This beautiful 10,000 acre loblolly pine plantation looked like a quail paradise With a basal area of ~30 and a beautiful stand of native grasses which were burned regularly it was perfect, almost. The problem was a lack of escape cover. The average distance a bobwhite quail is found from dense escape cover is 70 feet. The landowner reported only seeing quail along a creek drain which supported this idea. We proposed escape cover thickets scattered throughout the forest and the landowner agreed.
We planted 1,000 – 2,000 square foot thickets (1 every 5-10 acres) of plum, blueberry, rusty haw and persimmon and disked firelines around them to protect them from the fire. In the firebreaks we planted ragweed and partridge pea for brood habitat. We also relocated native grasses along roadsides and planted native flowering aquatic species around a pond for aesthetics.