NWTF Membership Benefit Programs

Conservation Seed Program: It has been our past practice to offer our chapters Round-Up Ready corn seed each spring based on availability, to be distributed equitably to their chapter members that intend to plant it. The NWTF works with seed producers to obtain outdated seed, which cannot be sold on the market. However, this seed is still worth the effort to plant for wildlife since germination is still very good on the seed we have obtained. The amounts available to the chapters vary each year. This seed is for wildlife conservation plantings only and cannot be directly fed to wildlife. It must be planted and the plants must be left standing until the following spring. We do require that each individual receiving the seed sign a contract agreeing to the above terms. The seed available through this program provides wild turkeys and other wildlife a great food source particularly during winter months when the standing corn is available even after snow accumulates.

Seed Subsidy Program:   We offer the opportunity for our members to purchase food plot seed at a significantly reduced price. Type of seed offerings vary from year to year.  Typically, this opportunity provides members with a seed blend that covers 1 acre per bag and provides great brood habitat for turkeys and excellent forage for deer. The amount of money saved by a member purchasing a bag of seed offsets the cost of a Regular NWTF membership.  To find out more about the NYS Spring Seed Subsidy offering read your copy of the Winter/Spring NYS Chapter Newsletter, Turkey Tales. The Newsletter will also contain an order form. Note: This is a limited quantity and limited time offer so you must act quickly once the newsletter reaches your mailbox.

2011 Public Land Projects

Carlton Hill WMA Project:  In Cooperation with NYS DEC, the Wyoming County Gobblers local chapter annually plants corn on Carlton Hill WMA through the NWTFs Conservation Seed Program. Additionally, the chapter has planted apples and oaks on the WMA.  The local NWTF chapter cooperates with the local Pheasants Forever chapter which plants native grass cover on the WMA in areas rotated out of corn. The project is designed to provide valuable food sources and cover for wild turkeys, pheasants, white-tailed deer and a host of other wildlife species.  The project has been ongoing since the Wyoming County Gobblers local chapter was established in 2001. 

Finger Lakes National Forest Wildlife Opening MaintenanceThe NWTF and US Forest Service are working cooperatively to maintain widlife openings throughout the Finger Lakes National Forest (FLNF).  Wildlife openings provide critical nesting and brood rearing cover throughout the summer for wild turkeys and a wide variety of songbirds.  These areas also provide great hiding cover for fawns.  The grass and herbaceous cover is maintained through late season mowing.  To prevent invasion of young tree and shrubs in the openings mowing needs to take place every 1-3 years.  In 2011 the NY State Chapter will assist with funding up to 60 acres of maintenance mowing for fields at FLNF.

Finger Lakes National Forest Early Successional Aspen Stand Enhancement Project:  The NWTF and US Forest Service worked cooperatively in winter 2011 to complete a 7 acre aspen stand enhancement project.  A contractor was hired to cut mature aspen trees that no longer provided adequate food and cover for early successional habitat dependent species such as ruffed grouse and American woodcock.   Many wildlife species depend on young forests for early successional habitat. American woodcock use these young forests for nesting, ruffed grouse populations have been noted to be higher in young aspen stands and wild turkey use the slash piles from the cut trees for quality nesting cover.  However, as forests mature, the protective cover and food these species depend on is eliminated.  Currently, the majority of aspen stands in the National Forest are over 50 years old and provide little of the early successional habitat needed by local wildlife species.  This project is helping the forest reach a proper balance of young and mature trees.

2011-12 Private Land Programs

USDA-NRCS Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program Cooperative AgreementThe NWTF has entered into a Contibution Agreement with the USDA-NRCS in New York to help connect landowners with the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program. Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) is a voluntary program for developing or improving high quality habitat that supports fish and wildlife populations of National, State, Tribal, and local significance. New contracts in NY will be between five and ten years in length. At least one practice from the contract must be started in the first twelve months, and no practices may be scheduled in the last year of the contract. Producers can be held financially liable for unfulfilled contracts.  It is important for landowners to understand that when programs like this are targeted to benefit a particular non-game species of concern, numerous species will benefit from the work done on the ground. This includes game species you may be more interested in managing for.

USDA-NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program Cooperative Agreement:  NWTF and NRCS signed a Contribution Agreement that paves the way for NWTF staff to assist with delivery of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Forestry Initiative. Details about the program can be obtained from the following NRCS and NYS DEC websites: http://www.ny.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/eqip/forestry.html  http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/53625.html  The EQIP- Forestry Initiative is an opportunity for private forestland owners in New York to implement conservation and management practices that will improve health and productivity of their forests and prevent soil erosion. The EQIP Forestry Initiative is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to eligible landowners who are willing to address priority environmental issues by implementing conservation practices.  EQIP Forestry applications address resource concerns in the Forest Management focus area. Technical assistance for Forest Management applications will be provided by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and in some areas the National Wild Turkey Federation.  Eligible practices include but are not limited to Forest Health Thinning, Crop Tree Release, and Forest Trails and Landings.