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New Shortleaf Pine Initiative A ‘Major Victory’ for Bobwhite Restoration Effort

Applauding the news, the director of the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) says the formal launch of the new Shortleaf Pine Initiative at the University of Tennessee is a “major victory” for bobwhite restoration … even if NBCI is losing its own forestry coordinator in the process.

The university recently announced establishment of the Shortleaf Pine Initiative and the hiring of NBCI Forestry Coordinator Mike Black as its director. The initiative is aimed at restoring much of the shortleaf pine savannah ecosystem across its range. The effort is supported by the U.S. Forest Service, UT and the Tennessee Division of Forestry.  

“In 2010, NBCI targeted the launch of a major national initiative for shortleaf pine savannah ecosystems, similar to the ongoing longleaf pine initiative, because these ecosystems were historically so important to widespread bobwhite populations,” said NBCI Director Don McKenzie. “And the forested landscape, especially southern pine forests, is where we see the majority of opportunity for bobwhite restoration to exist. Only four years after setting that goal not only has NBCI been successful in leading the launch of that shortleaf pine initiative, but we also have our own passionate quail guy, Mike Black, who served as our forestry coordinator, as its new director. Black, working on behalf of the NBCI, was a key champion in the conception, development and culmination of the initiative.

“And although we certainly hate to lose Mike, he isn’t the first and I suspect he won’t be the last. But each of our departing staff went to their new job as a champion for bobwhites and for NBCI, and in a position to help us advance our cause. We know Mike will do the same. Consequently, NBCI’s influence and impact across the bobwhite range only continues to grow,” said McKenzie.


For more information on the Shortleaf Initiative announcement, go to



Headquartered at the University of Tennessee’s Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, NBCI is an initiative of the National Bobwhite Technical Committee (NBTC) to elevate bobwhite quail recovery from an individual state-by-state proposition to a range-wide leadership endeavor. The committee is comprised of representatives of state wildlife agencies, academic research institutions and private conservation organizations. Support for NBCI is provided by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program, state wildlife agencies, the University of Tennessee and Park Cities Quail. For more information, please visit,