EDGEFIELD, S.C. — The South Carolina NWTF State Chapter recently met to allocate NWTF Hunting Heritage Super Fund dollars to the South Carolina Wild Turkey Habitat Enhancement Program. This marks the third year of the collaborative funding program established between the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and the South Carolina State Chapter.
Funding for this program is provided in part through the purchase of wild turkey tags by hunters and dollars provided by the state chapter’s Super Fund program, including revenue generated from Hunting Heritage banquets and other fundraising events.
After the reviewing and ranking process, the South Carolina State Board of Directors approved a slate of projects, allocating $181,325 for wild turkey habitat projects and $50,000 for wild turkey research.
“NWTF staff and partners are thankful for all the hardworking volunteers that generate these funds to accomplish our mission in South Carolina,” said Ricky Lackey, NWTF district biologist for Florida, South Carolina and Georgia. “The volunteers and partners that we have in this state are passionate and dedicated to our mission. The funds allocated for this year’s South Carolina Wild Turkey Habitat Enhancement Program will have an impact on public lands statewide.”
The South Carolina Habitat Enhancement Program award funding will be matched with partner funding, representing a 3:1 match rate for NWTF project funding in South Carolina.
The funding will support 17 projects on public lands that aim to conserve and enhance vital habitats in South Carolina through firebreak establishment, herbicide applications, mechanical treatments, invasive/exotic control, longleaf restoration and wild turkey research support.
In addition to the conservation funding, the South Carolina NWTF State Chapter also allocated $39,000 for hunting/conservation outreach efforts. These outreach efforts include mentored hunts, JAKES days, Scholastic shooting sports, Archery in the schools and landowner field days.
Furthermore, the South Carolina NWTF State Chapter also allocated $50,000 towards the new Habitat for the Hatch, to be used across the initiative’s 18-state region.
Launched earlier this year, the NWTF’s Habitat for the Hatch initiative is laser-focused on creating essential nesting habitat in close proximity to quality brood range. This new initiative seeks to create 1 million acres that fit these specific criteria in the next 10 years.
“I am very proud that the local NWTF chapters in South Carolina have worked so hard to have high-quality events and have been able to raise a lot of money which contributes to the state Super Fund,” said Larry Deas, South Carolina NWTF state chapter president. “The NWTFSC State Board of Directors recognizes that our mission to conserve wild turkeys and preserve our hunting heritage does not end at our state line, so we also committed $50,000 each to national research as well as the recently launched initiative Habitat for the Hatch. The entire Board recognizes the importance of these opportunities to support research that will impact wild turkeys across the country, including South Carolina.”
About the National Wild Turkey Federation
Since 1973, the National Wild Turkey Federation has invested over half a billion dollars into wildlife conservation and has conserved or enhanced over 22 million acres of critical wildlife habitat. The organization continues to drive wildlife conservation, forest resiliency and robust recreational opportunities throughout the U.S. by working across boundaries on a landscape scale.
2023 is the NWTF’s 50th Anniversary and an opportunity to propel the organization’s mission into the future while honoring its rich history. For its 50-year celebration, 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 NWTF’s people; and raise $5 million to build toward a $50 million endowment for the future. Learn how you can help us reach these lofty goals.