U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Acting Administrator Chris Beyerhelm announced today that USDA has signed an agreement with the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) to improve habitat for bobwhite quail and other grassland bird populations.
“NBCI is a major supporter of USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program, providing technical services that benefit northern bobwhite, pollinators and other wildlife,” said Beyerhelm. “This agreement will help create a flourishing environment, conserve soil, protect valuable water resources and enhance wildlife habitats.”
Recreational hunting, fishing and bird watching are important contributors to rural communities. According to a 2016 study funded by the National Shooting Sports Foundation for the North American Gamebird Association, the game bird industry contributes “almost $1.7 billion annually to the U.S. economy” and generates an estimated 12,000 jobs.
The agreement between FSA and NBCI promotes native grassland and northern bobwhite habitat restoration and management, and establishes a framework for NBCI staff to work with USDA in a consultancy role to share technical information.