Recognized for her contributions to restore and manage bobwhite quail habitat in Tennessee, Brittney Viers of Quail Forever was recently presented the National Fire Bird Conservation Award at a recent gathering of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency on behalf of the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI).
The National Fire Bird Conservation Award recognizes individuals for their contributions to statewide habitat-based restoration efforts of wild bobwhite populations. The overarching theme of the award, however, symbolizes the historic reliance of bobwhites on fire in much of its range to maintain the landscape in an "early successional" stage - native grasses, wildflowers and "weeds" that provide bobwhites and other wildlife species with suitable habitat.
"I'm drawn to managing for northern bobwhite because they are in such decline and so many other species also benefit when restoring habitat for quail," said Viers. "It's very fulfilling to know that landowners are seeing a quail response after our restoration efforts. I'm also grateful to be recognized by my peers in receiving such a prestigious award from NBCI."
Hired as a Farm Bill wildlife biologist for Quail Forever in 2013, Viers has led an impressive career in the state of Tennessee working in a shared position with Quail Forever, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, and the Natural Resource Conservation Service. Viers provides technical assistance to landowners interested in voluntary conservation programs; she has worked with 990 landowners to impact nearly 20,000 acres for bobwhite quail and other wildlife on private lands, including the use of prescribed fire to rejuvenate quality early-successional habitat for wildlife in Tennessee.
The National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) is the unified strategic effort of 25 state fish and wildlife agencies and various conservation organizations — all under the umbrella of the National Bobwhite Technical Committee — to restore wild populations of bobwhite quail in this country to levels comparable to 1980. www.bringbackbobwhites.org.
About Quail Forever
Pheasants Forever, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever, is the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 145,000 members and 700 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Chapters are empowered to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation funds are spent; the only national conservation organization that operates through this truly grassroots structure. Since creation in 1982, Pheasants Forever has spent $634 million on 502,000 habitat projects benefiting 14.1 million acres nationwide. www.quailforever.org.