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Prairie Rockets

Local Illinois Chapter of Quail Forever #3009

Serving Menard and Surrounding Counties

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Prairie Rockets Banquet Photo 2009

Prairie Rockets Chapter Committee Meetings have been previously held on the Petersburg Square, but meetings can be held at any local venue. Call 217-341-7171 for more information.

Prairie Rockets Chapter Seeking Leadership Volunteers; Banquets Have Been Held At Oakford Winery

The local Prairie Rockets Chapter Quail Forever banquets have been held at the Hill Prairie Winery in Oakford, IL. At the last event, doors opened at 5 pm, and dinner was at 6:30 pm. A Membership Dinner Ticket was $45.00, a Spouse Dinner was $15, and a Whistlers (Youth) Dinner was $15.00. Tickets to this exciting event were available from committee members or at New Salem Firearms located on the west side of the Petersburg square. (121 S. 7th St.)

Committee meetings should be held throughout the year as needed. All chapter members and prospective members have always been invited to attend any chapter meetings. In addition to banquet preparation, we wish to continue our chapter projects concerned with wildlife habitat enhancement and youth hunter support. You don't have to attend all of the meetings - any level of participation is appreciated, so don't be shy! For more QF or Prairie Rockets Chapter information - call Aaron Kuehl at 217-341-7171, or email akuehl@pheasantsforever.org

Banquet Followup: Based on membership feedback, we should consider holding the next banquet in a January through February time frame. As it turned out, March 31st was too late in the winnter for many of our members to attend; especially farmers dealing with the early Spring weather. Our local chapter had experimented with holding the annual dinner earlier in the year. The original Annual Fundraising Banquet of the Prairie Rockets Chapter of Quail Forever was held on Saturday, January 31st at the Hill Prairie Winery in Oakford, IL. The experimental "late January through March" time frame for event dates was chosen to allow members who are landowners and/or farmers a chance to attend the QF banquet without conflicting with the busy agricultural season in the Spring. Learn More About The Events

Local Habitat Update - Quail and pheasant populations in Illinois and across the Midwest have been steadily declining along with the loss and aging of good habitats and later this year will face a large scale loss of habitat, when 110,000 acres of CRP expire in Illinois later this fall, 45 contracts affecting 400 acres are in Menard County.

Fortunately, there are reasons for optimism.

  • Landowners with expiring CRP or those who wish to enroll should be aware of the upcoming General CRP Sign Up. The sign up runs from March 12 through April 6. Those interested in the program which includes annual payments and cost share for habitat establishment should visit the USDA service center in Petersburg.
  • Quail Forever is offering incentive payments for landowners to establish or manage their grasslands. The local chapter can provide up to $75/acre for landowners who choose to plant an mix endorsed by QF and $25/acre for landowners who improve their existing grasslands with strip spraying, strip disking or inter-seeding. Information on all the available programs can be found at www.ihuntil.com.
  • Soon the sign up incentive payments for landowners enrolling in various continuous programs will be increased to $150/acre.

In addition to providing incentives and cost share to landowners, the local Quail Forever chapter would like to help landowners with prescribed burns of their grasslands. Prescribed fire can be an excellent tool for improving the productivity of grasslands if done correctly by trained personnel with the proper equipment.

bobwhite quail

Funding for the new GERI program is made possible by a combination of proceeds from fundraising efforts by the local Quail Forever (QF) chapter and a Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) grant through the Illinois Habitat Fund. More Habitat News

Landowners Paid to Establish Nesting Cover

The new Grassland Enhancement and Restoration Initiative (GERI) provides assistance to landowners in Menard County interested in establishing upland nesting cover. Quality grassland habitat is the most limiting factor affecting quail populations in Illinois and across their range. Sliding commodity prices, increased input costs and lower productivity along field edges make the USDA CP33 field borders practice attractive to many landowners, especially those who are also interested in conservation.

CP33 provides a $100/acre sign up incentive payment, 50% cost share and a 40% practice incentive payment. GERI can pick up the landowners remaining 10% of out-of-pocket costs for establishment. GERI can also provide 100% cost share on establishment of warm season grassland on acres that do not qualify for existing farm programs. Landowners can use it for round outs on other CRP practices, pivot corners and small, odd-shaped fields. Funding will be distributed to Menard County landowners on a first come, first serve basis. An application and brochure detailing the GERI is available at the Menard County Soil and Water Conservation District, or download a copy by clicking here.

Prairie Rockets Support Youth/Ladies Shooting Clinic

JEPC Wingshooting Clinic photoThe Prairie Rockets Chapter of Quail Forever has supported the Youth/Ladies Wingshooting Clinic held by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources at nearby JEPC (Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish & Wildlife Area.)

The local QF Prairie Rockets chapter would like to provide continued financial support for the clinics, which are offered free of charge to the participating students by the IDNR.

Additional support for this local project was made possible by chapter donations from three local banks: The Petersburg branch of Petefish, Skiles & Company, the National Bank of Petersburg, and the Athens State Bank branch in Petersburg. Learn More About This Event

More Education News

Local Conservation Chapters Fund JEPC (Site M) Wildlife Food Plots

Local chapters fund food plots at Site MThe Prairie Rockets Chapter joined with the local New Salem Longbeards NWTF Chapter to fund wildlife food plots at nearby Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area (JEPC.)

IDNR budget cuts had eliminated the funding for the planting of food plots at the site for 2009, but the local chapters stepped up to the plate and cooperatively funded the plantings with a $750.00 donation for seed.

The check was presented to the ILDNR at a previous banquet. Shown in the photo are Bill Vanderlaan (QF,) Rhett Rossi (NWTF,) Frank Llano (QF,) and JEPC Site Administrator Mike Wickens.

Read Press Release

More Habitat News


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