NWTF, NRCS sign historic agreement to impact 350,000 acres

EDGEFIELD, S.C. — The National Wild Turkey Federation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service have signed an agreement for cooperative staffing to sustain and improve forest ecosystems on as much as 350,000 acres of private land across 24 states over the next five years.

The two organizations have a mutual interest in conservation and the sustainable use of land, water, wildlife and other resources across the country and have worked together for more than 15 years.

“We have long partnered with the NRCS on conservation projects and are thrilled to have a five-year plan in place to realize additional conservation successes,” NWTF CEO Becky Humphries said. “Putting conservation dollars to work on the ground is critical, and our commitment to this agreement shows the NWTF and NRCS are ready to help lead the way with conservation partnerships.”

Through the agreement, 24 foresters and one project coordinator will collaborate with private landowners, as well as state and federal agencies and non-government organizations, to deliver technical assistance via Farm Bill conservation programs to forest landowners across the country. These foresters will provide additional support for NRCS staff, as well as landowners, in developing forest management plans and advising on best management practices that benefit forest resources, as well as wildlife.

“We’re grateful to continue our partnership with the National Wild Turkey Federation as they help us put more boots on the ground to help private landowners,” said NRCS Acting Chief Leonard Jordan. “Together, we’re working with landowners to implement best forest management practices to improve forest health and wildlife habitat, reduce wildfire fuel loads, and improve water quality.”

Through this agreement, NRCS and NWTF are working together to foster greater stewardship of our natural resources by helping forest landowners in a variety of landscapes across the country. This work will benefit habitat for wild turkey and numerous other species, such as cerulean and golden-winged warblers in the Appalachian Mountains and the northern bobwhite throughout the pine savannas of the Southeast.

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. Today, the NWTF is focused on the future of hunting and conservation through its Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative – a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to conserve or 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.