|For Immediate Release
March 30, 2017
Contact: Renee Bodine, Public Affairs Officer
Phone: (352) 338-9565
Restore Longleaf Pine, Reestablish Quail
Signup Deadline May 19
GAINESVILLE, Fla., March 30, 2017 —Agricultural producers in Florida have until May 19 to apply for financial assistance to restore longleaf pine and build habitat for northern bobwhite quail habitat. Landowners can apply through Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) of the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
NRCS helps landowners plant and manage longleaf forests through practices such as prescribed burning. Longleaf forests benefit both wildlife and land managers. Private landowners can get financial and technical assistance to restore and protect quail habitat in the following counties: Santa Rosa¸ Okaloosa, Walton, Jackson, Leon, Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, Columbia, Clay, Levy, Marion, Osceola, Baker, Citrus, Polk, Highlands, Manatee, Charlotte and Sarasota.
This effort targets pine savannas, where NRCS is working with producers to manage forests and develop wildlife openings and the diverse understory vegetation the bobwhite needs. These habitats provide the forbs, legumes and insects that bobwhite need for food and the heavy or brushy cover for nesting, brooding and safety. When habitat is restored for the bobwhite, many other species benefit, including turkeys, deer, rabbits, gopher tortoises, bog turtles and many different songbirds, including the Bachmann’s sparrow and prairie warbler.
Contact your local USDA service center for more information. A NRCS district conservationist will help you develop a conservation plan customized to your land and assist you in the application process for financial assistance. Applications are accepted throughout the year, although funding selections are usually made once a year. Learn more about getting started with NRCS.