NWTF and Boy Scouts begin habitat partnership in South Hills

05/31/2017

TWIN FALLS, I.D. — The National Wild Turkey Federation, the Boy Scouts of America, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and local landowners are partnering to improve water-corridor habitat in the South Hills.

“Some of the water corridors in the South Hills could be enhanced for wildlife by adding trees and shrubs that provide food, roosting areas and have the added benefit of reducing erosion along streambanks,” said Mikal Moore, district biologist for the NWTF in the Pacific Northwest.

Moore also points out that when vegetation shades a creek, less water is lost to evaporation in the hot summer months.

The South Hills Strutters, the local NWTF chapter, pledged to donate wildlife-friendly trees and shrubs to any boy scout who wishes to do a service project improving the vegetation that grows along creeks and streams. The Magic Valley Region of IDFG also has agreed to contribute to habitat projects that meet agency objectives through their Habitat Improvement Program funds. In addition to the labor provided, the scouts come away from the projects with a learning and service experience. 

Duck Spring Ranch in Rogerson, a partnering landowner who lost many of its cottonwoods during fires in the 1960s, hosted scouts for a weekend campout and service project. Youth scouts planted more than 75 trees and shrubs along a portion of Deep Creek on private land and installed protective fencing around the majority of the plants.

The Idaho State Chapter of the NWTF provided trees – primarily of black cottonwood, chokecherry and Wood’s rose, as well as a few oaks – mulch and fencing materials to protect the plantings from cattle, deer and elk.

“We hope potential Eagle Scouts will utilize this partnership for their service projects in the South Hills.  We are really excited about the potential to both improve habitat for wildlife and educate future leaders about the importance of riparian health,” said Moore.

The NWTF has identified the South Hills as one of the focal landscapes in its Western Wildlands region of America's Big Six of Wildlife Conservation.

Other service organizations also are encouraged to contact the NWTF at mmoore@nwtf.net or (541) 550-7074 if they are interested in similar projects.

About the National Wild Turkey Federation
When the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded in 1973, there were about 1.5 million wild turkeys in North America. After decades of work, that number hit an historic high of almost 7 million turkeys. To succeed, the NWTF stood behind science-based conservation and hunters’ rights. Thanks to the efforts of dedicated volunteers, professional staff and committed partners, the NWTF has facilitated the investment of $488 million in wildlife conservation and the preservation of North America’s hunting heritage. The NWTF has improved more than 17 million acres of wildlife habitat and introduce 100,000 people to the outdoors each year. The NWTF Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative is a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to raise $1.2 billion to conserve and enhance more than 4 million acres of essential wildlife habitat, recruit at least 1.5 million hunters and open access to 500,000 acres for hunting. For more information, visit NWTF.org.

For more information, contact Pete Muller at (803) 637-7698