Arkansas Game and Fish
A new northern bobwhite conservation stamp for 2022 is available for purchase, with the proceeds helping fund the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s restoration efforts for quail.
The quail program has a new coordinator in Clint Johnson, an agency veteran who has been involved for a decade in the Game and Fish quail restoration efforts, most recently as a Game and Fish private lands biologist for nine years.
Biologists like Johnson worked with landowners near wildlife management areas to change habitat practices with some of their acreage to aid in quail restoration, building on the anchor that was established on public lands. Pea Ridge National Military Park east of Pea Ridge is involved in Game and Fish quail restoration.
Other nongame birds such as indigo bunting, painted bunting, dickcissel and eastern meadowlark need the same strong grassland and open forest habitat to survive, Johnson said.
“They’re all equally important as far as the mission of our agency goes. We’re responsible for all of them,” he said.
Game and Fish uses sales from the northern bobwhite and turkey conservation stamps to match many federal grants and work with partners such as the National Wild Turkey Federation to complete more than $1.6 million worth of habitat work in Arkansas.
Fifteen projects encompassing nearly 6,000 acres benefited from stamp sales, all of which were aimed at restoring or enhancing critical habitat for quail and turkey. Mulching and thinning of overgrown thickets, as well as prescribed fire, have been implemented in these projects.
“All those funds from the quail and turkey stamps get pooled together and those go to on-the-ground work on public lands,” Johnson said. “We can actually magnify that money using that match for federal dollars. It’s real good leverage for us to get a lot of work done.”