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03/17/2014

NWTF Nebraska Pledges $101,000 to Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. in 2014

NEBRASKA — National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) chapters in Nebraska budgeted more than $101,000 to further the new Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative within the state in 2014.

The NWTF's Nebraska State Chapter board of directors met in Kearney, Neb., to review and allocate funding. Valuable partners will provide nearly $1.4 million in funding, a 15-to-1 match for every NWTF dollar invested.

"The Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative is supported by our state boards and chapter members," said Becky Humphries, executive vice president of conservation. "Hunting Heritage Super Fund money is critical to implementing the initiative, and investing in focal landscapes and hunter recruitment."

The NWTF's Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative is a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to give the NWTF more energy and purpose than ever. Through this national initiative, NWTF has committed to raising $1.2 billion to conserve and enhance more than 4 million acres of essential upland wildlife habitat, create at least 1.5 million new hunters and open access to 500,000 new acres for hunting, shooting and outdoor enjoyment. Without hunters, there will be no wildlife or habitat. The NWTF is determined to Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.

The board of directors dedicated $47,065 in NWTF funding to proposed Hunting Heritage Super Fund projects that focus specifically on saving hunting; $44,250 will support projects to save habitat, including staff capacity to deliver conservation in the state. These NWTF funds were matched with more than $2 million in partner funds.

The following projects support education and outreach efforts in Nebraska including JAKES, Women in the Outdoors, Wheelin' Sportsmen, local and state scholarships, Wild About Turkey Education Boxes for schools, NWTF chapters and hunter access. Funding includes:

  • $15,900 to uphold outdoor traditions through 4-H, the National Archery in the Schools Program and other shooting sports programs across the state.

  • $13,665 to purchase the 460-acre Chat Canyon Forest and Wildlife Management Area in Cherry County. This purchase created the state's first forest and wildlife management area. Partners: Nebraska Game and Parks Commission's (NGPC), Nebraska Forest Service (Forest Legacy Program) and the Nebraska Environmental Trust

  • $10,000 to continue existing leases on private lands or enroll new properties in the NGPC's Open Fields and Waters Program. The funds will provide public access to approximately 2,639 acres of public land. Partners: NGPC and participating Nebraska landowners

  • $7,500 to purchase a 40-acre addition to the Ponderosa Wildlife Management Area in Dawes County. Partners: NGPC, area landowner and CAMECO Energy

These projects will save vital habitat in Nebraska. Funding includes:

  • $6,250 to improve riparian areas on NGPC properties, including Cowgill and Cozad Wildlife Management Areas. Project Partners: the NGPC Habitat-Share Program

  • $6,500 to improve forest stands on NGPC properties including Government Canyon near Valentine, Neb., and Bur Oak Wildlife Management Areas. Project Partners: the NGPC Habitat-Share Program and the Nebraska Forest Service

  • $12,500 to help NGPC establish an Oak Woodland Alliance and deliver funding to improve oak habitat in eastern Nebraska. Funds will improve forest stands on public and private lands. Project Partner: NGPC

  • $7,500 to support the NWTF Cooperative Forester position in the Pine Ridge area. This is year one of a renewed two-year commitment to support this position. Project Partners: NGPC, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NWTF - National

  • $6,500 to restore grasslands. Projects will be completed on Elwood Reservoir and Calamus Reservoir wildlife management areas, and on property with cooperation from a private landowner. Project Partners: NGPC Habitat-Share Program and a private landowner

  • $5,000 to support the NWTF Regional Biologist program. Project Partners: Kansas NWTF, NGPC and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism

For more information, contact Melanie Swearingen at mswearingen@nwtf.net or (803) 637-7634.

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