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Our Mission & Vision

Though the restoration of the wild turkey is one of America's greatest success stories, the NWTF's work is far from over.

boy holding a turkey by its feet
Photo Credit: Ethan Collins

Our Mission:

The National Wild Turkey Federation is dedicated to the

conservation of the wild turkey and the preservation of our hunting heritage.

Our Vision

A nation united by the life-changing power of the outdoors.

A Timeless Mission

At the NWTF, we’re in a great position fifty years after our founding. Building off our rich legacy of impact, we’re on the verge of growing faster and making even bigger contributions to society than at any other time in our history. Our mission and impact has always been about three things: conserving the bird we love; taking care of people who love them; and conserving the habitat both need to thrive. Importantly, our mission is timeless. It’s core to who we are and what we do, and we have an unwavering commitment to both conserving the wild turkey and the preserving our hunting heritage.

Envisioning a Better Future for All

At its heart, our vision is all about positive change – the idea that a life well-lived in nature is deeply transformational.  Our vision is a simple statement, but it’s packed with meaning:

  • “A nation united” means attracting new people and partners to the NWTF movement and uniting them in pursuit of our ambitious 10-year goals to achieve enduring success.
  • “Life-changing power” speaks to the fact that very few things have the power to transform an average life into an amazingly well-lived life of legacy. Nature is one of them. Connecting people with shared passion and commitment is another.
  • “The outdoors” calls out to NWTF’s focus on the wild turkey — and our mission and vision combine conservation and hunting with the sacred beauty and one-of-a-kind joy of the outdoors to help turkeys thrive.

We know – and research shows – that the outdoors has an amazing ability to unite people. We feel a deep sense of responsibility to help more people realize this. It’s important because we need to attract more people from a diverse cross-section of society into the NWTF movement – people with valuable ideas and skillsets who can help us advance our mission.

Cornerstone of Conservation

Since its inception in 1973, the NWTF has provided the foundation for wild turkey conservation throughout North America. From the first research project funded in the 1970s, to the multimillion-acre restoration initiatives going on today and everywhere in between, conserving the wild turkey and preserving our hunting heritage has always been — and always will be — the backbone of the National Wild Turkey Federation.

Our Volunteers

Our volunteers are the lifeblood of the NWTF and often wear many hats.

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America's Big Six

Conservation experts identified regions across the country with similar conservation needs.

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Government Affairs

Advocating for conservation and hunting heritage from the local to federal levels.

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one youth and two adults evaluating a timber stand that had been treated with a prescribed burn
Photo Credit: Slate and Glass

Moving Forward

Just like the wild turkey in today’s age, we are facing new conservation challenges in a dynamic landscape. We are expanding our efforts by honing in on four shared values that will remain at the core of delivering conservation to scale into the future.

From the smallest conservation project, to our multimillion-acre landscape-scale initiatives, our Four Shared Values are evident in all we do and have allowed the NWTF, our partners and volunteers to increase the breadth of our mission and ultimately make an impact on a landscape scale, empowering our organization to conserve the wild turkey and our hunting heritage into perpetuity.

Stemming from and pointing back to the wild turkey, our Four Shared Values are all interconnected:

  • Clean Water: 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 nearby 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 delivers not only benefits wild turkeys, but it creates healthier forests, which, in turn, create healthier watersheds, creating cleaner and more available water throughout the country.
  • Healthy Forests and Wildlife Habitat: 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, which provides poor habitat and comes with severe ramifications, such as catastrophic wildfires and fragmented habitat. A managed forest, on the other hand, increases the overall habitat for wild turkeys and the overall biodiversity while making the managed area more resilient to catastrophic wildfires and other disturbances.
  • Resilient Communities: 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, catastrophic wildfires are spreading from uninhabited forests to nearby human 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 protect these communities while also increasing viable wildlife habitat.
  • Robust Recreational Opportunities: 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 and hunting heritage 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 and ability to share our outdoors lifestyle.

Mission Delivery at a Landscape Level

Accomplishing conservation delivery on a scale necessary to turn the tide of diminishing wild turkey populations, growing dangers of catastrophic wildfire, flood events and other threats to our nation’s vital watersheds, forests, grasslands and communities is accomplished through partnerships and honing in on our Four Shared Values.  The NWTF created or joined national and regional initiatives and landscape-scale projects to slow the loss of habitat and improve habitat diversity, forest health, pine management, water quality, winter wildlife survival, healthy hardwood forests and riparian areas and to restore oak woodlands, savannas and prairies.

These initiatives and projects are comprised of diverse stakeholders and channel efforts to increase pace, scale and efficacy of our combined conservation efforts across public and private lands. In the spirit of the USDA’s Shared Stewardship Strategy, calling all hands and all lands into the effort, these large-scale, multi-stakeholder, cross-boundary initiatives are the future of conservation delivery, and the NWTF is at the forefront in forging innovative partnerships and contributing where other partners are leading the way to better serve our nation’s vital water resources, forests, wildlife habitat, communities and recreational opportunities.

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