WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – Today, the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) during the organization’s conservation forum and tour in Williamsburg, Va.
The MOU between NACD and NWTF establishes an agreement to enhance the productivity of wild turkey and other wildlife habitats on private lands. Additionally, the agreement signifies the commitment both organizations share to collaborate on future engagements and events. Activities include wild turkey and habitat conservation projects, delivering education materials, habitat restoration, and developing habitat enhancement techniques.
“You can’t have a healthy turkey population without healthy forests,” NACD President Brent Van Dyke said. “Today’s signed agreement demonstrates the commitment both NACD and NWTF share in enhancing our natural resources, particularly through increasing forest health. This agreenment provides both entities with the unique ability to promote and implement conservation practices at the local level.”
“NWTF is well-respected partner with a network of a quarter-million members, many of whom are also members of NACD,” NACD Second Vice President Michael Crowder said. “This collaboration between our organizations solidifies the work we’ve already begun to accomplish in getting conservation on the ground. This relationship is important, and we’re excited about the opportunity to revive the agreement both organizations committed to over ten years ago.”
NACD and NWTF have worked together through a number of national efforts, including the Forests in the Farm Bill coalition. Additionally, both organizations have collaborated in several states across the country to staff wildlife biologists and other positions that otherwise would go unfilled. Through common partners like the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and state forestry agencies, NACD and NWTF are addressing resource concerns and delivering conservation programs to enhance and conserve natural resources.
“The NWTF and NACD have considerable overlap in our respective conservation missions, which is why this agreement is so significant,” NWTF Vice President of Conservation Ross Melinchuk said. “The NWTF’s 10-year Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative focuses our conservation and hunting heritage activities toward the regions of the country where we can have the most meaningful, on-the-ground impact to conserve and enhance wildlife habitat and open access to more lands for public hunting. We can’t accomplish this initiative alone. Partnerships, like the one we signed today with NACD and its 3,000 conservation districts, are the only way we can increase forest management activities on private lands from Virginia to Washington to Florida and everywhere in between.
About the National Association of Conservation Districts:
The National Association of Conservation Districts is the non-profit organization that represents the nation’s 3,000 conservation districts, their state and territory associations, and the 17,000 men and women who serve on their governing boards. For more than 70 years, local conservation districts have worked with cooperating landowners and managers of private working lands to help them plan and apply effective conservation practices. For more information about NACD, visit: www.nacdnet.org.
About the National Wild Turkey Federation
When the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded in 1973, there were about 1.3 million wild turkeys in North America. After decades of work, that number hit a historic high of almost 7 million turkeys. To succeed, the NWTF stood behind science-based conservation and hunters’ rights. The NWTF Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative is a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to raise $1.2 billion to conserve and enhance more than 4 million acres of essential wildlife habitat, recruit at least 1.5 million hunters and open access to 500,000 acres for hunting. For more information, visit NWTF.org.