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Indian Creek Partnership honored with Two Chief's Partnership Award

South Carolina’s Indian Creek Wildlife Habitat Restoration Initiative Honored with Presentation of Two Chief’s Partnership Award

 

NRCS ACES Employee ELlis Morrow, SC NRCS State Conservationist Niles Glasgow, and US Forest Service District Ranger at the March 12, 2009 Two Chiefs' Partnership Award Ceremony.

left to right: NRCS ACES Employee Ellis Morrow, SC NRCS State Conservationist Niles Glasgow,
and US Forest Service District Ranger at the
March 12, 2009, Two Chiefs' Partnership Award Ceremony.

A cooperative conservation project based in Newberry County, SC, was recognized for excellence with the presentation of a Two Chief’s Partnership Award. This annual award is presented by the Chiefs of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Forest Service, and was created to recognize and honor innovative partnerships that are working together to project and improve natural resources. This partnership of federal, state and local agencies and organizations joined together to restore and improve habitat for declining species that depend on grasslands and similar habitats. The project was made possible through the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) which provides landowners with technical and financial assistance to develop habitat for upland wildlife, threatened and endangered species, fish, and other wildlife in South Carolina.

The cooperative conservation project started in October 2004 when representatives from the USDA Forest Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and the SC Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) met to discuss a plan which would restore and improve wildlife habitat within Indian Creek.

The cooperating agencies initiated a landscape restoration project which sought to restore habitat for species that depend on grasslands, including bobwhite quail and songbirds such as prairie warbler, loggerhead shrike, and Bachman’s sparrow.

National forest properties and privately-owned lands within the 16,000 acre project boundary are being restored and improved with conservation practices including pine stand thinning, prescribed burning, native warm season grass establishment and eradication of invasive species. Bird monitoring is also helping to evaluate the effectiveness of the project.

NRCS State Conservationist Niles Glasgow said, “WHIP has improved and protected over 2 million acres of important wildlife habitat since it began in 1998. Indian Creek is a great example of what can happen when people and agencies work together in the name of conservation—the impact is huge, and the benefits will be great for a number of different wildlife species.”

The partners of the Indian Creek Wildlife Habitat Restoration Initiative are: Quail Unlimited (State and Newberry Chapter); SC Forestry Commission; USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service; East Piedmont Resource Conservation & Development Council; National Wild Turkey Federation; USDA Forest Service; SC Department of Natural Resources; Clemson Cooperative Extension Service; Newberry Soil & Water Conservation District; and private landowners.