The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) is dedicated to the conservation of the wild turkey in the United States and the preservation of our hunting heritage. The NWTF was founded in 1973, when the number of wild turkeys in North America was estimated at 1.3 million. The organization’s initiatives helped increase the population to a high of almost seven million birds.
The NWTF implements many of its habitat conservation projects on lands certified to the SFI Forest Management Standard. Organizations certified to SFI have a requirement to invest in conservation research and then apply knowledge gained through research, science, technology and ﬁeld experience to manage wildlife habitat and contribute to the conservation of biological diversity.
Some of the current NWTF initiatives on SFI-certified land include:
- Working with the Missouri Department of Conservation to increase and improve turkey habitat on 100 acres at the Truman Reservoir, an area with low nest success rates.
- Teaming with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to regenerate oaks to support wild turkey habitat on 750 acres in the Whitewater Wildlife Management Area and Doer Forest.
- Partnering with several organizations to curb invasive plant species and improve habitat for wild turkeys and rare bird species on nearly 14,000 acres in the Little Falls area in central Minnesota. Partners include the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Great River Greening, Anoka County, Isanti County, and the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge.
- Removing encroaching tree species and restoring desirable foraging and brood-rearing habitat and escape cover for wild turkeys and other birds in the Southeast. Partner organizations include Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, Florida Forest Service, and South Florida Water Management District.
- Working with the Pennsylvania Game Commission and Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to plant native grasses and complete controlled burning of overgrowth on 290 acres of the Sprout State Forest.
“The NWTF and SFI have had a Memorandum of Mutual Support for the last four years. We repeatedly see that the NWTF and SFI are stronger together in meeting our shared objectives of wildlife conservation and habitat restoration within well-managed forests,” said Ross Melinchuk, Chief Conservation Officer, National Wild Turkey Federation. “We’re very thankful for that.”
Visit sfiprogram.org to learn more about SFI’s work with NWTF and how you can help by looking for the SFI label on paper products when you shop for Thanksgiving.