The country’s oldest quail conservation group has closed its doors for good. Quail Unlimited (QU) president Bill E. Bowles announced Feb. 1 in a statement that the company was closing due to financial difficulties and internal problems discovered two and a half years ago. Unfortunately, QU was unable to reconcile these difficulties.
“This has been a valiant effort by everyone and we should all be proud,” said Bowles in the statement.
The organization will be shutting down immediately. QU’s site now redirects to Quail Forever, which had purchased the QU mailing list along with other organizational material. Bowles and the QU Board of Directors formally recommended Quail Forever as “the future of quail conservation in America” and are urging members to switch over as soon as possible.
Quail Forever also released a statement on Friday stating that the conservation group will be there to support former QU members and that Quail Forever intends to maintain a voice for hunters and conservationists in the nation’s capital.
With the addition of the refugee QU members, Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever take on the mantle of the largest upland hunting conservation group in the country, a role they are eager to embrace. Quail Forever currently holds a four-star rating by Charity Navigator, which describes the organization as exceeding industry standards and outperforming most other charities in the conservation field. It is the highest rating Charity Navigator has.
According to the Albany Herald, Bowles and some former QU employees have been offered positions by Quail Forever to help make member transitions as painless as possible, as well as heading up future quail conservation efforts in the southeastern region. Bowles has accepted a position as the Quail Forever Southeast Regional Director.
“There is a little bit of a sadness in seeing [Quail Unlimited] go away, but every one of us knows it’s just a name.” Bowles said in an interview. “The work that we intended to do in that organization now gets a real opportunity to get done. We get to make up for the last two and a half years.”—courtesy Outdoor Hub Reporters