NRCS-Lancaster-Kennamer

Arlen Lancaster, chief of the NRCS, and Dr. James Earl Kennamer, the NWTF’s senior vice president for conservation programs, recently renewed a Memorandum of Understanding that will continue improving habitat and helping landowners.

EDGEFIELD, S.C. — Thanks to partnerships between the National Wild Turkey Federation and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), thousands of acres of wildlife habitat have been conserved and improved throughout the nation.

To continue improving wildlife habitat and helping landowners, the NWTF and NRCS recently renewed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU, which was first signed by the two groups in 2003, will continue their partnership until 2013.

“We’re proud of our partnership and all we’ve accomplished with the NRCS,” said the NWTF’s Senior Vice President for Conservation Programs, Dr. James Earl Kennamer. “By continuing this commitment, the NWTF — along with our 2,350 chapters — can continue to make big improvements for wildlife on private land nationwide.”

The purpose of the MOU is to maintain and enhance habitat for wild turkeys and other wildlife on private land. Projects include conserving and restoring habitat, providing technical services to landowners, collaborating on habitat and wildlife research and developing habitat enhancement techniques.

Signing the MOU will present opportunities for the two organizations to partner on programs that will benefit private landowners. Operation Oak is one program that will gain strength from the renewal.

Operation Oak is dedicated to restoring and creating oak habitats throughout the Southeast. Since its inception, more than 400,000 oak seedlings have been planted and more than 640,000 acres of wild turkey habitat improved by NWTF chapters and landowners in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas.

“Extending our partnership with the NWTF reflects the strength and commitment of both organizations to achieve even greater success in working together to improve wildlife habitat on private lands,” said Arlen Lancaster, Chief of the NRCS. “Each revision of the MOU reflects new partnership opportunities, NWTF programs, growth and expanded opportunities in wildlife habitat, conservation education and preserving our hunting heritage.”

The NRCS influences more private land than any other government agency through helping America’s private landowners and managers conserve their soil, water, and other natural resources by providing planning, technical and financial assistance tailored to their customers’ specific needs.

“The renewed MOU reflects the tremendous growth of both NWTF and NRCS programs, and provides a solid foundation to expand,” Kennamer said. “As partners, we’ve learned from each other and look forward to continuing our partnership.”