Recipe for restora­tion

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - VOICES -

Rex Nel­son’s col­umn last Satur­day was ti­tled “Kings of con­ser­va­tion.” In the first para­graph Mr. Nel­son re­ferred to he and a friend stand­ing in some pine tim­ber near Gurdon in Clark County when they heard the call of a bob­white. I was led to be­lieve that the ti­tle of his ar­ti­cle in­di­cated he and oth­ers with him were go­ing to pro­duce and print a recipe for restor­ing the habi­tat that the bob­white once en­joyed and now so des­per­ately needs in or­der to sur­vive.

Af­ter read­ing the sec­ond para­graph it was ap­par­ent there would be no recipe for restora­tion.

Fur­ther into the col­umn it was ap­par­ent Mr. Nel­son was pre­par­ing to in­form read­ers that the ti­tle did in­di­cate a recipe—of sorts. The fact he men­tions Ross Whip­ple and Mark Karnes has noth­ing to do with the sur­vival of the bob­white. The sim­ple fact they own and/or man­age thou­sands of acres of tim­ber­land in Arkansas doesn’t help the bob­white, who cares very lit­tle about pine straw for break­fast. He needs a steady diet of grass seeds, peas, etc., found along fence rows of cul­ti­vated farm lands, not pine tim­ber.

My grand­fa­ther at Don­ald­son al­ways had sev­eral cov­eys of quail on his farm. When I was a young­ster, af­ter plant­ing corn, he would send me along each row with a sup­ply of pur­ple hull or black-eyed pea seed and, as near pos­si­ble, drop one be­tween each corn seed. When it was har­vest time, the peo­ple liv­ing near the corn acreage were blessed like the quail with a good diet and nat­u­rally they were will­ing, like the bob­white, to feed their fam­i­lies some­thing that didn’t re­sem­ble tim­ber­lands and pine straw.

A few years ago I re­sponded to an ar­ti­cle from the Game and Fish Com­mis­sion and gave them my grand­fa­ther’s recipe. They never re­sponded but I’m sure they are some­day go­ing to get the mes­sage. But that’s not to say the mes­sage will come from Mr. Nel­son or Mark Karnes or Ross Whip­ple. Does the mes­sage maybe need a lit­tle fer­til­izer on it? PAUL GOZA Malvern

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