Wiklund
(651) 209-4953

Photo Credit: Emily Spolyar, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever