Upland game bird stamps help fuel early-successional habitat improvements in Texas
San Antonio, Texas – April 18, 2018 – Quail Forever has announced the addition of two Coordinating Wildlife Biologists in the state of Texas to assist landowners in implementing early successional habitat projects for the benefit of quail and other wildlife. New team members, Derek Wiley and Will Newman, will work alongside Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) and Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) staffers to help restore the whistle of quail in both the Rolling Plains and South Texas Plains regions.
Supported in part by the Oaks and Prairies Joint Venture Partnership as well as upland game birds stamps purchased in the state of Texas, Wiley and Newman will add much-needed capacity for private lands conservation assistance as part of the state’s Farm Bill Biologist Partnership. Commonly referred to as the “One Stop Shop” for anything conservation or wildlife-related on private lands, Quail Forever biologists possess the knowledge of federal, state, and local programs to assist landowners in finding the right program to meet their personal habitat, wildlife, and land use goals. Since 2012, the program has impacted 692,130 acres for habitat conservation efforts in the Lone Star State, including technical assistance for 1,875 farmers, ranchers, and landowners.
“These new positions are a great example of how leveraging conservation support with strategic partnerships can truly make landscape-level impacts,” commented Chris McLeland, south region director for Quail Forever. “We look forward to building more conservation delivery capacity and strengthening relationships with our partners to provide a vital service to private landowners in the state of Texas.”
Quail Forever Coordinating Wildlife Biologists
Derek Wiley – Working for Quail Forever in the state’s northern Grassland Restoration Incentive Program focus area, Wiley will be responsible for land management and conservation assistance to private landowners in the Rolling Plains of Texas. He received a Master’s degree in Natural Resource Management from Texas Tech University while studying northern bobwhite reproduction before employment as an upland game biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. In this position, Wiley worked exclusively with private landowners on restoring or managing property with an emphasis on bobwhite quail, while helping determine research objectives for bobwhites throughout the state. Additionally, this position served as a liaison for non-governmental organizations involved with quail conservation, ultimately leading Wiley to his current position with Quail Forever.
Originally from a small north Texas town, Wiley grew up hunting, fishing, and enjoying the outdoor lifestyle with his family. Primarily a deer and turkey hunter earlier in life, he grew an appreciation for bobwhites and rangeland health through his involvement with high school FFA which fuels a passion to this day for working lands and wildlife.
Wiley will be headquartered for Quail Forever at the Throckmorton, Texas USDA Service Center and will begin his employment on May 14. For more information about private lands conservation programs available to landowners in Texas’ Rolling Hills, contact Derek Wiley at DWiley@Quailforever.Org.
Will Newman – Providing private lands assistance in the state’s southern Grassland Restoration Incentive Program focus area, Newman comes to Quail Forever in Texas after several successful years as a private lands biologist for “The Habitat Organization” in Ohio. He received a Master’s degree in Wildlife Ecology from the University of North Texas, studying quail predator avoidance behavior and population restoration techniques. As a Quail Forever Life Member and avid outdoorsman, Newman has devoted his life and career to land ethics and natural resource stewardship.
Newman will be headquartered for Quail Forever at the Floresville, Texas USDA Service Center and will begin his new duties on June 11. For more information about private lands conservation programs available to landowners in the South Texas Plains, contact Will Newman at WNewman@QuailForever.org.
About Quail Forever
Quail Forever is a leading organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation efforts for the United States’ native quail species. Since its creation in 2005, Quail Forever has conducted more than 13,000 habitat projects across the nation benefitting quail and other wildlife. Along with its affiliate organization Pheasants Forever, it has committed more than $784 million to improve more than 17 million acres of wildlife habitat. Quail Forever has more than 16,000 members and 170 local chapters across the country. Both Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever are part of Pheasants Forever, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit.