Sunday, December 2, 2012

Eye to the Future

Once numerous in mid-Ohio farm land, the Northern Bobwhite no longer sings in Richland or Ashland Counties.  What could be a better avatar for the restoration of farmland conservation ethics?

Northern Bobwhite, photo courtesy of Michael Godfrey
 With an eye to the future, Ohio Department of Natural Resources has committed a huge investment into Malabar Farm State Park.  Farming is about to undergo radical changes in the Midwest, forced by climate change and  farm run-off impacting our lakes and waterways.  

It is time to ask ourselves, "What would Louie do?"  

Louis Bromfield spent the last years of his life working for farm reforms to make agriculture better and more conservation minded.  We have come to realize it is not the environment or the economy.  Now we have learned:

What is good for the environment is ultimately good for the economy, too.

 Cattle?  Sure I love them, med-rare.   I'll have mine grass fed, please.  It is a whole new world out there, and Ohio has some of the leading experts on sustainable farming. Look into the writings of Gene Logsdon.

We love this land, and want the farm addressed with respect to farming and the future.  Bring back the buffer zones that protect our water and create habitat.  We'll have a side order of quail too, please.

These trees are witness to the changing land.  They survived the arrival of white settlers, the Great Depression and now we need to protect them for our children.

Sugar Maples will not do well as the climate continues to warm.  Our vegetation is changing, and the butterflies and birds around us are already adjusting to this change.  We need to listen and learn more form nature if we really have our "eye to the future."

Until we can get them back into Pleasant Valley, enjoy this little video clip provided by my friend Michael Godfrey.  I have not seen or heard a Bobwhite in Ohio since the 1970's.  They would certain be a welcome addition again.


  1. I agree, bring the Bob White back to Malabar , it would be an inexpensive experiment with great upside potential!

  2. I remember hearing bob whites growing up in Maryland. There was an abandoned orchard in back of our house that provided the habitat they needed, but it eventually became just another subdivision. We're letting our hay field revert back to grassland in the hopes of attracting grassland birds.

  3. Cheryl, wonderful post. Last month I was surprised when the Stewardship coordinator of the Wood County Park District showed me the group of quail they were raising in the native plant nursery greenhouse. They are doing this as a start of a release program in the parks where they are doing so much restoration and conservation work. Obviously great minds think alike. Cool! Thanks for the post It reminds me I've got to visit Malabar this coming year.

  4. Great! I would love to learn more about Wood County's work.

    And when you visit Malabar, be sure to join the Malabar Farm Foundation- they need our support.


  5. There are Bobwhites at the Tri-Valley Wildlife Area north of Zanesville.