ST. PAUL, Minn. — Amid the remains of Quail Unlimited, officials at one of its chief competitors are stepping up efforts throughout the country to recruit the now-defunct organization’s former members and chapters.
Bob St. Pierre, the head of marketing for Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, spoke to The Albany Herald Friday about his organization’s vision for the future of quail conservancy — a vision absent of Quail Unlimited, but no less promising for promoting the conservation of quail species.
“First let me be clear, Quail Forever has no ties with Quail Unlimited,” St. Pierre said. “We have not partnered, we have not merged. Quail Unlimited is gone. But what we have done is acquire Quail Unlimited’s membership list and are hoping that we can convince some of QU’s former members that we are the best choice for promoting quail conservation throughout the country.”
To that end, St. Pierre said that Quail Forever has engaged in three- to 10-month contracts with some of Quail Unlimited’s key players, including former director and CEO Bill Bowles in Albany, to help it recruit new members and chapters in regions across the nation.
Bowles has formed DLOG Consultants, Inc., according to a Feb. 5 filing with the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office. When contacted about the new company, Bowles said only that it had no connection with any other entity, specifically Quail Forever or any new quail entity forming in Lee County.
“DLOG in NO WAY has any affiliation with ANY other entity,” Bowles wrote in an email to the Herald.
Meanwhile, that other quail organization, Albany Area Quail Unlimited, Inc., has filed a notice of intent to incorporate as a non-profit organization but is not yet listed as a corporation with the Georgia Secretary of State. It's principal agent is listed as Walt Caserio, who is listed on some websites as a former treasurer of Quail Unlimited.
St. Pierre says that while he believes Quail Forever has the best model for accomplishing its mission, he's glad to see other organizations working towards the same goal.
"I think our organization is the best funded, the most efficient and the best organized to accomplish our goal of quail conservation," St. Pierre said. "That being said, it's nice to know that others see a need and are interested in the same things."
Quail Forever is ranked by CharityNavigator.com, an evaluator of charity organizations, as a top-performing organization, receiving its coveted four-star ranking and scoring a 65 our 70 score for efficiency, financial stability, accountability and transparency.
"We're incredibly efficient with the funds given by our members with the vast majority going to programs and very little administrative costs," St. Pierre said.
It's with this focus on the programs that St. Pierre believes will allow Quail Forever to push quail conservancy for years to come.