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SilverAnni"uersary for the Csnservstiorx ffi*seru*Fr*grerr?t The ConservationReserveProgramis celebratinga quarter centuryof ensuringquality Ushand lvildlif'ehabitatfirr sportsrnen. More than 3 | million acresarecurrentlyenrolledin the CRP, lvhich fbcuseson reducingwaterrunoff and sedimentationthat can eitherruin strategicnestinghabitator lessenwaterquality.Upland birds suchas pheasantand quail are amongspecieswhose _9arne populationshave improvedsignificantlyas a resultof the prograrn. The TheodoreRooseveltConservationPartnershipand a numberof its partnergroupsare working tctsustainf undingfor theseimportantprogramsin the 2012Farm Bill. "During a time of budgetausterity.sportsmenremindour congressional leaders that no legislationbetterensuresthe conservationof America's private.agriculturaland fbrestlandsthan the Farm Bill," said TRCP Directorof Policy and GovernmentRelationsTom Franklin. "Thesepopularand successfulconservationprograms,including the CRP,are necessaryto sustaingood farming practicesand our nation'scherishedoutdoortraditions." For more information: TheodoreRooseveltConservation Partnershipat www.trcp.org.

Rolling PlainsQuail Research ch Pledges $2M to GetIt Done

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In a widely popular move that firmly demonstratesits commitmentto preservingwild quail, the Rolling Plains Research Ranchhas pledged$2 million to determinewhy Texasquail

pclpulations continueto decline. "Bobrvhiteabundancehasdeclinedfor a rvhile.more drasticallyin someareasthan others,"said Dr. Dale Rollins,the directorfbr theRolling PlainsQuail Research Ranch. Commontheoriesrangefrom disease,lireants.lack of prescribed burnings,overgrazing. invasivespeciesanda proliferation of wild turkeysandferalhogs.amongothers.Still, no causeor seriesof causeshasbeenpinpointedso that restoration planscan get underway. The study.namedOperationIdiopathicDecline.is expected to continuefbr the next threeyears.Accordingto Dr. Rollins.the 'uvillbe to samplequailduringthe late-summer initialfbcLrs period. "The patternmost peopleareobservingis good quail numbersuntil afier LabclrDay.thensomethingseemsto happenbetrveenthenand openingday.This hashappenedthe lastt\,voyears." An initial group of scientistsrvasgatheredfrom educational powerhouses like TexasA&M University.TexasTech University. the CaesarKlebergWildlife ResearchInstituteat TexasA&MKingsville andAudubonTexasamongothersto formulatean initial courseof action. "This all-star team brings with them the expertise in virology, parasitology,toxicology and other disciplinesessential to cracking the quail decline code," said Rick Snipes,the president of the Rolling Plains Quail ResearchRanch. "Eventually we hope to recruitinternationallyknown scientistsonto our team.And I'm excitedthat severalofthem areconcernedquail hunters- that meansthey also havea vestedinterestin the outcome." For more informationaboutthe ranch:www.quailresearch.org. For more information about Operation Idiopathic Decline; Dr. Dale Rollins. 325-653-4576. d-rollins@tamu.edu.

IIa,rd-Core Dallas, Texas,bird hunter extraordinaireJack Minter is living a dream.Over a three-yearperiod, Minter hunted in 1l states and Mexico for 28 diffierentspeciesof upland birds. What began as a quest to hunt all speciesof quail, Minter decidedto take his show on the road and to keep hunting. He huntedfrom Fairbanks, Alaska,to Campeche,Mexico, and mostpointsin between.Along the way he targetedsix speciesofquail and l5 speciesofpheasant, ptarmigan,partridges,prairie chicken and grouse.According to the Dallas Morning News, Minter upland hunts becausehe loves walking, seeingdifferent terrain and dog work. And while he has hunted a variety of different species,his favorite game bird is the bobwhite quail.

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ed, the e.h;rgaQ;ns readyT- Vek. 7'h. p.rsi))o, tree thd a/"n7s sits /orcJy d the J "+ the eorn#di is /ar. .xe-F for the o-trin(/./ yeJ/ott /a//s thd lhe passa,4s /ote, soft Znd /iver-/roun-sp/ote-heJ noa-t,ad free of lhe a/um thct ties loryte in (tets atd turns moulh

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Kuark - 7'h. O/d Man ad the 8a,/ THE TIPLANDALMANAC


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Wildlands Network's TrekEast: Preserving Resources "triWilderness explorerJohnDavis.a self'-described athletemeetsJohnMuir." is on a 4.-500-ntilc trck to inspirc a netr'vorkof peopleto help savethe rcmainingnaturaland uninhabited areasakrngthe EasternWildway.Davis'trip beganon Feb.3.2011, in the Evcrglades nearKey Largo, Fla..and rvill concludein Canada'sGaspePeninsula. Along the rvayhe'll paddle.climb.cycleand ski his rvaythrough swanrps, fbrests.rivers.marshes, rnountains and valleys. Davishasdividedhis trip into l0 sectionswith a major city at theendof eachleg.In eachof thesecities.Daviswill takea breakto sharehis experiences rvith the rnedia.to report on his findingsand to beginan outlineof a seriesof action plansand initiatives. "A wild adventureandtheexhilaration of motioncan attractpeopleto the noble(butoftenintimidating)causeof protectingwildlif'ehabitat,"saidthe 47-year-oldfbunderof the WildlandsNetrvork. One of the animalsof concernto Davis is the bobwhitequail.Davisand his teamof research scientists haverecognizedthat bobrvhitequail, rvith a rangefrom Floridato Massachusetts, are imperiledin Tennessee and in Massachusetts andcriticallyimperiledin Pennsylvania. A secondgamebird of interestto Davis and Wildlands Netrvorkis the sprucegrousein the Adirondacksand northern Appalachians. Initial investigations havebegunon ruffed woodcock populations. and -grouse Facebookchronicles the scopeof Davis'trip: wlvw.facebook.corn/# !/lv i ldlandsnet,uvork. Fclrmore informationor to makea donation: w ww.wi ldlandsnetr,vork.org.

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Flushes Summer 2011 by Tom Keer originally printed in Upland Almanac