RALEIGH, N.C. (May 31, 2011) – The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission presented the 2010 Lawrence G. Diedrick Small Game Award to Piedmont landowner Ernie Koury and the Southeast North Carolina Chapter of Quail Forever, at its May Commission meeting.
Koury oversees thousands of acres of private land, protecting holdings in Person, Caswell, Alamance and Chatham counties from development. For 22 years, Koury has managed his property to enhance early successional habitat and produce a healthy bobwhite quail population. Koury, working with a group of fellow hunters and with the guidance of wildlife and forestry personnel, uses clear cutting, thinning, prescribed burning and spraying to maintain the habitat – replanting the pines when necessary.
The Southeast North Carolina Chapter of Quail Forever has assisted in funding several habitat improvement projects that have improved small game habitat while contributing toward the longleaf pine wiregrass ecosystem restoration goals on the Stones Creek Game Land in Onslow County. The chapter assists in annual bobwhite quail surveys to monitor populations; provides funding to create fire lanes, purchase wildflower mixes, millet and other planting supplies for establishing habitat and hunting opportunity; and organizes a game land clean sweep to remove trash from the land.
The awards, decided by the Commission’s Small Game Committee, are named for former Wildlife Commissioner Larry Diedrick, a lawyer from Rocky Mount who died in 2002. Diedrick was a passionate hunter of quail and other small game, as well as a strong advocate of sound wildlife conservation practices.
For more information on managing and supporting small game habitat, visit CURE.