NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The National Wild Turkey Federation’s Making Tracks with the USDA Forest Service awards recognize people and projects that best incorporate conservation education, partnerships and wild turkey management.
The conservation organization presented the awards during the 43rd annual Convention and Sport Show to projects and programs that achieve NWTF Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. goals.
The Ninemile Ranger District of the Lolo National Forest received a Group Habitat Management Program Award. The western Montana district has actively been collaborating on habitat improvements since 2011. In total, Jeffrey Hayes, a fuels specialist, and his team enhanced almost 13,000 acres through habitat improvements and fuel reductions.
Brett Carre, a wildlife and fisheries biologist on the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area in Oregon and Washington, received an Individual Habitat Management Program Award. Since 2011, Carre’s leadership has led to improved wild turkey habitat on nearly 500 acres of woodlands and oak savannas.
The Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forests, located in Vermont and New York, received a Group Partnership Award for strengthening the partnership between the Forest Service and the NWTF. On the Green Mountain National Forest, conservation projects include, but are not limited to, aspen regeneration, creation and maintenance of early successional habitat and the creation and improvement of pollinator habitat. Work on the Finger Lakes National Forest includes prescribed burning, control of invasive species, habitat restoration surrounding water corridors and more.
The NWTF honored Dennis Wilson with an Individual Partnership Award for increasing partnership opportunities between the Forest Service and the NWTF. Wilson, a forest service timber contacting officer, played an integral role in the growth of NWTF and forest service partnerships on Shawnee and Hoosier National Forests in Illinois and Indiana, as well as Land Between the Lakes in Kentucky and Tennessee.
“The US Forest Service is a long-time partner of the NWTF, helping to conserve the wild turkey through habitat enhancements and educating future outdoorsmen and women,” NWTF CEO Becky Humphries said. “We are proud to honor this year’s recipients and look forward to continuing this mutually beneficial relationship with the Forest Service.”
About the National Wild Turkey Federation
When the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded in 1973, there were about 1.3 million wild turkeys in North America. After decades of work, that number hit a historic high of almost 7 million turkeys. To succeed, the NWTF stood behind science-based conservation and hunters' rights. Today, the NWTF is focused on the future of hunting and conservation through its Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative – a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to conserve or 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 Peter Muller at (803) 637-7698.