NWTF and Partners Take Initiative, Win Award

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NWTF and Partners Take Initiative, Win Award

5/7/08

MASSACHUSETTS — The Massachusetts State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation recently received the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Cooperative Conservation Award for its role in the Northern Forest Woodcock Initiative (NFWI).

The Massachusetts State Chapter's contribution to the NFWI helped turn 25 acres of overgrown fields on the Poland Brook Wildlife Management Area (WMA) into more suitable habitat for American woodcock, wild turkeys and other wildlife. The NWTF worked with the Wildlife Management Institute, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife on this project. Twenty-nine additional partners also have joined the initiative on various projects throughout the northeastern states.

"The National Wild Turkey Federation's participation in this conservation initiative is a prime example of how, together, we can achieve higher success by rallying our expertise and resources than we ever could by working as independent organizations," said Marvin Moriarty, regional director for the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Biologists on the Poland Brook WMA created early successional habitat, or areas where large undesirable trees are removed to create openings while leaving fruit producing trees that benefit wildlife. Removing most of the undesirable trees and shrubs created excellent brood habitat for wild turkeys and much-needed wildlife openings for American woodcock and other grassland bird species.

NWTF Regional Biologist Doug Little said the Northeast has plenty of heavily forested areas because of the conversion of fields to forests that has taken place over the last 20 to 30 years. The region is lacking early successional habitat, which is a necessity for wild turkeys, woodcock and several other game and non-game species. This project improved conditions for woodcock in the area while providing quality brood habitat for wild turkeys.

"Every acre that is converted into healthy habitat for wild turkeys, woodcock and other species is a step in the right direction," said Little. "Improving 25 acres in the heart of dense forest will benefit a variety of wildlife and those who visit the area. Everyone from hunters to birdwatchers will enjoy enhanced wildlife viewing opportunities."

The Cooperative Conservation awards recognize cooperative conservation achievements that have involved collaborative activity among a diverse range of entities including federal, state, local and tribal governments private for profit and nonprofit institutions, other nongovernmental entities and individuals.

Media Contact:
Shannon Coggin or Brian Dowler at (803) 637-3106 or scoggin@nwtf.net
 


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