It was Tim Hynes’s father who taught him the importance of conservation. “He took me on my first quail hunting trip when I was 9,” says Tim, who serves as a senior vice president at Stephens Inc. and branch manager for the company’s Fayetteville office.
Tim grew up in Jonesboro and hunted often with his father on neighbors’ farms near Hardy and Strawberry. “We always respected the land on which we hunted, and we were always careful to leave birds. We’d only take from coveys with good numbers.”
Today Tim is teaching his sons, Houston, 16, and Grant, 9, the same lessons. “Hunting is part of our heritage, but it seems like fewer people are hunting these days,” Tim says. “Hunting is a great way to instill in kids a love of nature and the need to be good stewards of the earth’s natural resources.”
“Not long ago Houston and I went down to Texas and found 29 coveys of quail in a day and a half,” Tim says. “That’s phenomenal.”
Forty years ago such numbers weren’t out of the ordinary, Tim says, but in his lifetime he has noticed declines in quail populations. “I’m concerned about the quail numbers, and I’m concerned about the causes of the declines.”
His concerns are part of what makes The Nature Conservancy appealing to Tim.
“Habitat loss has undoubtedly affected quail populations,” Tim says. “I know The Nature Conservancy works to conserve grasslands and other habitats that benefit quail and pheasants. And the Conservancy partners with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to help private landowners restore habitat for quail.”
Tim, who also duck hunts with fellow Stephens employees each year near Stuttgart, describes the Conservancy’s work with federal and state agencies to conserve habitat for waterfowl – and a host of other species – as “incredible.”
“The Conservancy owned the first piece of land that was transferred to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service back in 1986 to create the Cache River National Wildlife Refuge, and it has helped add more than 9,000 acres since then,” Tim says. “There was a big gap between the Cache River and White River refuges until the Conservancy helped orchestrate a 41,000-acre land exchange between the feds and Potlatch Corporation to connect the two refuges. That’s real conservation. Those are the kinds of accomplishments we need if we are going to keep the ducks coming to Arkansas and keep our heritage alive.”
Waterfowl habitat doesn’t end in Arkansas, Tim says, and neither does the Conservancy. “The Conservancy has done some great work in Missouri and in all the states that are part of the Mississippi Flyway – the interstate for Arkansas’ ducks.”
Tim also points out the Conservancy’s work as far away as Canada. “Protecting nesting grounds might be the most important part of the entire equation when it comes to waterfowl,” he says.
The Conservancy’s value for hunters appeals to Tim as well. “Hunters are arguably the most active conservationists out there,” Tim says. “The Conservancy does more than understand this – they embrace it. Across the U.S. they work with state game agencies. They work with Quail Unlimited, the National Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited and other organizations focused on the conservation of habitat for game animals. In the end all species – humans included – reap the benefits.”
In addition to serving on the Conservancy’s Northwest Arkansas Advisory Council, Tim supports the organization through his business. Stephens Inc. is a member of the Conservancy’s Corporate Council for Conservation, and Tim has assisted clients in including the Conservancy in their estate plans.
“I am a big advocate of conservation. It is very dear to me. It’s sacred ground so to speak,” Tim says. “I want to do my part to ensure my kids and grandkids and their kids will be able to enjoy the natural world we enjoy today.”December 08, 2010