The NWTF is working on landscape level across the country to ensure the future of wildlife and wild places.
Creating healthy habitat for wild turkeys and countless others species is where the NWTF pours the majority of its resources because we know that this is the most effective way to benefit wild turkeys on a scale that makes a difference.
Since the NWTF was founded, it has conserved or enhanced more than 22 million acres of wildlife habitat to benefit wild turkeys.
The NWTF conservatively leverages funding 4-to-1, meaning for every dollar raised by our dedicated volunteers, members and staff, we turn it into four dollars at an absolute minimum. It’s not uncommon to see our dollars being leveraged at an even higher rate. That’s why our 30-plus-year partnership with the USDA Forest Service is so strong; it’s why our partnership with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service is rapidly growing; and it’s why we are often engaged to improve habitat by an array of other partners, ranging from state wildlife agencies, state forestry agencies, non-governmental organizations, private organizations and private donors.
Whether you’ve been a lifelong member of the NWTF or if you just heard about the organization, we want you to know how our mission to conserve the wild turkey and preserve our hunting heritage are supported by Four Shared Values.
These values have always been important to the NWTF and have always been evident in all of our conservation and hunting heritage work, but their relevance and importance is significant as we move forward with our mission in the post restoration era.
By identifying these values that we share with so many like-minded organizations, agencies, companies and nearly all Americans for that matter, we can mutually benefit each other in our efforts, empowering the NWTF to conserve the wild turkey and our preserve hunting heritage into perpetuity.
Water is the lifeblood for all living things on planet Earth, and as many turkey hunters know, if there is water nearby, so are turkeys. While water availability is crucial for wild turkeys, it is valuable for all wildlife and especially human communities. Wildfires, disrupted floodplains, unmanaged forests, a changing climate — there are numerous reasons why we are seeing water quality and availability diminish. Luckily, much of the conservation work the NWTF and its partners deliver not only benefits wild turkeys, but it creates healthier forests, which in turn create healthier watersheds, creating cleaner and more available water.
When we manage a forest for wild turkey habitat, we are also increasing the overall viable habitat for all wildlife. Scientifically backed forest management is more crucial now than ever. Decades of unmanaged forests have resulted in overly dense conditions, monocultures and invasive species, causing poor habitat and resulting in severe ramifications, such as catastrophic wildfires and fragmented habitat. A managed forest, on the other hand, increases the overall habitat and biodiversity while making the managed area more resilient to catastrophic wildfires.
Americans who want to live amidst nature should be able to do so without the worry of catastrophic wildfire, flash flooding or debris flow events. Increasingly, these events are negatively impacting nearby communities. This, too, is the result of unmanaged forests, particularly in the wildland-urban interface [areas where forests meet human communities]. The NWTF has joined forces with many traditional and non-traditional partners and agencies to manage these areas in the wildland-urban interface, protecting these communities while also increasing viable wildlife habitat.
At the NWTF, we know the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation to be the preeminent mode to conserve our natural resources, and we understand the important interplay between hunters and conservation. A deep sense of reverence for conservation is awake in the soul of the American hunter, and the more we can provide access and opportunities, the more we can deliver and amplify our conservation mission.
However, there are many other groups — such as mountain bikers, whitewater rafters, anglers, bird watchers and so many more — that cherish our natural resources as we do. By creating robust recreational opportunities for hunters and all outdoors enthusiasts, we provide more opportunities for collaboration, shared investment and ultimately a farther-reaching conservation impact on the landscape and ability to share our outdoors lifestyle.
These Four Shared Values are integral with all aspects of the NWTF mission, but they touch on so many other areas of our everyday life that, too, make the world a better place. By defining and sharing our Four Shared Values, we are able to work with more partners who, too, care deeply about these values and greatly bolster our mission to conserve the wild turkey and preserve our hunting heritage.