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Austin Peay State University Southeastern Grasslands Initiative, Quail Forever sign Memorandum of Understanding

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – The Austin Peay State University (APSU) Southeastern Grasslands Initiative (SGI) and Quail Forever officially signed a 5-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) December 6th, 2019.

Austin Peay State University Southeastern Grasslands Initiative's Dwayne Estes and Quail Forever's Tim Caughran, Megan Hart, and Brittney Viers. (APSU)
Austin Peay State University Southeastern Grasslands Initiative’s Dwayne Estes and Quail Forever’s Tim Caughran, Megan Hart, and Brittney Viers. (APSU)

The agreement is a result of a relationship that was initiated between the two organizations in 2018.

The MOU recognizes that mutual support, cooperation and assistance are beneficial in furthering both organizations’ missions of landscape conservation and ecological restoration because landscape conservation is inherently complex, occurs on multiple scales and requires centralized coordination.

Some specific benefits shared between the parties include:

  • A member of Quail Forever’s staff will join SGI’s Scientific Advisory Board
  • SGI and Quail Forever will conduct joint fundraising and associated activities
  • Shared organizational expertise
  • Shared communication resources and products

“When these historic grasslands were prevalent throughout the Southeast, so were bobwhites,” Tim Caughran, director of field operations for Quail Forever, said. “Now, you’d be hard-pressed to find continuous, native grasslands of any size in Kentucky and Tennessee despite the fact that they were once dominant.”

“Areas that were once strongholds for bobwhite quail are no longer producing and sustaining those populations. So, it’s a no-brainer for Quail Forever to partner with the Southeastern Grasslands Initiative to restore this critical habitat component to our landscape,” stated Caughran.

“Our hope is that we can build momentum through the Grasslands RCPP grant and expand on our successes to other regions in the Southeast,” said Caughran.

“Our partnership with Quail Forever is truly one that is creating synergy,” Dwayne Estes, APSU professor and SGI director, said. “We could not reach out to landowners nearly as effectively without Quail Forever, and at the same time, SGI is providing the base, training and facilities to bring back native grasslands in Tennessee and Kentucky. We hope to expand the geographic scope of this partnership model in the future.”

Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever is a non-profit organization based in St. Paul, Minnesota, that is dedicated to the conservation of quail, pheasants and other wildlife through habitat improvements, public awareness, education and land management policies and programs.

Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever has more than 149,000 members, 700 local chapters and 150 biologists. For more information about the organization, visit quailforever.org.

SGI is a collaboration of leaders in international biodiversity conservation led by the Austin Peay State University’s Center of Excellence for Field Biology, located in Clarksville, Tennessee.

SGI seeks to integrate research, consultation and education, along with the administration of grants, to create innovative solutions to address the multitude of complex issues facing Southeastern grasslands, the most imperiled ecosystems in eastern North America.

SGI’s focal region includes parts or all of 23 states in the southeastern United States. This forms an area of what is called the “biogeographic Southeast.” The northern boundary is formed by the southern limit of glaciation during the Ice Ages, and the western boundary is the eastern edge of the Great Plains.

For information about the Austin Peay State University Southeastern Grasslands Initiative, visit www.segrasslands.org.


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