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Conclusion of Landmark NWTF Initiative Serves as Catalyst for the Future

EDGEFIELD, S.C. — As the National Wild Turkey Federation wraps up its 10-year Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative, all goals were met ahead of schedule and continue to positively impact wildlife and hunters.

In 2012, the NWTF set out to bolster its mission by creating the Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative, a national campaign entailing three distinct goals: Conserve or enhance 4 million acres of wildlife habitat, recruit 1.5 million hunters and open access to 500,000 acres of public hunting land, all by the end of the NWTF’s 2022 fiscal year.

In 2020, the final metric of the initiative was surpassed thanks to the dedication of NWTF chapters, volunteers, partners and staff. As the 2022 fiscal year officially closed Aug. 31, the official totals for the Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative are: 

5,216,914 acres conserved or enhanced (goal accomplished in 2020). 1,534,819 hunters recruited (goal accomplished in 2019). 700,041 acres opened to public hunting access (goal accomplished in 2018).

“The 10-year initiative rallied our membership, staff and partners to help deliver our mission on an unprecedented scale,” NWTF co-CEO Kurt Dyroff said. “We faced many challenges over the last decade, but what we accomplished is a testament to our dedicated people who make the NWTF so special. We will look back 50 years from now and see that Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. served as a springboard for mission-focused delivery far into the future.”  

At the beginning of Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt., the NWTF identified various focal regions of immediate need across the country and categorized those into six distinct areas of conservation, known as America’s Big Six of Wildlife Conservation. The NWTF’s Big Six model has become a staple in the organization’s conservation delivery and has allowed the NWTF to increase the scope of its work by working through emerging landscape-scale initiatives. 

Likewise, recruiting 1.5 million new or lapsed hunters was integral to Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt., not only for preserving America’s hunting heritage but also as hunting license sales contribute substantially to funding conservation efforts. Over the last 10 years, the NWTF continued to strengthen its education and outreach efforts and is continuing to ensure hunters and shooting sport enthusiasts are America’s most stalwart conservationists. 

The final component of the initiative was increasing public land access for hunting. Working with numerous partners, private landowners and contributing to many land acquisitions, the NWTF vastly exceeded its public land access goals.

“This is the beginning of a new era,” Dyroff said. “There are still many challenges ahead, and we are not letting our foot off the gas. We will continue to increase the scope and scale of mission delivery so that we may have a positive impact for future generations.”

About the National Wild Turkey Federation

Since 1973, the National Wild Turkey Federation has invested over half a billion dollars into wildlife conservation and has positively impacted over 22 million acres of critical wildlife habitat. The NWTF has also invested over $8.5 million into wild turkey research to ensure the wild turkey population remains healthy. The organization continues to deliver its mission by working across boundaries on a landscape scale to increase clean and abundant water, healthy forests and wildlife habitat, resilient communities and robust recreational opportunities across the U.S. With the help of its dedicated members, partners and staff, the NWTF will continue its work to provide Healthy Habitats and Healthy Harvests for future generations.

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(Originally posted by HLNews)


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