Wildlife Habitat Federation

Helping Texas Landowners Restore Native Habitat For Wildlife 

About Us
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2016 Annual Activity Report


Wildlife Habitat Federation (WHF) is a Texas non-profit conservation organization dedicated to the preservation and re-establishment of crucial upland game habitat vitally needed to sustain healthy populations of quail and other upland wildlife species. WHF provides information, specialized equipment and on-the-ground physical assistance to landowners and lessees committed to re-establishing native grasses and forbs.

With its headquarters located in Cat Spring, WHF services landowners largely within the 10,000 square mile area west of Houston. As acreages are more fragmented in this part of the state, WHF seeks to increase connectivity between ranches.

As the first half of 2016 rolled in with rain and wet field conditions, limiting access to project areas, Wildlife Habitat Federation put the finishing touches on its new Equipment Shed. The specialized equipment used for WHF restorations and harvests is now safely protected from the elements. This project could not have been completed without the generosity of The George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation and Quail Coalition of Greater Houston. An enclosed shop area and small rustic conference room have proven to be a great asset when hosting our annual field days, meetings and other presentations.

In mid-March of 2016, Garry Stephens was added to WHF staff as our Program Director/ Wildlife Biologist. His years of experience working with NRCS and various other conservation organizations has enhanced WHF’s capabilities regarding outreach, consultation, applying for government funding for participating landowners and just plain getting it put on the ground.

The following is a summary of northern Bobwhite quail habitat restoration and related activities accomplished by WHF in 2016:

Public Outreach and Education:
  • Multiple communications via phone (10+ calls per day), website, social media and email with interested parties 
  • 195 site visits - more than one visit is required to help landowners plan and execute restoration and native prairie seed harvest practices
  • 22 site assessment reports created for landowners following a site visit
  • 14 management plans developed outlining the complete process, timeline and cost of restoration
  • 5 presentations to public and private entities reaching 450 people
  • 2016 WHF Native Prairie Discovery Tour for 69 participants who experienced hands-on native prairie plant and insect identification, soil health and milkweed propagation for Monarch Butterflies.

Restoration Activities Completed:
  • 43,255 feet of fireguards plowed for either prescribed burns and/or for planting wildflowers
  • 171 acres of prescribed burns to open up heavily thatched areas, set back invasives and boost the native prairie grasses
  • 291 acres of herbicide application to remove invasive plant species
  • 149 acres of cover crops planted as a soil-building step in the restoration process - cover crops also help to knock back invasive species
  • 113 acres of native prairie grass seed planted with WHF’s no-till drills
  • 37 acres of native prairie wildflowers planted
  • 6 acres of heavy brush cleared with a dozer or hydromulcher
  • 82 acres shredded as a solution to the rainy season issue of grasses greening up before a prescribed burn (preferred method) could be performed
  • 347 acres of prescribed grazing where either livestock was removed to allow natives to become established, or to graze down heavily thatched native prairie habitat, opening it up for easier passage of wildlife species

Native Seed Harvest Activities:
  • 153 acres harvested for native grass seed netting 909 pounds of pure live seed
  • 65 acres harvested for native wildflower seed (gaillardia, also known as “firewheel”) netting 1957 pounds of hammermill-cleaned seed

Summary:
  • 1404 total acres of restoration/harvest activity was performed
  • 21 Landowners and 525 acres of land were serviced
  • 12 Counties were in the service range
  • 8 Landowners received assistance from WHF in applying for government conservation programs (EQIP, GRIP, USFW Partners Program, Texas State Soil & Water Conservation Board)


WHF would like to express its appreciation to all the individuals, organizations and government agencies who have generously supported WHF and its cooperating landowners this year and in the past.


   
George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Greater Houston Quail Coalition, Inc
Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation
Gulf Coast Quail Forever #3066
Ann and Henry R. Hamman
The Cheryl and Mark Brown Foundation
​Texas Wildlife Association Foundation, Inc
The Henderson-Wessendorff Foundation
San Antonio Quail Coalition
Quail Forever Brazos River Prairie #3247
All members of the WHF Board of Trustees
    


WHF looks forward to all of the planned projects scheduled and to come for 2017!