“I’m humbled to receive this award, both personally and professionally,” Perry said. “Professionally, Cornerstone and I have had the privilege of representing NWTF in Washington for the last 20 years, and together we have really made an impact on NWTF’s mission and priorities. NWTF’s policy expertise is universally recognized as the best, and we have a seat at the conservation table because of our bipartisan approach. Personally, I’ve learned so much about conservation – particularly forest management – from the NWTF conservation team and have been able to put that to work on the ground in our family’s farming and forestry operation. Our land is so much better managed now that we know what to do to support deer and wild turkey populations. I’m thankful to be part of the NWTF team in Washington.”
The NWTF’s policy work has been a linchpin in the organization's ability to achieve its mission on federal, state and private lands across the country. The NWTF's work at the federal, legislative level ensures funding and authorities are available to its biggest government partners, including the USDA Forest Service, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Bureau of Land Management and others.
The Government Partner Award recognizes a government employee(s) at the federal or state level, elected officials or policy professionals who demonstrate outstanding achievement in facilitating habitat conservation, furthering hunting heritage, effective partnership formation or conservation policy influence.
Perry and Cornerstone's work with NWTF began initially with efforts to secure grant funding from Congress and build partnerships with USDA. Over the years NWTF and Perry have worked together to secure funding for the NWTF’s Winchester Museum, multiple NWTF outreach programs, funds to set up a partnership between NWTF and NRCS, funds to create a National Forester Program at NRCS, and funds for numerous working lands programs related to improving wildlife habitat.
As NWTF grew in its influence in the conservation policy space, Perry and Cornerstone's work evolved to be more policy focused and aimed at improving upland habitat on both working farmlands and on public land. The partnership was successful at making Stewardship Contracting permanent law, legislating the Good Neighbor Authority Program to get Western states more involved in timber management, funding voluntary hunting access programs, creating the Conservation Reserve Program’s Longleaf program and many more. Perry also plays a role in Washington, D.C., in helping Becky Humphries and Matt Lindler manage NWTF relationships like the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation and the multiple forestry and wildlife conservation organizations that NWTF works with to achieve its mission.
“Louie’s expertise and discernment have helped the NWTF become one of the country's most robust and successful conservation organizations,” NWTF co-CEO Kurt Dyroff said. “His advocacy for the NWTF on Capitol Hill and across the country are undoubtedly tied to our success. We are proud to call him not just a partner but also a friend as we honor him with the Government Partner 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.