Elvy Barton, Salt River Project forest health management principal, accepted the award on behalf of SRP during the NWTF’s 50th anniversary celebration at its 47th annual Convention and Sport Show, sponsored by Mossy Oak.
“SRP is honored to be recognized by the National Wild Turkey Federation with the Land Stewardship Award for our work to ensure healthy forests in Arizona,” Barton said. “Millions of acres of forested lands across Arizona remain at high risk of catastrophic wildfires, which not only affects critical water supplies, but the vitality of its wildlife and their habitat. We are excited to work with partners like NWTF to promote strategic thinning of Arizona’s forests, which will ensure a resilient water supply for communities and wildlife of our state. Thank you NWTF for your dedication and partnership.”
This award honors companies (including individuals or projects supported by companies) and/or government agencies that promote wildlife habitat management.
SRP is a community-based, not-for-profit water and power provider for 2.5 million people in the greater Phoenix area. SRP is also a crucial supporter of forest health and forest restoration in Arizona.
SRP is engaged in communities and state and federal legislatures, driving social acceptance, public education and policy decisions that are beneficial for forest health work. They provide financial support from a variety of sources to fund high priority forest restoration work. General Springs is SRP’s top priority in the Cragin watershed, containing the CC Cragin reservoir and dam, as well as SRP powerlines, the Town of Payson’s water pipeline and other infrastructure. They support and partner with resource agencies, nonprofits and other organizations delivering on-the-ground implementation work. Their support for National Environmental Policy Act projects has made a difference in getting scientifically sound forest management projects off the ground.
SRP has supported the NWTF’s General Springs Forest Restoration Project by helping create meaningful relationships with the Town of Payson, Gila and Coconino counties, and they have provided or supported matching grant funding for the General Springs Project in the total amount of $761,000.
SRP recognizes that their water comes from forests located in a 13,000-square-mile area in northern and eastern Arizona. Since 2002, almost 2.9 million acres of national forest lands in and around the Salt River, Verde River and East Clear Creek watersheds has been impacted by uncharacteristically severe wildfires.
“Our partnership with Salt River Project represents all of the NWTF’s Four Shared Values,” NWTF co-CEO Kurt Dyroff said. “We look forward to our collaborative efforts to ensure Arizonans have clean and abundant water, robust recreational opportunities, resilient communities and thriving wildlife habitat. We are proud to recognize SRP as the recipient of our 2023 Land Stewardship Award.”
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.