Maybe one the greatest characteristics about the NWTF is its ability to deliver conservation at a national initiative level, a local level and everything in between, all equally important. Whether it is providing technical assistance and several hundred thousand dollars in funding to benefit one of the numerous landscape-level initiatives the NWTF is a partner in, or whether it’s an NWTF volunteer hopping on a tractor and planting sunflowers for the upcoming mentored dove hunt, the NWTF undoubtedly impacts conservation efforts across America for the better.
One recent project that captures the essence of the NWTF working at a local level is the work party the NWTF San Diego Chapter organized on Lake Sutherland for the 2021 turkey hunt.
“Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the hunt in 2020 was canceled,” said Steve Turigliatto, member of the San Diego Chapter. “Getting the area cleaned up and ready for the 2021 hunt was a fun way to get our hands dirty and get excited before the hunt.”
The San Diego Chapter raised funds and organized a work party on various sites of Lake Sutherland — including Brown’s Cove, Camp Hope, Corral and Bloomdale ―to install signage and clear roads to make hunting access easier for the 2021 hunt.
In addition to this hunt, the San Diego Chapter partners with the city to offer a mentored turkey hunt each year, which has been an overall success.
“With such large districts that NWTF biologists have to cover these days, it is pivotal in our success as an organization to have the on-the-ground expertise that we are lucky enough to have from our local chapter leaders,” said Kevin Vella, district biologist in California. “These folks are able to catalog and prioritize the conservation needs for their areas, which really aids in accomplishing work that is most needed for the conservation of the wild turkey and the preservation of our hunting heritage.”
The NWTF is a conservation powerhouse thanks to the work of dedicated wild turkey enthusiasts like the San Diego Chapter and the hundreds like it.