Recipe for restoration
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