On the Ground
Set Back Fescue for Better Quail Habitat
You don’t need to plant lots of warm-season grass to boost quail numbers. In 2006, Gasconade County landowners Tom Becker and his brother Greg set back 60 acres of fescue on their property. Just a year later, they reported seeing two new coveys on their land. “We didn’t realize how bad fescue was for wildlife,” Tom said. The Beckers’ private land conservationist, John Knudsen, recommended they eradicate the fescue with herbicide and time the applications to minimize the negative effects on native grasses and wildflowers already in the fields. This was the least-cost alternative for them to reach their goal of re-establishing suitable habitat for quail and other small game species. “The first year the wildflowers came in just gorgeous,” Tom said.
Fall is a good time to start eradicating fescue. For detailed instructions on preparing your site and timing your herbicide applications, visit the links listed below.
Order Free Quail Calendar
Get 12 months of tips for better bobwhite habitat.
Want to increase quail and other grassland wildlife but have a hard time remembering seasonal habitat needs? The 2009 Your Key to Quail Habitat calendar keeps management reminders in view. Each page includes life cycle and management notes, as well as wildlife illustrations by Conservation Department artists David Besenger, Mark Raithel and Charles Schwartz. These free calendars will be available in MDC regional offices in late November. Call your regional office for more information.
Business and Conservation
Enthusiasts can use LLCs to conserve habitat.
Some wildlife enthusiasts are using LLCs—limited liability companies—to set up their own private preserves while supporting conservation in a concrete way. The nine owners of Massasauga Flats, a private wetland near Meadville, formed their LLC to demonstrate how to restore and manage Wetland Reserve Program tracts. “Anyone can do this,” says George Seek, a former Department wetland biologist. “The most important part is putting together the right mix of people who agree on the purpose and are willing to do the work.” Tasks include maintaining the LLC’s legal status and managing the property for the group’s agreed-upon values. Because members share the costs, they can form an LLC relatively inexpensively. As with any legal undertaking, begin the process by consulting your professional advisors.