Landowners Get Assistance from NWTF Management Programs
Wildlife species depend on good habitat for their livelihood, especially on private property. Private land management plays a critical role on the influence of wildlife populations across the country. According to data from the USDA, nearly 50 percent of the U.S. (more than 900 million acres) is privately owned cropland, pastureland and rangeland managed by approximately 4.7 million individuals.
What do the numbers mean? The bottom line is that the future of half of the wildlife habitat in the U.S. is in the hands of only two percent of its citizens. Trends in crop prices, the demands of a growing human population and land values are factors that will continue to impact how land is managed.
"Landowners should take advantage of the many programs available through private organizations to help establish quality habitat," says Bryan Burhans, NWTF Director of Land Management Programs. The National Wild Turkey Federation, has several programs to help a private landowner manage their land to benefit wildlife.
Seed Subsidy Program
The seed subsidy program is designed to help NWTF members purchase seed to benefit wildlife through habitat planting, especially on private lands. This help comes from the Wild Turkey Super Fund of participating NWTF State Chapters. During fall 2001/spring 2002, NWTF members purchased over 430,000 pounds of seed, providing over 15,000 acres of habitat through the program.
Most participating state chapters offer the NWTF Turkey Gold Strut and Rut mixes or Turkey Gold Chufa at half the cost of the seed and shipping. This program is only available to NWTF members. To find out if your state offers a Seed Subsidy program, contact your local NWTF chapter president.
Conservation Seed Program
The Conservation Seed Program provides seed for planting for wildlife at a nominal price. In 2001, NWTF chapters ordered more than 3 million pounds of seed through this program, equaling 80,000 acres.
NWTF members can purchase the seed for only a few dollars per bag. The seed is shipped by the tractor-trailer load and is handled through the state chapter system. For additional information on the program, contact your local NWTF chapter president or the NWTF's conservation department.
Project HELP (Habitat Enhancement Land Program) is an NWTF program developed to help landowners manage and enhance their land by providing guidance and offering seeds and seedlings at competitive prices. The Project HELP catalog lists the seed, seedlings and habitat management products available through the program. Everything from Turkey Gold Chufa and the Turkey Gold Strut and Rut mixes to sawtooth oaks and sweetheart chestnuts are available at competitive prices. To get your free catalog, call 1-800-THE-NWTF or click here for an online version.
Energy for Wildlife
Energy for Wildlife is a new program that aims to increase wildlife usage of Rights-of-Ways (ROW) and other energy company property through changes in vegetation management. The program will help promote these properties as good wildlife habitat to the general public, Rights-of-Way easement owners and company customers.
Get more information on the National Wild Turkey Federation's private land management programs and projects by calling (800) THE-NWTF.