ROBY, Tx- The Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch has been honored with a prestigious Lone Star Land Steward Award from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). TPWD’s Lone Star Land Steward Awards program recognizes private landowners for excellence in habitat management and wildlife conservation. The awards also seek to publicize the best examples of sound natural resource management practices and promote long-term conservation of unique natural and cultural resources. The Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch was one of six landowners honored on May 16 in Austin.
“We’re honored to be included in this distinctive circle of wildlife stewards,” said Rolling Plains Quail Research Foundation Executive Director Dale Rollin. “As I often say ‘always hunt with good dogs’ and surround yourself with folks smarter, more innovative, and forward-thinking than yourself. Two of our board members and three of our advisory group are past Lone State Land Stewards. Thanks to a lot of work by a lot of people, the quail habitat at the Research Ranch is about as good as you can get in West Texas. And we’re proud to point out that what we do for bobwhites benefits many other species. That’s why I often refer to the bobwhite as the ‘canary of the prairie.’”
The Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch (RPQRR) employs the techniques from master conservationist Aldo Leopold’s toolbox of “axe, plow, cow, fire” to foster plant communities and habitat structure that benefits quail. The ranch also serves as an “information agent” to disseminate these strategies to other area stakeholders. Successful habitat management in the western Rolling Plains begins with managing the water cycle, and the ranch achieves this objective through grassland conservation. By maintaining grasses on the landscape for quail nesting cover, the RPQRR also maximizes water infiltration. While the ranch’s main focus is solving for the quail equation, they also recognize that managing for quail benefits many other species, including small mammals and arthropods.
“The Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch is a shining star in the wildlife world,” said TPWD Wildlife Biologist Barrett Koennecke. “For more than a decade, they’ve done an outstanding job of managing habitat for quail and they are widely sharing what they’ve learned along the way. They have facilitated a number of scientific projects in association with several universities around the state, and they are on the leading edge of quail science.”
This video telling the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch story was shown at the Lone Star Land Stewards award ceremony.
Read TPWD Press Release HERE
The Rolling Plains Quail Research Foundation (RPQRF) has a single priority: understanding and managing bobwhite and scaled quail in West Texas. RPQRF is focused on quail and quail hunting, as reflected by its mission to preserve Texas’ heritage of wild quail hunting for this, and future, generations. RPQRF’s 4,720-acre research ranch in Roby, Texas was established to provide a living laboratory to devise land management strategies for the benefit of quail.