Quail Decline Initiative: A Fond Farewell

This month, the Reversing the Quail Decline Initiative draws to a close. We wrap things up by celebrating Mr. Kirby Quail's 6th birthday, highlighting some new resources and a license plate you'll want to take a look at, and putting the spotlight on two more quail organizations you may want to follow. Thank you for sticking with us, and for your passion for Texas quail!

Texas farm and ranch land conservation program publishes evaluation report

The goal of this report was to examine the conservation easements executed under the Texas Farm and Ranch Lands Conservation Program, evaluating ecological and economic values secured through the protection of these properties as well as the fiscal efficiency of state funds to protect working lands with high agricultural value at a relatively low cost for state residents.

Quail are flying this November

Leaves are falling, and quail are flying! This month, we're putting the spotlight on several organizations you'll want to follow to continue your quail education. We've also included the quail hunting forecast from TPWD and the newest Dr. Dale on Quail podcast, which you should give a listen to if you're planning to run dogs in rattlesnake country. 

Quail Season Approaches

It's October, which means quail hunting season will soon be here (starting on Halloween this year!). Until then, we've got some recommendations for quail research institutions you should follow, as well as a new live video series focusing on Aldo Leopold's wildlife habitat management tools.

Announcing the REPI Resilience Webinar Series

To showcase ongoing military installation resilience efforts, REPI is supporting several virtual engagements this fall. Read more to see the Resilience Webinar Series Review highlighting the diverse range of workshops and webinars hosted by REPI, Southeast Regional Partnership for Planning and Sustainability, and Western Regional Partnership. Throughout this series, REPI will engage with installations, partners, and resilience leaders across the country to discuss how installation resilience can enhance military readiness.

Improving Cooperative State & Federal Species Conservation Efforts

Since the enactment of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1973, wildlife conservation has evolved to include more robust science, greater public involvement, and expanding partnerships. However, the ways state and federal managers work together hasn't evolved at the same pace. A more proactive approach to encourage, promote, and assist states in implementing conservation is overdue.

In May 2019, the University of Wyoming's Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources and College of Law, along with Texas A&M University's Natural Resources Institute and School of Law, convened a workshop that brought together 22 federal ESA and state wildlife conservation experts to reimagine the state-federal relationship and discuss opportunities for states to engage more meaningfully in species conservation efforts.

2020 Sentinel Landscapes Accomplishments Report Now Available

The report outlines how the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership enables the Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Defense (DoD), and Department of the Interior (DOI) to collaborate on land conservation and natural resource restoration projects that enhance national security by increasing the resilience of military installations and ranges.

A land stewardship experience dispatch

We're building a community of practice around land stewardship from the wings that fly above to the water trickling through the soil. Check out this peek into the 22 mini-decks you can dive into today.

Landowner Loop: tending the soil first

We do know that thorough conservation is more than applied science and collaboration; it requires the stewardship of discovery and the constant observational loop, if you will, where we go back to the space of application and learn the sequence of science. So, instead of a Private Land Stewardship vignette or a publication to aid in your efforts today, we're learning from landowners in our continued series called "Landowner Loop", where we keep tools in the field and feedback loops open.

Forging Ahead

COVID may have changed our summer plans, but we're forging ahead with new ways to deliver quail education. This month, you can practice your plant identification skills with a new PLS vignette, enjoy some online learning activities hosted by the Rolling Plains Bobwhite Brigade, and join us in congratulating Dr. Dale Rollins on achieving professor emeritus status!

Things are heating up

Summer is here, and there's plenty for quail enthusiasts to do! Texas Wildlife Association's annual convention normally takes place in San Antonio this month but has moved to an online format this year. There's also a new map resource we want to share, a vignette on wildlife tax valuation, and an upcoming virtual camp experience that young Students of Quail won't want to miss.

A Look at Texas Agriculture and the Texas A&M AgriLife Support Network

Texans will agree that you could never experience the full breadth of the state in one lifetime. It’s easy to identify the unique characteristics sprinkled throughout, ranging from the population composition and cultures, the native flora and fauna, and the spectacular river systems like the Red River in the north and the Rio Grande in the south. In true Texas form, you will also find a range of agricultural production strategies varying by regional differences in climate and landscape. At the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute, we tell the story of our state’s privately-owned farms, ranches, and forests, otherwise known as working lands, which provide numerous ecological, economic and intrinsic benefits to our communities and beyond.

Pillars of Knowledge in Quail Management: R-Selection

In the book “Texas Quails,” the authors discuss the scientific aspects of quail management and highlight four knowledge-based tenets which should inform any quail management decision. These “pillars of knowledge” include r-selection, successional affiliation, adaptive plasticity, and weather influences. In this new blog series, we will look at each of these pillars individually and explain why they should be the fundamental tools for any quail-minded manager.

Resources for New Landowners: Aldo Leopold's Five Tools of Wildlife Management

In Game Management, Aldo Leopold wrote, “Are we too poor in purse or spirit to apply some of it to keep the land pleasant to see, and good to live in?” This conveys a simple truth for both green and veteran landowners: land management may require hard work, but generates value for the land and our spirits. The most effective land management is that which is intentional.

Sentinel Landscapes: Uniting People, Securing the Future

In 2013, the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of Agriculture, and Department of the Interior came together in collaboration to launch the Sentinel Landscape program. This program is an innovative approach to landscape conservation—recognizing the seemingly disparate but actually interwoven values of national security, conservation, and working lands and leveraging this cross-sector collaboration to unite people and secure the future of landscapes across the country.

Some landowners diversify as Texas working land declines

The Big Bend Sentinel — Over a twenty-year period, Texas lost 2.2 million acres of working lands, with 1.2 million of those being converted to non-agricultural use in the last five years alone,  according to a new study of Texas land trends from 1997 to 2017 by Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute.

Texas Quail Index 2019 Summary

We've collected, analyzed, and summarized the data, and now you get to see what we learned about quail in 2019. We had plenty of rain at the start of the breeding season, but did that translate to more birds?

NRI publishes Status Update and Trends of Texas Working Lands 1997-2017

We are proud to present the long-awaited Texas Land TrendsStatus Update and Trends of Texas Working Lands 1997 - 2017  published in December 2019. Texas Land Trends reports have informed private and public landowners and decision-makers for over two decades. With this report, we are able to examine new patterns and identify trends following the release of the Census of Agriculture datasets by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service’s (NASS). These datasets provide key information for complex Texas natural resource challenges through the power of a “good map.”  The Texas Land Trends:  Status Update and Trends report is the fifth iteration and specifically describes the status and recent changes in land values, ownership size and land use of privately-owned Texas working lands.