Wild Turkey Strategic Plan for NWTF's Pennsylvania Chapter


Mar 11, 2001
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Wild Turkey Strategic Plan for NWTF's Pennsylvania Chapter


EDGEFIELD, South Carolina- The National Wild Turkey Federation's dedicated volunteers and the Pennsylvania Game Commission worked together tirelessly to pull off the greatest conservation success story in history -- the restoration of the wild turkey. Now, both groups have big plans to ensure the future of Pennsylvania's wild turkey population.

"This conservation victory has allowed countless Pennsylvanians to pass on the turkey hunting tradition to generations of new hunters," said Bob Eriksen, NWTF's regional biologist in Pennsylvania. "However, our members believe it is critically important to look toward the future of North America's greatest game bird and work to ensure that future is bright. Our chapter is dedicated to doing just that through the NWTF's Pennsylvania Wild Turkey Strategic Plan."

The Pennsylvania plan is part of the larger North American Wild Turkey Management Plan, a compilation of objectives covering the United States, all Canadian provinces home to wild turkeys and selected areas of Mexico.

"The plans are being written on a national, regional and state-specific basis and will act as a road map to the help NWTF's dedicated volunteers work with wildlife management agencies to target the most important habitat needs in their areas," said Dr. James Earl Kennamer, NWTF's senior vice president for conservation programs.

The Pennsylvania plan lays out the state chapter's goals for habitat enhancement, strategies for improving hunter safety education and awareness, plans for improving hunter access and supporting NWTF's outreach programs.

Through its JAKES, Women in the Outdoors and Wheelin' Sportsmen outreach programs, the NWTF helps children, women, and people with disabilities across North America learn new outdoor skills.

"The plan will be dynamic and adaptable to balance the social needs of people with the biological needs of wildlife, and will provide accurate and relevant science-based support for wild turkey management," Kennamer said. "It will serve as a guiding light for NWTF's volunteers and will help ensure their dollars are spent in ways that will get the greatest good by having the tools needed to make informed decisions when spending their hard-earned Hunting Heritage Super Fund dollars.

According to NWTF's NAWTMP Coordinator Mark Hatfield, working with non-government organizations, government agencies, corporations and other partners in conservation gives NWTF volunteers key opportunities not only to strengthen and improve habitat, but also to forge the relationships needed for across-the-board cooperation.

"Today, the cost of even the smallest habitat project requires the resources of multiple partners whose very influence could have far-reaching effects on wild turkeys," said Hatfield. "For example, partnering with those who are improving habitat for Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) in Pennsylvania, which is a threatened and endangered species, also improves wild turkey habitat. By working together, project partners can leverage Hunting Heritage Super Fund expenditures with Endangered Species Act dollars to do far more work than either group could have alone."

The NWTF will continue to work with state wildlife agencies, the USDA's Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and numerous other partners to maintain critical habitat on millions of acres of public and private properties across North America for a multitude of species.

"The NWTF's long-term relationships with these partners were key to the restoration of the wild turkey across the U.S., and having them on board is a blessing for the wild turkey's future," Kennamer said.

Media Contact:
NWTF (803) 637-3106.

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