Conservation Efforts Recognized by NWTF and U.S. Forest Service
NASHVILLE, Tenn.— The Making Tracks With The Forest Service Awards recognize people and projects that best incorporate conservation education, partnerships and wild turkey management. The awards are presented annually at the National Wild Turkey Federation's annual convention and sport show to people and projects that accomplish the NWTF's mission by significantly improving habitat for wild turkeys and other species.
The Habitat Management Program category recognizes program accomplishments that benefit wild turkeys over several years.
Richard Carpenter of the Mount Magazine Ranger District of the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest earned the
Individual Habitat Management Project Award for his work on 1,407 acres of wildlife habitat improvement, including wildlife opening construction and maintenance, 16 miles of riparian habitat improvement, 492 acres of stewardship projects, 65 acres of native warm season grass restoration and maintenance.
Carpenter oversaw the construction and installation of 358 gates, 12 ponds, helped conduct prescribed burns on 8,500 acres, managed a 7,700-acre walk-in turkey hunting area. He routinely works with other agencies on wildlife surveys and assists with feral hog control.
The Partnership Achievement category recognizes accomplishments in strengthening and expanding the partnership between the USDA Forest Service and the NWTF.
The Ottawa National Forest Wildlife Team and Stewardship Task Force won the Group Partnership Achievement Award for its partnership with the NWTF on a project to improve early serial habitat for wildlife, decommission roads and prepare for a large aspen restoration project. The project will improve about 2,000 acres over the next few years.
The group created a 2-year cooperative biologist position with the NWTF, Ruffed Grouse Society, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Forest Service to assist with project planning, administration and support. These efforts will help the forest get back on schedule with its early successional habitat maintenance.
The Conservation Education category recognizes conservation and education projects for wild turkey restoration, management and conservation.
Indiana's Hoosier National Forest received the Group Conservation Education Award for their involvement with the inaugural NWTF/Forest Service Internship Project. Two students from local colleges and one student from a local high school were chosen to participate in the program based on their career interests and passion for natural resources.
The objective of the program is to help the students get on-the-job work experience, learn about the USFS and NWTF, implement wildlife habitat improvement projects and gain knowledge of natural resources management.
The program aids in recruiting students for conservation careers, by providing mentoring, education and on-the-job training.
The U.S. Forest Service and the NWTF are involved in several cooperative projects, including stewardship, NWTF Super Fund habitat and Energy for Wildlife projects, and grant projects like More Kids in the Woods, for the last several years.
For more information, contact Melanie Swearingen at firstname.lastname@example.org or (803) 637-7634.