NWTF Volunteers' Efforts Honored in Oklahoma

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NWTF Volunteers' Efforts Honored in Oklahoma

6/4/09

TULSA, Okla. The National Wild Turkey Federation recently received the NatureWorks Wildlife Stewardship Award for 2009 for their work in promoting the conservation of wildlife resources in Oklahoma.

The National Wild Turkey Federation recently received the NatureWorks Wildlife Stewardship Award and had this monument dedicated to the city of Tulsa in their honor for their work in promoting the conservation of wildlife resources in Oklahoma.

NatureWorks, a Tulsa, Oklahoma-based group also dedicated a monument in honor of the NWTF, which will be displayed at the Tulsa City-County Library in downtown Tulsa. The large bronze sculpture named "Rio Grande Turkeys" and sculpted by artist Ron Lowery depicts three wild turkeys moving together through tall grass.

"This unique piece of art will serve as a lasting tribute to the 7,000 members, volunteers and NWTF supporters in Oklahoma, who have invested many hours of tireless dedication to improving our state's wildlife and natural resources and moving forward with the NWTF's mission," said Gary Purdy, NWTF Oklahoma senior regional director.

Each year, NatureWorks donates a realistic bronze wildlife monument to the city of Tulsa in honor of an individual or group's voluntary accomplishments. "Rio Grande Turkeys" is the 19th statue donated to the city of Tulsa by NatureWorks, but only the third dedicated to an organization.


Pictured L-R: Russell Barber, James Aldridge, Gary Brooks, Dan Duckwall, Robert Higginbotham, Mike Evans, Don Chitwood, Gary Purdy and Ross Huffman
Click image for print quality version

"NatureWorks is proud to honor the NWTF with this award and dedicate this work of art to Tulsa," said Lon Canada, who serves as a NatureWorks board of directors member and chairman of the stewardship committee, and is an avid turkey hunter. "In the NWTF, NatureWorks found a partner with the common objectives of promoting conservation and sponsoring educational programs in Oklahoma. Just as the NWTF's work will improve habitat for many future generations to enjoy, this sculpture will add character to Tulsa's landscape and honor the NWTF for years to come."

Several NWTF Oklahoma board members were present at the statue dedication ceremony including Mike Evans, president; Dan Duckwall, vice president; James Aldridge, treasurer; Gary Brooks and Russell Barber. Staff members Ross Huffman, regional biologist; Gary Purdy, regional director; and Don Chitwood, regional director; and national NWTF board of directors member Robert Higginbotham also attended.


This plaque, located on the side of the "Rio Grande Turkeys" monument, includes the NWTF's mission statement.
Click image for print quality version

Higginbotham was especially proud of a plaque on the side of the sculpture's base that says the sculpture was dedicated to the NWTF, "For providing leadership in Oklahoma for promoting conservation of the wild turkey and preservation of the hunting tradition."

"Receiving this award and having a monument dedicated to the NWTF is a huge step toward inspiring future generations of conservationists and forwarding the NWTF's mission," said Higginbotham. "Thanks to NatureWorks, the half million people including many children that visit this location each year can see this work of art and know that the NWTF's mission is to conserve wild turkeys and preserve hunting traditions. This whole experience has been a tremendous honor."

For more information about the NWTF visit www.nwtf.org or call (800) THE-NWTF.

About the NWTF: In 1973, Tom Rodgers founded the National Wild Turkey Federation in Fredericksburg, Va., as a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit conservation and education organization with a mission dedicated to conserving wild turkeys and preserving hunting traditions. Shortly thereafter, Rodgers relocated the NWTF to Edgefield, S.C., where it's still headquartered today.

At the time NWTF was established, there were only 1.3 million wild turkeys. Today that number stands at more than seven million birds throughout North America, thanks to the efforts of state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, the NWTF and its members and partners.

Growth and progress define the NWTF as it has expanded from 1,300 members in 1973 to nearly a half million today. With that growth has come impressive strides in wildlife management as the NWTF has forged dynamic partnerships across the country to further its conservation mission. Together, the NWTF's partners, sponsors and grassroots members have raised and spent more than $286 million upholding hunting traditions and conserving nearly 14 million acres of wildlife habitat.

While wild turkey restoration is nearing completion, the NWTF still has much work to do. Across North America, supporters are working to enhance habitat for wild turkeys and other wildlife while providing hunters with more opportunities and access to public and private land. In addition, NWTF volunteers and partners are introducing youth, women and people with disabilities to the outdoors through special educational events.

If you would like to become a member of Team NWTF, join a committee or start a chapter, please visit our Web site at www.nwtf.org or call us at 800-THE-NWTF.


Contact:

Shannon Coggin (803) 637-3106
 


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