EDGEFIELD, SC — On June 29, the North Dakota Industrial Commission approved more than $6.3 million from the Outdoor Heritage Fund and matching grants from the Renewable Energy Program, including a $200,000 grant to the National Wild Turkey Federation for habitat improvements of wildlife.
“Funding from the Outdoor Heritage Fund will result in more conservation being implemented in North Dakota,” said Clayton Lenk, NWTF district biologist in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. “All funds will go toward on-the-ground implementation or materials to help us achieve desired practices.”
The use of these funds will further build on NWTF’s riparian restoration efforts, such as the Waterways for Wildlife initiative, which prioritizes the restoration and conservation of riparian areas. By directing Outdoor Heritage Fund (OHF) resources toward select Waterways for Wildlife projects in North Dakota, the NWTF is able to allocate internal dollars to projects in other states. This approach enhances annual conservation efforts and maximizes the effectiveness of member-generated contributions. With the support of the OHF, we can expand our conservation footprint and achieve better conservation outcomes for riparian health and wildlife habitat conservation.
It is anticipated that a significant portion of the projects will focus on riparian areas, predominantly emphasizing improved grazing practices. These practices include the installation of off-site water facilities, as well as the creation of rotating grazing systems. By implementing these measures, managers can effectively remove livestock from riparian zones, promoting longer growth of native species and improving wildlife habitat. These initiatives also have the added benefit of improving water quality by increasing infiltration, reducing compaction, and decreasing erosion potential, among other positive impacts.
This year’s proposal encompasses riparian areas and uplands, focusing on vital habitats that may extend beyond riparian corridors. Practices implemented in these upland areas can vary greatly, from planting trees and establishing native pastures to grazing improvements and forest reduction, among others, all with the goal of positively impacting turkey populations.
With a four-year time frame to complete work on the project that covers approximately 1,500 acres, the NWTF will draw on strong connections with local chapters and leverage partnerships across the state. By collaborating with these key stakeholders, significant impacts will be achieved for the well-being of turkey populations and other wildlife in North Dakota.
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 strong 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.