EDGEFIELD, S.C. — The North Carolina State National Wild Turkey Federation Chapter assisted in the purchase of nearly 2,500 acres in central North Carolina to provide clean water, protect wildlife habitat and create hunting and recreational opportunities for sportsmen and women in the state.
“It’s rare that a tract this size becomes available for conservation acquisition in North Carolina,” said Chis Coxen, NWTF district biologist. “It’s a huge piece of land that is now in public holding and is a boon for conservationists and sportsmen and women who pursue recreation on public lands. We don’t often have the opportunity to conserve such a large tract that includes dozens of miles of riverside habitat and creates access for recreational use, both of which are vital to the NWTF’s Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative’s national goals of opening 500,000 acres to public hunting and conserving or enhancing 4 million acres of critical wildlife habitat.”
Partners in the purchase of the 2,463-acre property – spanning three counties and including 45 miles of shoreline along the Yadkin and South Yadkin rivers – include the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, Three Rivers Land Trust, federal and state agencies, corporate and private donors, the NWTF and other nonprofit conservation organizations. The North Carolina State NWTF Chapter contributed $100,000 in funding from 56 NWTF chapters and thousands of volunteers.
“The state chapter had been planning to take on a project like this by setting aside funds for several years,” said Robert Smith, North Carolina State NWTF Chapter president. “I’m thankful our board of directors had the foresight to plan ahead, because $100,000 is a lot to contribute at one time for a state with only 56 local chapters and a fairly small membership number. I’m really proud of what we and our volunteers were able accomplish in North Carolina.”
The chapter’s strong commitment encouraged other nonprofits to step up to the plate. “We were the first national conservation organization to sign onto this project,” Smith said. “We wanted to make a sizable contribution to entice other organizations to come onboard. I’m pleased that our commitment mobilized others to become involved and help us conserve this great natural resource.”
This purchase will put the North Carolina State Chapter over its statewide Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative goal of opening 5,000 acres to hunting and recreational access.
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. The NWTF Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative is a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to conserve 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 Pete Muller at (803) 637-7698