EDGEFIELD, SC — As the National Wild Turkey Federation concludes its 10-year Save the Habitat. Save the hunt. initiative, all goals were met ahead of schedule and continue to have a positive impact on wildlife and hunters.
In 2012, the NWTF set out to reinforce its mission by creating Save the Habitat. Save the hunt. initiative, a national campaign involving three distinct goals: Preserve or improve 4 million acres of wildlife habitatrecruit 1.5 million hunters Y open access to 500,000 acres of public hunting land, all by the end of the NWTF fiscal year 2022.
In 2020, the initiative’s final metric was exceeded thanks to the dedication of NWTF chapters, volunteers, partners, and staff. As fiscal year 2022 officially closed on August 31, the official totals from Save the Habitat. Save the hunt. initiative are:
- 5,216,914 acres conserved or improved (goal met in 2020).
- 1,534,819 hunters recruited (goal met in 2019).
- 700,041 acres open to public hunting access (goal met in 2018).
“The 10-year initiative brought together our membership, staff and partners to help fulfill our mission on an unprecedented scale,” said NWTF Co-Executive Director Kurt Dyroff. “We have faced many challenges over the last decade, but what we have achieved is a testament to our dedicated people that makes the NWTF so special. We will look back 50 years from now and see that Save the Habitat. Save the hunt. it served as a springboard for mission-focused delivery in the far future.”
At the beginning of Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt., the NWTF identified several focal regions of immediate need across the country and classified them into six distinct conservation areas, known as the Big Six of the American Wildlife Conservancy. NWTF’s Big Six model has become a staple in the organization’s conservation delivery and has enabled NWTF to increase the scope of its work by working through emerging landscape-scale initiatives.
Also, the recruitment of 1.5 million new or retired hunters was an integral part of Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt., not only to preserve America’s hunting heritage, but also because the sale of hunting licenses contributes substantially to funding conservation efforts. Over the past 10 years, the NWTF has continued to strengthen its education and outreach efforts and continues to ensure that hunters and shooting sports enthusiasts are America’s most stalwart conservationists.
The final component of the initiative was to increase access to public lands for hunting. Working with numerous partners, private landowners, and contributing to many land acquisitions, the NWTF far exceeded its goals for access to public lands.
“This is the beginning of a new era,” Dyroff said. “There are still many challenges ahead, and we are not taking our foot off the accelerator. We will continue to increase the scope and scale of mission delivery so that we can have a positive impact for future generations.”
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 positively impacted more than 22 million acres of critical wildlife habitat. The NWTF has also invested more than $8.5 million in wild turkey research to ensure the wild turkey population remains healthy. The organization continues to fulfill its mission by working across borders at the landscape scale to increase abundant clean water, healthy forests and wildlife habitat, resilient communities, and strong recreational opportunities across the US. With the help of its dedicated members, partners and staff, the NWTF will continue its work to provide Healthy Habitats and Healthy Crops for future generations.