20080812_NWTFrgbEDGEFIELD, S.C. – South Dakota’s wildlife and sportsmen will benefit from a new cooperative agreement between the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) and the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (SDGFP).

The three-year agreement helps support the NWTF’s on-the-ground work to promote partnerships and complete projects that will benefit wild turkeys, other wildlife and important habitats in South Dakota.

James Earl Kennamer, Ph.D., NWTF’s chief conservation officer, signed the agreement during South Dakota’s NWTF state convention along with Jeff Vonk, secretary of SDGFP, and Dean Schueler, outgoing president of the NWTF’s South Dakota State Chapter.

“This agreement is an extension of an already beneficial relationship with South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks,” Kennamer said. “With a regional biologist who knows the needs of South Dakota’s wildlife and sportsmen, we can plan mutually beneficial projects that will benefit wild turkeys and all manners of other wildlife including pheasants and sensitive species such as bald eagles.”

Cooperative projects may include, but are not limited to, restoring riparian areas – or areas near rivers and streams – in South Dakota through the NWTF’s Northern Plains Riparian Restoration Initiative , planting mast-producing shrubs, helping provide standing grain, assisting ranchers who winter large numbers of turkeys on their property through the NWTF’s Operation Big Sky program, and promoting access to private land for increased hunting opportunities.

The NWTF is a nonprofit conservation organization that works daily to further its mission of conserving the wild turkey and preserving our hunting heritage. Through dynamic partnerships with state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, the NWTF and its more members have helped restore wild turkey populations across the country, spending more than $306 million to conserve 14 million acres of habitat for all types of wildlife.

For more information about the NWTF, call (800) THE-NWTF or visit www.nwtf.org.

About the NWTF: The National Wild Turkey Federation is a nonprofit conservation organization that works daily to further its mission of conserving the wild turkey and preserving our hunting heritage.

Through dynamic partnerships with state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, the NWTF and its more than 350,000 members have helped restore wild turkey populations across the country, spending more than $306 million to conserve 14 million acres of habitat for all types of wildlife.

The Federation works to increase interest in the outdoors by bringing new hunters and conservationists into the fold through outdoor education events and its outreach programs – Women in the Outdoors, Wheelin’ Sportsmen, JAKES and Xtreme JAKES.

The NWTF was founded in 1973 and is headquartered in Edgefield, S.C. According to many state and federal agencies, the comeback of the wild turkey is arguably the greatest conservation success story in North America’s wildlife history.