ISSUE DATE: 06/28/2010
By Doug Rich
As Karl Noellsch sat in his four-wheeler in a grassy area between a cornfield and a creek, the sounds of nature were all around. Songbirds, frogs and insects were singing loudly on this clear summer morning after a two-inch rain the night before.
Karl Noellsch and his brother, Albert, farm together near Oregon, Mo., and several years ago they began converting underproductive areas of their farm to conservation practices and wildlife habitat. Songbirds, frogs, deer and turkeys are great, but their primary focus has been to increase the habitat for bobwhite quail on their farm.
According to the Private Landowner Network, the northern bobwhite quail numbers have dropped from an estimated 59 million birds in 1980 to 20 million birds in 1999 on a national basis. Private landowners like Karl and Albert Noellsch are vital to improving upland bird habitat.
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