Launch event held for the Big Sky forestry initiative

EDGEFIELD, SC — The Big Sky Forest Initiative Kick-Off event was held June 8 at Rockin’ TJ Ranch in Bozeman, Montana, celebrating the new collaboration, co-developed by the National Wild Turkey Federation and the Forest Service. from USDA.

The Big Sky Forest Initiative aims to address several critical objectives. These include reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfires, improving wildlife habitat, ensuring clean water sources, preserving access to recreational opportunities, and reducing wildfire risk for communities in wilderness areas.

“A special thank you to the dedicated conservationists who attended the Big Sky Forest Initiative launch event last week in Bozeman, Montana,” said NWTF Co-Executive Director Jason Burckhalter. “We are very excited about this collaborative initiative which, among other things, will help create healthy and resilient forests and watersheds that are better prepared for future wildfires by creating conditions where fires burn less intensely and affect fewer acres.”

A dinner was provided for attendees, and after the meal, Chris Savage, director of renewable resources for the Forest Service, gave a presentation outlining the details of the Big Sky Forest Initiative. He provided attendees with in-depth details about the organizations involved, their primary roles, and their strategic plans for starting sustainable efforts in Montana.

“Our first Big Sky Forestry Initiative event was a great success,” said Savage. “The Northern Region Forest Service appreciates the efforts of the NWTF in conducting this fundraiser. The dollars raised will go towards the implementation of some critical projects in Montana. We look forward to working with NWTF on future efforts.”

After the presentation, time was spent recognizing donors who had made significant commitments and completed their commitments, and Steven Rinella, writer, television personality, and founder of MeatEater, Inc., read aloud a list of all major donors. donors were recognized as conservation leaders, playing a critical role in supporting the initiatives and goals of the Big Sky Forest Initiative. Additional information on the Major Donor Program can be found here.

The event also featured a live auction, showcasing items like firearms, vacation trips, and guided hunts. Through the auction and donations, a total of more than $179,000 was raised to support various projects within the Big Sky Forestry Initiative. These potential projects include the Bozeman Municipal Watershed ProjectElkhorns Cooperative Management

“Last [week’s] The launch of the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Big Sky Forest Initiative in the Gallatin Valley was a breath of fresh air,” said Ryan Callaghan, director of conservation for MeatEater. “The NWTF has shown that it is no longer just a turkey organization. Your comprehensive plan to conserve Montana’s forests right here in MeatEater’s backyard is as welcome as it is necessary. MeatEater has a longstanding commitment to improving wildlife resources and public access to America’s natural landscape, and we are proud to partner with NWTF to do just that for generations to come.”

Learn more about the Big Sky Forest Initiative here.

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 NWTFhe Anniversary and an opportunity to push the organization’s mission into the future while honoring its rich history. for his 50he 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. Learn how you can help us achieve these lofty goals.