Chapter aims to improve local quail habitat and connect youth to outdoors

MINNEAPOLIS -- Ottawa County residents have formed the state's seventh Quail Forever (QF) chapter, the Solomon Valley Chapter of QF. The chapter has targeted local quail habitat improvement and youth conservation education as its primary objectives.

"It's not as if quail populations are non-existent, but it's hard to find coveys with eight to 10 or more birds," says Kevin Thompson, the Solomon Valley chapter's inaugural president. He says the main reason for the decline in local quail populations over the years is habitat loss.

Thompson notes that a positive trend recently has been the number of local farmers enrolling land in Conservation Practice 33 (CP-33). Part of the federal Conservation Reserve Program commonly known as Bobwhite Buffers, CP-33 is a conservation practice that improves bobwhite quail habitat through the creation of habitat buffers along row crops. Kansas leads the nation with more than 27,000 acres enrolled.

According to Thompson, another key to the chapter's future habitat work will be connecting youth to hunting, conservation, and the outdoors. "Getting youth involved will go a long way to ensuring that we have a strong and dedicated chapter years down the road," he says.

The chapter will meet on Sunday, Sept. 23, at the trap shooting range in Minneapolis for a barbeque and shoot. For more information on the event, contact Thompson at 785-523-4321 or email him at

For information on QF in Kansas, to start a chapter, or to join one of the state's existing chapters, phone Barth Crouch, QF regional wildlife biologist, at 785-823-0240 or email him at