EDGEFIELD, SC — The NWTF honored Joe Foster, President of the NWTF Idaho State Chapter, with the new Innovation Award for his exceptionally creative strategies and novel approaches that fostered positive impacts in conservation, outreach and education .
“I am honored to be recognized for innovation by the NWTF Board of Directors,” said Foster. “The NWTF has supported our efforts to provide wild turkey learning to educators, numerous habitat projects, and many other activities that help us achieve goals while building community through conservation.”
Foster accepted the NWTF 50th Anniversary Award for Innovationhe 47th anniversary celebrationhe NWTF annual convention and sports extravaganza, sponsored by Mossy Oak.
Foster has been an effective leader for the NWTF’s Idaho State Chapter, rallying people from the Panhandle to the Columbia Plateau and basins and valleys to expand the NWTF’s mission.
Western states are large and communities are scattered. However, Foster has fostered a dedicated community of conservationists who are willing to go the distance, both literally and figuratively.
Foster excels at building relationships and partnerships and has forged a productive connection with Idaho Fish and Game. That relationship has spawned a number of conservation jobs by volunteers, interns, and departments.
Foster also built a tree patio in his backyard and gave the NWTF access to take cuttings, surplus and other inexpensive trees and shrubs from a variety of sources and use them as needed. Foster’s Southeast Idaho tree yard is a 20-by-30-foot tall fenced space created through Eagle Scout Projects seven years ago. The yard produces over 500 trees each year for habitat projects that benefit all wildlife throughout southeast Idaho. Trees are propagated from locally sourced seeds, cuttings, and collected cuttings. The conservative estimated annual inventory value is $5,000 to $10,000. All tree yard maintenance, weeding, and watering is done by volunteers.
Foster’s commitment has set the stage for the NWTF’s success in obtaining several Community Challenge Grants from the IDFG Commissioners for the NWTF’s Pocatello chapter to carry out habitat improvement projects at the Portneuf, Georgetown WMAs. and Blackfoot River to plant trees and shrubs to improve wildlife habitat.
Foster’s innovative approach to conservation can also be seen in his work procuring and implementing the use of water boxes. These boxes increase tree survival, use 90% less water, and dramatically reduce staff time needed to establish trees and transport water, increasing the ability to plant trees that benefit wildlife habitat.
In addition, Foster recently collaborated with IDFG on another innovative idea and received a 2022 IDFG Commissioners Community Challenge Grant to build a habitat trailer, which will be built and used by IDFG and volunteer conservation groups to facilitate days of habitat field in local wildlife management areas.
In addition, Foster also realizes the importance of public support for wildlife. The NWTF Idaho State Chapter supports the IDFG Wild About Turkeys Project Workshop. This training for educators provides information on turkeys that can be used in all educational disciplines, such as teaching social studies, math, language arts, science, or outdoor education programs. The NWTF Idaho State Chapter purchases supplemental educational materials for participating educators.
“Having experienced it firsthand, I can say with certainty that all of our members in Idaho are exceptionally grateful for Joe’s efforts,” said NWTF Co-Executive Director Kurt Dyroff. “Joe’s ability to unite people for the greater good, along with his innovative approaches, has broadened our reach in the NWTF. We are proud to honor Joe for his work in fulfilling the mission of the NWTF.”
About the National Wild Turkey Federation
Since 1973, the National Wild Turkey Federation has invested more than half a billion dollars in wildlife conservation and has conserved or improved more than 22 million acres of critical wildlife habitat. The organization continues to advance wildlife conservation, forest resiliency, and robust recreational opportunities across the US by working beyond borders at the landscape scale.
2023 is the 50th of the NWTF he anniversary and an opportunity to push the organization’s mission into the future while honoring its rich history. for his 50 he anniversary, the NWTF has set six ambitious goals: positively impact 1 million acres of wildlife habitat; raise $500,000 for wild turkey research; increase membership to 250,000 members; dedicate $1 million to education and outreach programs; raise $5 million to invest in technology and the people of NWTF; and raise $5 million to build a $50 million endowment for the future. Find out how you can help us achieve these lofty goals.