Skip to content
Press Releases

SD Commemorates NWTF’s 50th Anniversary

The 98th Legislature of South Dakota recently passed a legislative commemoration celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the NWTF. House Commemoration 8013 recognizes the NWTF’s significant contributions to wildlife management research, habitat conservation and preserving outdoor traditions in the United States.

March 14, 20232 min read
strutting turkey
(photo credit: Jamie Linder)

“As a member of the NWTF, I am honored to bring this commemoration,” said South Dakota Rep. Jessica Bahmuller. “This commemoration is extra special because I was the prime sponsor in the House, and my dad (also a member) was the prime sponsor in the senate. This is the first time we have carried legislation together. My son’s first turkey hunt was with one of my hunting mentors, Lydell Krog, and it is one of the best hunting memories I have. We are avid hunters and anglers, but at that time we had little experience with turkey hunting, so my expectations were low. I’ll never forget when my son started calling them and they responded. We all just lit up with excitement, and he managed to seal the deal. We were hooked! My family has been a supporter of the NWTF for over 20 years and will be receiving an award in April for the years of membership and support. I’m grateful for the opportunity to honor the 50th Anniversary, and I don’t think the timing is a coincidence”. 

The commemoration reads:

“… WHEREAS, the National Wild Turkey Federation has invested more than half a billion dollars to conserve or enhance more than twenty-two million acres of critical wildlife habitat, forests, and grasslands across public and private lands since 1985; and

WHEREAS, the National Wild Turkey Federation has invested more than eight-and-a-half million dollars in research throughout North America to ensure healthy wild turkey populations into the future … that the Legislature recognizes and celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the National Wild Turkey Federation and salutes the organization, its chapters, and members from across the United States for its tremendous efforts to further scientific, state-led wildlife management, and the conservation of the wild turkey and its habitat. The Legislature wishes the National Wild Turkey Federation, its members, and chapters the best for the future as they continue to deliver their mission by working across land-ownership boundaries on a landscape scale to increase clean and abundant water, healthy forests and wildlife habitat, resilient communities, and robust recreational opportunities across the country.”

“As the South Dakota State Chapter president, I was excited to see the state legislature recognize the NWTF’s 50th Anniversary,” Dr. Don Massa said. “We missed the deadline for a resolution by two days but continued to work with legislators, board members and NWTF staff to find a way to get this done.”

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 in 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:
  • Healthy Habitats
  • Healthy Harvests