NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Making Tracks with the USDA Forest Service awards recognize people and projects that best incorporate conservation education, partnerships and wild turkey management. The awards were presented during the 41st annual NWTF Convention and Sport Show to individuals, projects and programs that achieve goals of the organization’s Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative.
Monty Gregg — Sisters Ranger District, Deschutes National Forest — received an Individual Partnership Achievement Award for his work building incredibly strong interagency partnerships in Oregon and Washington. His ability to leverage partnerships to enhance habitat work across the region has helped to enhance more than 900 acres directly and indirectly. Gregg’s work includes efforts in his own forest, the Deschutes, and for projects in the Ochoco and Malheur National Forests.
Ian Fox — Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands — also received an Individual Habitat Management Award. Fox has been instrumental in the success of two important restoration projects in the Southwestern Region: The Bluewater Ecosystem Restoration Project and the Black Kettle National Grassland Restoration Project. The objectives of the Bluewater project include reducing the threat of large wildfires and restoring native ecosystem functions. The objective of the Black Kettle project includes removing invasive black locust and Eastern red cedars from native cottonwood riparian areas.
The Mark Twain National Forest project received a group award in the Group Partnership Achievement category. This award recognizes accomplishments in strengthening and expanding the partnership between the NWTF and the Forest Service. While the partnership has always stood on solid ground, the Missouri State Chapter augmented aerial burning capabilities, which expanded the program by 7,400 acres. A similar proposal has been accepted for 2017 to accomplish an additional 8,274 acres. In addition, the Missouri Chapter, the NRCS and the Mark Twain National Forest also have jointly funded a project biologist position to address the issues of oak decline and other habitat needs.
About Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.
The NWTF Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative is a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to give the NWTF more energy and purpose than ever. Through this national initiative, NWTF has committed to raising $1.2 billion to conserve or enhance more than 4 million acres of essential upland wildlife habitat, recruit or reactivate at least 1.5 million hunters and open access to 500,000 acres for hunting, shooting and outdoor enjoyment. Without hunters, there will be no wildlife or habitat. The NWTF is determined to Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.
For more information, contact Peter Muller at (803) 637-7698.