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UT to Continue as NBCI Headquarters

The National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) will call the University of Tennessee its institutional home and national operations center for another five years.

UT Institute of Agriculture (UTIA) and NBCI representatives recently inked the new deal as the expiration of the original 2008 agreement neared. Embedded in UTIA’s Department of Forestry, Wildlife & Fisheries, NBCI is an initiative by 25 state wildlife agencies in the core bobwhite range and a number of research institutions and private conservation groups to restore populations of wild bobwhites. Funded primarily by the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, Southern Company, the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies and the 25 states, NBCI’s staff of five specializes in forest management, agriculture policy, research and communications at a regional and national level.

“We concentrate of activities that individual states or other entities can’t do, or do effectively, alone and individually to restore this game bird,” said NBCI Director Don McKenzie. “And UT, the Institute and the Department of Forestry, Wildlife & and Fisheries have all been very supportive of our efforts to restore wild bobwhites to the landscape. We’re extremely pleased that UT will be our home and we will be UT employees for at least another five years.”

The feeling is mutual, according to department head Dr. Keith Belli. “The department and the Institute, are very proud to continue our role as host organization for NBCI.  We are committed to supporting efforts to bring back populations of bobwhites and associated grassland wildlife.”

For more information about NBCI, visit our website at, on Facebook, and on YouTube at   

For more information about UTIA and the UT Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, visit and respectively.

Headquartered at the University of Tennessee, NBCI is a project of the National Bobwhite Technical Committee (NBTC) to elevate bobwhite quail recovery from an individual state-by-state proposition to a range-wide, policy-level leadership endeavor. The committee is comprised of representatives of state fish and wildlife agencies, academic research institutions and non-governmental conservation organizations. NBCI is funded by the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, two dozen state wildlife management agencies, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Southern Company.