Based on Pheasants Forever model, local chapters control all funds raised

LYONS -- On Nov. 2, more than two dozen residents from central Kansas gathered to form the state’s first chapter of Quail Forever (QF). The new chapter, called the Heartland Pioneer Chapter of QF, will be led by Rice County residents Jack Mull, Doug Keesling, Ron Klein, and Bob Peel. The group plans to discuss the chapter’s habitat and youth conservation initiatives at their next meeting on Monday, Dec.12. The public and media are invited to attend.

“There is a tremendous amount of interest in conserving quail in this community,” said Ron Klein, district conservationist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and a member of the new chapter. “The biggest habitat issue for quail in Kansas is trees taking over lands that should be native prairies and grasslands. Our chapter hopes to reverse that trend and create more quail habitat.”

“We are hoping that our habitat efforts will extend the quail hunting tradition for the next generation,” added Doug Keesling, the chapter’s newly-elected treasurer. “Conservation education and youth mentor hunts will go hand-in-hand with our chapter’s habitat efforts.”

The new Kansas chapter becomes the 13th QF chapter nationwide since the organization was formed on August 10 of this year. There are now five chapters in Illinois, two in Tennessee, and one each in Alabama, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas.

“Starting this chapter was the right thing to do for quail, for area farmers, and for the next generation of quail hunters,” said Jack Mull, the chapter’s newly-elected president. “This was our first step along a path that will include habitat projects, Conservation Reserve Program up-grade projects, and youth mentor hunts. We are proud to be the first, but we hope that other Kansas communities will soon form their own local chapters.”

The Dec. 12 meeting will be held at Mull’s cabin at 7 p.m. From 30th St. and Plum in Hutchinson, the cabin is located 8 miles north on Plum, 3 miles west on Ave. V, and one-half mile north. The public and media are invited to attend and learn more about the new chapter and organization.

For more information about the meeting, contact Mull at 620-669-7314 or email him at . To learn more about starting a QF chapter in Kansas, contact Barth Crouch at 785-823-0240 or email him at . The Quail Forever national office may be reached toll free at 866-457-8245 or by email at or visit the Quail Forever website .

QF applies the successful Pheasants Forever model of letting local chapters determine how 100 percent of their locally-raised conservation funds will be spent. Projects include habitat improvement, land management, public awareness, education, and conservation advocacy.