The Lauderdale Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in north Alabama has grown by 24 acres thanks to the Alabama Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF). The group purchased the land for $42,000 and donated it to the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) in February 2017 for inclusion in the Lauderdale WMA.
 
The additional acreage consists of two previously private-held parcels located in the Panther Creek watershed on the western side of the WMA, which is near the town of Waterloo, Ala. The land will be open for hunting this fall.
 
“We are pleased to partner with ADCNR to provide additional access to public hunting,” said Craig Scruggs, Alabama NWTF Chapter President. “We have collaborated with and supported ADCNR in land acquisition projects dating back to 2001 with over $360,000 donated for land purchases to date. This partnership is also a great fit for NWTF’s ‘Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.’ initiative.”
 
In addition to increased access to public hunting, the land provides habitat for multiple wildlife species including white-tailed deer and Eastern wild turkey.
 
One parcel consists of gently rolling hills, mature hardwood, and some shortleaf pine. The second parcel features creek bottom habitat with steep slopes, mature hardwood, some shortleaf pine, and a wildlife opening – important brood rearing habitat for turkey. 
 
“We’ve had a long-standing conservation partnership with the Alabama NWTF Chapter,” said Keith Gauldin, Wildlife Section Chief with ADCNR’s Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division. “Their financial assistance through the NWTF Super Fund and NWTF license plate revenue have provided essential funding for habitat management equipment and land acquisitions for many years. The Lauderdale WMA addition represents another piece in the puzzle of securing essential habitat for Alabama’s turkey population and increases public turkey hunting opportunities. It’s great to see this cooperative effort continue. We thank them for this generous donation.”
 
For more information about NWTF including the “Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.” program, visit www.nwtf.org.
 
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources 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. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com. 
 
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Photo: Left to right: Andrew Nix, WFF Forest Management Coordinator; Keith Gauldin, WFF Wildlife Chief; Steve Barnett, WFF Wild Turkey Project Leader; WFF Director Chuck Sykes; and Alabama NWTF Board of Directors members, Craig Scruggs, Craig Harris, and Charlie Duckett.