NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Michigan Department of Natural Resources received national recognition from the National Wild Turkey Federation for its collaborative conservation delivery throughout the state.
“In Michigan, we’re blessed with an abundance of natural resources and wild places you don’t come across every day, providing the backdrop for hunting, fishing and all types of outdoor recreation and relaxation,” said Scott Whitcomb, director of the DNR’s Office of Public Lands. “This award recognizes sound, strategic stewardship of 4.6 million acres of state-managed land in Michigan, an achievement that would not be possible without conservation partners like the National Wild Turkey Federation. I’m honored to accept the award on behalf of the DNR and the passionate sportsmen and women who contribute to and benefit from this effort.”
Whitcomb accepted the Land Stewardship Award on behalf of Michigan DNR during the 46th annual NWTF Convention and Sport Show, sponsored by Mossy Oak.
This award honors companies (including individuals or projects supported by companies) and/or government agencies that promote wildlife habitat management.
Michigan DNR is at the forefront of keeping managed public lands open to the public, while maintaining high-quality habitat on these managed areas. The agency has a long history of collaborating with other state and federal agencies in larger landscape efforts to manage the public lands in Michigan. Moreover, the department has a long history of partnering with non-governmental organizations like the NWTF to accomplish habitat restoration and conservation projects on its lands.
The NWTF has partnered with the Michigan DNR on many projects directed at improving wildlife habitat across the state.
Of particular note, the state agency has provided the NWTF nearly $1.2 million through its Wildlife Habitat Grant Program for the NWTF’s restoration work via oak management and forest management, targeting declining forest health conditions across the state.
The NWTF has leveraged Michigan DNR funding to create a large collaborative effort, which includes the USDA Forest Service on the Huron-Manistee National Forest as well as $250,000 in funding from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. This partnership has helped deliver conservation projects across 16 Michigan counties, enhancing, restoring and protecting more than 2,000 acres.
“It brings me great joy to see The Michigan Department of Natural Resources receive this national honor,” NWTF CEO Becky Humphries said. “The agency’s commitment to wildlife conservation, access and its constituents is evident across the entire state, and we are immensely thankful for their partnership and continued conservation success.”
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. Today, the NWTF is focused on the future of hunting and conservation through its Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative. Since 2012, this 10-year initiative has already eclipsed goals of conserving or enhancing more than 4 million acres of essential wildlife habitat, recruiting or retaining more than 1.5 million hunters and opening access to more than 500,000 acres for hunting and other recreation opportunities. This critical work will continue to impact wildlife habitat and our great outdoors in the final year of the initiative.