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EDGEFIELD, S.C. — Steve Sharp, a longtime National Wild Turkey Federation staff member, was recently recognized for his legislative efforts advocating for sportsmen’s rights, hunting heritage and conservation in the Wolverine State.
The recently retired NWTF Michigan R3 coordinator, and stalwart former regional director for many years, was presented with a special tribute from the Michigan State Legislature. House Rep. Angela Witwer presented Sharp with the award for his enduring, 28-year career working with the state’s legislature on behalf of the NWTF.
“I’m honored to receive this award, but I accept it on behalf of all of the NWTF’s hard-working volunteers in Michigan,” said Sharp, a Sunfield, Michigan, native and NWTF life member who first joined in 1994. “Over the years that I‘ve been working for the federation, we’ve worked closely with the Michigan Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus; we were actually the first [nongovernmental organization] to sponsor the caucus, and over the years, our state chapter presidents have always been involved.”
In addition to Witwer, Sen. Tom Barrett, Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the tribute.
Sharp recalled the strong relationships he and NWTF volunteers have built with their state’s lawmakers through the NWTF’s Legislative Hunt.
“We’ve been putting on our Legislative Turkey Hunt at Fort Custer for many years, thanks to our Turkeyville Toms local chapter,” Sharp said. “Through that hunt, NWTF volunteers and I have had the pleasure of taking many representatives and senators hunting.”
Sharp explained that there’s no better way to showcase the NWTF mission than in the turkey woods.
“This hunt allows our lawmakers to go out in the woods and learn what our mission is all about,” he said. “Once you’re in the woods, it’s easy to connect all the dots and understand why hunting and conservation go hand in hand.”
Sharp’s retirement announcement was recognized and celebrated by NWTF staff earlier this year at the NWTF’s 46th Annual Convention and Sport Show in Nashville.
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.