Jumpstarted by the NWTF in 2022, the bourgeoning Waterways for Wildlife Initiative made significant headway in improving wildlife habitat along water corridors in its first year through 14 shovel-ready projects, currently underway and on target to enhance approximately 7,677 acres of wildlife habitat and impact nearly 80 stream miles.
For 2023, the Waterways for Wildlife initiative is looking to expand its impact on critical riparian habitat. The landscape-scale initiative is again accepting applications for financial assistance in support of projects that improve wildlife habitat in riparian systems and those with a direct benefit to water conservation.
Eligible parties include federal, state and local agencies and entities, conservation organizations, colleges/universities and private landowners currently working through an existing recognized federal, state or locally sponsored conservation assistance program.
“Through the collaboration with our partners, we will end up delivering nearly $3 million in critical conservation work in just one year,” said Jared McJunkin, NWTF director of conservation operations for the central region. “We are looking forward to continuing the collaborative efforts established in just one year to ensure riparian areas are conserved into perpetuity.”
Over the next 10 years, the NWTF’s Waterways for Wildlife seeks to raise $10 million in private funding and leverage $40 million in matching partner funds to improve 75,000 acres of wildlife habitat along 1,500 linear miles of waterways in the Great Plains landscape.
Riparian areas are a natural magnet for wild turkeys and hundreds of other wildlife species. These areas are also crucial for fish and other aquatic species, as they help control erosion and filter excess nutrients and chemicals from surface runoff that can adversely affect spawning and rearing areas. Riparian areas also control flooding, improve water quality and provide for community and agricultural water supply demands while recharging underground aquifers.
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 50th anniversary, 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 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.