NWTF donates more than $143K for wildlife management

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Left to right: WFF Upland Game Bird Program Coordinator Steven Mitchell, Alabama NWTF State Chapter President Craig Harris, WFF Director Chuck Sykes and WFF Wildlife Section Chief Keith Gauldin (Billy Pope, ADCNR)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Alabama Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) recently allocated more than $143,000 in Hunting Heritage Super Funds and Tag Funds for wild turkey projects in Alabama. Of that total, $35,392 was donated to the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division (WFF) of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) to fund projects including wildlife habitat management and the publication of the annual wild turkey report, “Full Fans & Sharp Spurs.” 

“We are proud to partner with ADCNR on the conservation of wild turkey in Alabama,” said Craig Harris, Alabama NWTF chapter president. “Working together we can ensure this important natural resource is available to future generations of Alabamians.” 

Of the total NWTF allocation, $107,655 was approved for other turkey projects statewide. That funding makes $786,712 in matching funds provided by other conservation partners available to positively impact approximately 126,000 acres statewide through the enhancement of turkey habitat. The funding also supports efforts to increase access to hunting opportunities and investigate wild turkey declines. 

Most of the funding donated to WFF will be used on Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) and Special Opportunity Areas (SOA) throughout the state to support habitat management and other wild turkey programs. Some of the donation will also be used to purchase much-needed wildlife habitat management equipment. 

“More than $23,000 of this generous donation offers us access to federal matching dollars, which makes the donation go even further,” said Chuck Sykes, WFF director. “Since federal matching dollars play such a major role in how our division is funded, contributions like this are extremely important.” 

WFF is primarily funded by money generated through the sale of hunting and fishing licenses. That money is then matched on a nearly three to one ratio by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through funds allocated to Alabama from the Pittman-Robertson Act. WFF does not receive an appropriation from the state’s General Fund. 

“We thank NWTF and the Alabama Chapter Board of Directors for helping to support the conservation of wild turkey in Alabama,” said Chris Blankenship, ADCNR commissioner. “With their assistance we will continue working to ensure the future of this resource for generations to come.” 

In addition to the monetary donation, the Alabama NWTF chapter provides financial support for prescribed burning projects that help manage for quality habitat on public hunting areas, costs associated with public hunting land acquisitions, the Adult Mentored Hunting Program, the Archery in the Schools State Championship and the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program. 

ADCNR promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. Learn more at www.outdooralabama.com