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Stabenow Receives National Award for Conservation Excellence

NASHVILLE, TENN. — Michigan Sen. Deborah “Debbie” Stabenow was awarded the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Government Partner Award during the NWTF’s 48th annual Convention and Sport Show, sponsored by Mossy Oak.

February 12, 20243 min read

“For more than 50 years, the National Wild Turkey Federation has been a leader in conservation, expanding wildlife habitat and improving access to outdoor recreation across the country," Stabenow said. "I am proud to be your partner in our effort to protect wild spaces for future generations, and I am honored to receive this award.”

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, and 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.

Stabenow is an accomplished legislator at every level: local, state and federal. She was first elected as a county commissioner in Michigan, then elected and served 11 years in the Michigan House of Representatives. She was elected to the Michigan Senate for a term, then ran and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and began serving on the Agriculture Committee, which she now leads in the Senate today.

Stabenow regularly works across the aisle on both conservation and forestry issues through her leadership on the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, where her primary focus has been conservation programs and specialty crop producers. She also serves on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, sitting on the Senate Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water and Wildlife.

Her focus on conservation — and the accompanying wildlife habitat and healthy forests, air and water — has been one of the long-running cornerstones of her career of service. Through her leadership, she brought conservation in the Farm Bill, the largest vehicle for conservation in the U.S. Congress, to the same, foundational level as food security and agriculture.
Significant accomplishments in her Ag Committee service include:

  • Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to focus on safe water for recreation and drinking, invasive species control and protection of native habitat.
  • Key supporter of making forestry a co-equal purpose of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program — a major NWTF priority.
  • Author of Stop Invasive Species Act to prevent invasive species from entering U.S. water bodies.
  • Co-author of the 2014 Farm Bill, which permanently reauthorized stewardship contracting; NWTF is now the national leader in stewardship contracting.
  • Author of nationwide Good Neighbor Authority to allow states to help manage and improve federal forest lands.
  • Co-author of provisions to make conservation easements permanent law.
  • Co-author of 2018 Farm Bill that passed the Senate and expanded the forestry focus in all the Farm Bill working lands programs - CSP, EQIP, RCPP and ACEP, including removing the 10% cap on forestry spending in the CSP program.
  • Efforts led to improved regional conservation partnerships and tripled conservation funding in the 2018 Farm Bill.
  • Co-author of the Timber Innovation Act, which sought to find new and innovative uses for wood as a building material, leading to incentives for using wood in certain building types.
  • Further expanded Good Neighbor Authority in 2018 Farm Bill for the Forest Service to partner with counties and tribes, in addition to states.
  • Author of the largest expansion of Farm Bill conservation funding through the Inflation Reduction Act.

“Senator Stabenow’s extensive contributions to our natural resources is far-reaching and has greatly enhanced our ability to deliver our mission,” NWTF co-CEO Kurt Dyroff said. “From tackling issues that benefit the NWTF’s Four Shared Values (clean water, healthy forests and wildlife habitat, resilient communities and robust recreational opportunities) to directly impacting wild turkey habitat through Farm Bill funded programs, Senator Stabenow has been a staunch supporter of conservation. We are proud to honor her efforts with our 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 positively impacted over 23 million acres of critical wildlife habitat. The NWTF has also invested over $9 million into wild turkey research to guide the management of the wild turkey population and to ensure sustainable populations into perpetuity. The organization continues to deliver its mission by working across boundaries on a landscape scale through its Four Shared Values: clean and abundant water, healthy forests and wildlife habitat, resilient communities, and robust recreational opportunities. With the help of its dedicated members, partners and staff, the NWTF continues its work to provide Healthy Habitats. and Healthy Harvests. for future generations. 

Filed Under:
  • Convention and Sport Show
  • Healthy Habitats
  • Wildlife Management