NWTF and Forest Service Awards Recognize Conservation Achievements

2/18/2022

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The National Wild Turkey Federation’s Making Tracks with the USDA Forest Service awards recognize people and projects that best incorporate conservation education, partnerships and wild turkey management.

The NWTF presented the awards during its 46th annual Convention and Sport Show, sponsored by Mossy Oak, to projects and programs that bolstered NWTF’s Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. goals.


(Ken Arney, regional forester for the Forest Service’s Southern Region, accepted the Partner Achievement Program award. photo credit: Lexi Kelly)

Partnership Achievement Program: Daniel Boone National Forest

Through NWTF’s partnership with the Forest Service on the Daniel Boone National Forest, the two are working to improve forest health and wildlife habitat with forest management, including timber harvest, mid-story reduction, wildlife openings management and tree planting on more than 1,700 acres.

The DBNF staff went above and beyond for the NWTF as the organization was navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. The Forest Service staff stepped up to the plate and provided additional assistance with on-the-ground inspection and also provided additional dollars to hire an inspector.

“The Daniel Boone National Forest is honored to receive the NWTF Group Partnership Achievement Award,” said Scott Ray, Daniel Boone National Forest supervisor. “By signing on to the Swain Shared Stewardship Agreement, Stearns District Ranger Tim Reed and his team built a partnership with the NWTF that will allow the funds from timber management of the Swain Ridge project area to flow right back into on-the-ground conservation work to improve nearly 2,000 acres of forest and wildlife habitat. Whether supporting timber harvests, mid-story reduction, wildlife openings management, or tree planting, this agreement and our partnership shows the quality of management we can provide when we work together.”


(Frank Beum, regional forester of the Rocky Mountain Region accepted the Habitat award. photo credit: Lexi Kelly)

Habitat Management Project Award – Rocky Mountain Restoration Initiative Implementation Team: 

Co-convened by the USDA Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Region and the National Wild Turkey Federation, the Rocky Mountain Restoration Initiative is uniting diverse private and public organizations from across Colorado in the spirit of the USDA’s Shared Stewardship Strategy, focusing on collaboration with multiple partners to address large-scale conservation and forest management needs across public and private lands.

“RMRI partners are putting shared stewardship to work and we’re seeing real results through an all-hands, all-lands approach,” said Frank Beum, regional forester of the Rocky Mountain Region. “We are proud and honored to receive this award, and most importantly, we look forward to furthering our work with our long-time partner, the NWTF, and all our RMRI partners to increase forest resilience, reduce wildfire risk, restore wildlife habitats, protect our water sources, strengthen our communities, and improve outdoor recreation opportunities and economies.”

“To say the Forest Service is our strongest agency partner would be an understatement,” NWTF CEO Becky Humphries said. “We partner with the Forest Service on conservation and forest health projects in every USFS Region across the country, and we are proud to recognize some of the exceptional accomplishments on the Daniel Boone National Forest and through our RMRI partnership.”

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.

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