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Policy and Advocacy

Minnesota Lawmakers Recognize NWTF’s 50 Years of Resolve

EDGEFIELD, S.C. — On the exact day the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded 50 years ago, lawmakers in Minnesota recognized the NWTF with both a Governor’s Proclamation and a Minnesota House-Senate Joint Resolution for the organization’s 50th Anniversary and its role in conservation and preserving North America’s hunting heritage across the state.

March 29, 20233 min read

“When I was a kid, we didn’t even talk about wild turkeys because they didn’t exist in Minnesota,” said Linden Anderson, NWTF Minnesota State Chapter president. “Countless volunteers across the state have worked for decades to deliver the NWTF’s mission, not only conserving the wild turkey and preserving our hunting heritage, but making Minnesota a better place. While we do not do this for recognition, it is great to be recognized by our elected officials for the work we do. This is something for us all to celebrate and be proud of!”

In addition, Minnesota Gov. Tim Waltz proclaimed March 28 as National Wild Turkey Federation Day.

The new proclamation, in part, reads:

“The combined efforts of the National Wild Turkey Federation and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources led to the successful reintroduction of wild turkeys across Minnesota, a great conservation success story; and The National Wild Turkey Federation's Minnesota chapter has conserved or enhanced over 80,000 acres in just the last decade and the Minnesota chapter's mentored hunt programs have been recognized repeatedly as among the best in the nation …”

The joint resolution, in part, reads:

“… WHEREAS, over the course of 50 years, the National Wild Turkey Federation and millions of members and chapters across the nation have worked with state, federal and nongovernmental partners to promote the conservation of the wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) and the preservation of hunting heritage, resulting in one of the greatest conservation success stories in American history: the return of the wild turkey from the brink of extinction; and WHEREAS, the National Wild Turkey Federation has invested more than half a billion dollars to conserve or enhance more than 22 million acres of critical wildlife habitat, forests and grasslands across public and private lands since 1985 and has also invested in research throughout North America to ensure healthy wild turkey populations into the future …”

Right around the NWTF’s inception in the early 1970s, state wildlife agencies across the country were beginning to trap wild turkeys in areas with strong populations and move them to areas devoid of wild turkeys. MNDNR utilized this innovative approach and released 29 wild turkeys from Missouri in the winter of 1972-73 in Houston County.

Over the next 50 years, the MNDNR and the NWTF and its chapter in Minnesota would collaborate on relocating wild turkeys, as well as creating wild turkey habitat, throughout the state. The result is over 70,000 turkeys throughout Minnesota and the opportunity to hunt America’s greatest game bird during regulated seasons.

The NWTF policy team and its volunteer leadership are working with state legislatures across the country to pass similar measures this year that enshrine the NWTF’s legacy and mission delivery into state law.

Learn more about the NWTF’s policy and advocacy work.

About the National Wild Turkey Federation

Since 1973, the National Wild Turkey Federation has invested over half a billion dollars into wildlife conservation and has conserved or enhanced over 22 million acres of critical wildlife habitat. The organization continues to drive wildlife conservation, forest resiliency and robust recreational opportunities throughout the U.S. by working across boundaries on a landscape scale. 

2023 is the NWTF's 50th anniversary and an opportunity to propel the organization's mission into the future while honoring its rich history. For its 50-year celebration, the NWTF has set six ambitious goals: positively impact 1 million acres of wildlife habitat; raise $500,000 for wild turkey research; increase membership to 250,000 members; dedicate $1 million to education and outreach programs; raise $5 million to invest in technology and the NWTF's people; and raise $5 million to build toward a $50 million endowment for the future. Learn how you can help us reach these lofty goals.

Filed Under:
  • America's Crossroads
  • Healthy Habitats
  • Healthy Harvests