EDGEFIELD, SC — The National Wild Turkey Federation honored MassWildlife Director Mark S. Tisa with its new Innovation Award for the agency’s exceptionally creative strategies and novel approaches that fostered positive conservation impacts, outreach, and the education.
“I am honored to receive the NWTF Innovation Award,” said Tisa. “With shared goals for R3 and upland habitat conservation, MassWildlife and NWTF are natural partners. MassWildlife and NWTF continue to grow our important partnership, collaborating on hunting apprenticeship and mentoring programs, as well as access and habitat improvement projects. Through strong wildlife management and support from conservation partners like NWTF, MassWildlife is proud to continue to expand turkey hunting opportunities in Massachusetts by increasing the annual take limit, expanding youth opportunities, and extending the season. autumn in recent years.
Tisa accepted the NWTF 50th Anniversary Award for Innovationhe 47th anniversary celebrationhe NWTF annual convention and sports extravaganza, sponsored by Mossy Oak.
In partnership with MassWildlife, under Tisa’s leadership, the Massachusetts State Chapter of the NWTF has achieved notable achievements in hunting heritage and conservation. This partnership would not be possible without the guidance of Tisa and the outstanding volunteers at NWTF in Massachusetts. Together they have used creative strategies to address conservation issues and declining hunters.
MassWildlife has proposed and implemented multiple regulatory changes that have significantly increased hunting opportunities and hunter satisfaction while reducing regulatory complexity, including:
- Increased annual turkey season limit from two to three birds to encourage participation in the fall hunting season.
- Expanded the archery-only fall turkey season to create more overlap with the fall archery deer season.
- Remove smaller shot size restrictions to allow hunters to take advantage of new advances in heavier-than-lead ammunition such as TSS.
- Create a pheasant and quail season at the end of the season so that hunters can pursue any previously uncaught birds stored until December 31.
- Simplified and standardized rules and regulations at WMAs during pheasant and deer seasons.
- Extended and simplified small game seasons for hare, cottontail and gray squirrel.
- With Tisa’s support, MassWildlife is a critical partner of NWTF and the Ruffed Grouse Society in the USDA Forest Service’s landscape-scale restoration grant that seeks to improve forest health on approximately 2,000 acres of public and private forests in western Massachusetts.
- Successful implementation of a license/permit fee increase package (first in 25 years) that helped the agency remain solvent and avoid reduction in staff and services. In particular, Tisa made a concerted effort to work with the sports community to find, understand, and identify a process where fees would gradually increase over a 5-year period.
In addition, Tisa and MassWildlife have been a strong partner of the NWTF in programs for both youth and adult hunters. For example, the Massachusetts Young Adult Turkey Hunting Program is a collaboration between MassWildlife, the Massachusetts State Chapter of the NWTF, and participating sports clubs, providing turkey hunting training and instruction, as well as providing the opportunity for participating youth to experience a guided spring turkey. hunt on youth hunting day. More than 1,000 young people have gone through this program since 2009. Tisa was a key figure in getting this program off the ground.
“We are proud to present Director Tisa with the Innovation Award,” said NWTF Co-Executive Director Kurt Dyroff. “To say that the director used an innovative approach to conservation and hunter recruitment would be an understatement. Director Tisa has done everything possible to ensure that both turkeys and turkey game are alive and well in the Bay State.”
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.