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UTAH — Because access to healthy public lands and waters for the enjoyment of responsible recreation is of paramount importance to both organizations, the National Wild Turkey Federation and Tread Lightly! will work together to educate outdoorsmen on the ethical use of off highway vehicles (OHV).

“A major goal for Tread Lightly! is to further incorporate our important message of responsible OHV use into the hunting, fishing and shooting sports communities,” said Tread Lightly!’s executive director Lori McCullough. “With its extensive membership and quality, in-depth educational programs, NWTF is a perfect partner for Tread Lightly!.”

The NWTF will help distribute information through its chapter system, which totals 2,350 chapters in North America, to educate people on the ethical use of OHVs.

Industry statistics say that four out of every five all terrain vehicles owners actively engages in hunting or fishing or both.

“We want to help educate hunters and anglers on how they can use their vehicles and ATVs off of the paved road to enjoy the great outdoors without damaging critical wildlife habitat or important watersheds,” said Joel Pedersen, NWTF’s Director of Land Access Programs. “Hunters are still the original and greatest conservationists. We think this partnership will raise awareness and continue to motivate positive behaviors — which will in turn help keep trails and hunting areas open.”

As part of the strategic alliance, both organizations will work to motivate hunters, anglers and all OHV users to continue to keep their vehicles on designated trails, pick up litter, volunteer for public land projects and to act as ambassadors for their sport.

The NWTF is a national nonprofit conservation organization founded in 1973 and has worked with wildlife agencies to restore wild turkey populations from 1.3 million wild turkeys to nearly 7 million today. Now, NWTF’s volunteers raise funds and work daily to improve critical wildlife habitat, increase access to public hunting land and introduce new people to the outdoors and hunting. NWTF has nearly 500,000 members and reaches out to all types of hunters including women, kids, and the disabled through its popular programs such as Women in the Outdoors, JAKES, and Wheelin’ Sportsmen.

Tread Lightly! is considered the nation’s signature outdoor ethics message for forms of outdoor recreation involving the use of motorized or mechanized vehicles on both land and water. Tread Lightly! has developed quick tips, guidebooks, public service announcements and hunter education curricula to help hunters minimize their impact on the environment.