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NWTF Donates $122,000 for Wildlife Management

(Left to right): WFF Upland Game Bird Program Coordinator Steven Mitchell, Alabama NWTF Board Member Charlie Duckett, WFF Director Chuck Sykes, Alabama NWTF State Chapter President Craig Harris, Alabama NWTF Board Member Scott Brandon, WFF Chief Keith Gauldin. Photo by Billy Pope, ADCNR

The Alabama Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) recently allocated $122,000 in Hunting Heritage Super Funds for wild turkey projects in Alabama. Of that total, $60,676 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.

Approximately $61,000 was approved for other projects statewide, including funding to improve wild turkey habitat on public lands as well as to help launch outdoor education programs in schools. This funding supports the enhancement of turkey habitat, increases hunting access opportunities, funds educational programs and is an excellent fit for the NWTF “Save the Habitat, Save the Hunt” initiative.

Most of the WFF dollars will be used on Wildlife Management Areas throughout the state to support habitat management and other wild turkey programs. Some of the grant money will also be used to purchase much-needed wildlife habitat management equipment.

“About $48,000 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 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.

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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