Elk burgers attracted landowners and state officials to the Fairgrounds Anderson Building on Tuesday, Oct. 29, for the Kansas Quail Initiative workshop.
About 110 people from Lyon and surrounding counties attended, listening to state representatives and scientists discuss their plans for quail conservation and habitat management.
Presentations were given by various local officials from the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, and other local conservation agencies, about the different aspects of protecting the quail population. State wildlife biologist Bob Culbertson says there's good incentives for people to join.
The cost-sharing initiative would reimburse landowners 100% of the estimated costs of turning some of their land into quail-friendly property. Landowner and rural Lyon County resident Richard Porter just got started with the process of clearing some of his acreage for wildlife habitat, and says the process is going well so far.
Private landowners are the biggest partner with the KDWPT on this project, and the state is committed to spending up to $100,000 a year on private land improvements. Porter says it's well worth the effort, especially if done smartly.
The Quail Initiative project was designed to improve habitats and foster changes in the quail population in eastern Kansas. That population, along with other grassland birds, has been declining steadily over the past 40 years.
The primary goals of the initiative are to increase the bobwhite quail population by 50%, and to see a 5% net increase in suitable quail habitat within each of the two focus areas in eastern Kansas.
More information about the Kansas Quail Initiative, and the focus areas, is available through the KDWPT. You can contact their Wichita office at 316-683-4464.