TEXAS — National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) chapters in Texas budgeted more than $161,200 to further the new Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative within the state in 2014.
"The Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initative is supported by our state boards and chapter members," said Becky Humphries, executive vice president of conservation. "Hunting Heritage Super Fund money is critical to implementing the initiative, and investing in focal landscapes and hunter recruitment."
The NWTF's Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative is a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to give the NWTF more energy and purpose than ever. Through this national initiative, NWTF has committed to raising $1.2 billion to conserve and enhance more than 4 million acres of essential upland wildlife habitat, create at least 1.5 million new hunters and open access to 500,000 new acres for hunting, shooting and outdoor enjoyment. Without hunters, there will be no wildlife or habitat. The NWTF is determined to Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.
Texas State Chapter of NWTF funding totals $161,200 and includes:
$35,000 to complete stewardship projects on National Forests and Grasslands in Texas, support NWTF's Cooperative Biologist position, and purchase equipment for the new Southern Rolling Plains Prescribed Burn Association (SRPPBA). Funds for equipment purchases will be matched 3-to-1 through Pittman-Robertson federal aid funds and private donations for a total project of $40,000 to assist the newly-developing SRPPBA (19 counties). Partners: TPWD, USDA Forest Service and NWTF
$20,900 to support education including NWTF Wild About Turkey Education boxes for schools, and volunteer leadership training.
$20,000 to promote hunting heritage through the Texas Youth Hunting Program, Texas Wildlife Association Foundation hunt scholarships, and the Dallas Ecological Foundation's new Outdoor Adventures Program.
$20,000 to enhance habitat in the Rolling Plains region. Projects include seeding and clearing brush on the Muse Wildlife Management Area (WMA), and restoring habitat on Matador and Taylor Lakes WMAs. Pittman-Robertson federal aid will match NWTF funds 3-to-1, resulting in $80,000 total for these projects.
$15,500 to fund NWTF's Turkey Hunters Care program, provide publicity and fund other projects.
$14,000 to support outreach events through programs including JAKES, Women in the Outdoors, Wheelin' Sportsmen, National Archery in the Schools Program and 4-H.
$13,000 to provide local and state scholarships.
$11,000 to cover volunteer costs related to the NWTF's National Convention and Sport Show.
$6,800 to complete research on Rio Grande wild turkey population demographics and hen habitat selection in North Texas. Study sites are located in Montague County and on the Lyndon B. Johnson National Grassland in Wise County. This study is part of a $390,000 project this year. Partners: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Texas A&M University's Institute for Renewable Natural Resources and private landowners.
$5,000 to help transport 240 Eastern wild turkeys from cooperating southeastern states to three approved sites in the Pineywoods and Post Oak Savannah Regions, one of NWTF's identified Focal Landscapes in Texas.