Nwtf Holds Annual Banquet
When the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) was first founded in 1973 there were only 1.5 million wild turkeys across the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Today, it is estimated there are more than 5.6 million wild turkeys.
In Utah, wild turkey restoration efforts continue to be the most aggressive in the nation. Over 2,800 wild turkeys have been relocated to suitable habitat areas in Utah since the winter of 1999. As a result, wild turkey permits have increased 20 percent for the spring 2002 season.
However, this program will not be complete until over 200,000 wild turkeys roam the cottonwood river bottoms, pinyon/juniper, and ponderosa pine forests of the state. Whether you pursue wild turkeys as a hunter, or simply enjoy watching these magnificent birds in their natural surroundings, the time to view wild turkeys in Utah has never been better.
At the forefront of this dramatic return in Utah, has been the Federation's volunteers, working side-by-side with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.
Now, with most restoration efforts completed in the East, all eyes have shifted to the West, where the wild turkey continues to redefine it's own idea of suitable habitat. While the release of a wild turkey into western habitat remains one of the federation's most enduring symbols, it is just one brick in a foundation of good works that are impacting people's lives and the environment in many positive ways.
Since 1977, the NWTF has spent over 144 million dollars on over 16,000 projects nationwide. The federation helps fund transplants, research projects, habitat acquisition, education, and the equipment needed to successfully accomplish these tasks. Through the Federation's regional habitat programs, volunteers have helped improve hundreds of thousands of acres by planting trees, crops, winter food sources and grasses that provide food and shelter for not only the wild turkey, but many others species of wildlife as well. Also improved in many areas, particularly in the west, has been water quality. Projects occurring right here in southeastern Utah include a San Rafael Desert guzzler, Knolls Ranch habitat improvement, and numerous other projects on the La Sal Mountains, Blue Mountains and Book Cliffs areas.
This month the Price River chapter of the NWTF will be hosting it's annual Wild Turkey Banquet on January 26. For more information, please call (435) 259-9453.