Ohio native Keith Krantz is West Virginia’s new “quail coordinator,” according to the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources (WVDNR). Krantz will work statewide on upland game management, including implementing early successional species habitat plans on state wildlife management areas.
With the state 80 percent forested, West Virginia is better known for woodcock and grouse than bobwhites. Although there are quail in the northern panhandle and big river counties, it never has been and never will be a prime bobwhite hotspot, says Krantz, especially since the most suitable habitat in the eastern panhandle has succumbed to development. But he also says “the department believes it’s important to support the efforts of our sister states even if we aren’t a prime player … and for us to do what we can for quail in our own state.”
Krantz represented West Virginia, a member of the National Bobwhite Technical Committee (NBTC) and supporter of its National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI), at the annual NBTC meeting last week in Abilene, Texas. The meeting is the one time each year when state quail biologists, researchers and upland conservation groups from around the country converge to compare notes and strategize for the next year.
Krantz is no stranger to West Virginia. With a B.S. in wildlife management from West Virginia University and an M.S. in biology with an emphasis in wildlife management from Eastern Kentucky University, he went to work for the department in 1993 managing two wildlife management areas. Beginning in 1999 he moved to providing environmental reviews on projects statewide and served as the statewide coordinator for NRCS’s Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, providing wetland, stream and wildlife management expertise to private landowners, NRCS and school districts, and coordinating wetlands research with federal, state and private entities. And prior to his work in West Virginia, Krantz worked for the Florida Game & Freshwater Fish Commission managing state wildlife management areas, including habitat manipulation using prescribed fire. Krantz can be contacted at Keith.D.Krantz@wv.gov or by calling (304) 637-0245.