FWC receives prestigious land stewardship award from NWTF
Monday, February 13, 2012
Media contact: Susan Smith, 850-488-8843
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) was presented with the 2012 Land Stewardship Award during the 36th annual National Wild Turkey Federation’s (NWTF) National Convention and Sport Show Feb. 9-12, sponsored by MidwayUSA.
FWC Chairman Kathy Barco, along with Vice Chairman Kenneth Wright and commissioners Brian Yablonski, Charles Roberts III and Aliese P. “Liesa” Priddy were on hand to receive the award.
“I am honored to accept this award on behalf of the Commissioners and staff of the FWC,” Barco said. “It is a reflection of our excellent partnership with the NWTF and the commitment we hold for proper management of wildlife habitat and preservation of our hunting heritage.
“We are thankful to be working side by side with the membership and staff of NWTF to build a lasting conservation legacy that will be appreciated and enjoyed by many generations to come,” Barco added.
The NWTF has given the Land Stewardship Award each year since 1994 to forestry and utility companies and organizations for excellence in land management, partnerships and NWTF project support. The award recognizes those who have done outstanding work to benefit natural resources through land stewardship and partnerships.
The FWC faces the daunting challenge of managing more than 5.8 million acres of public hunting land in a state that expects to double its human population in the next 50 years. The FWC has worked with the NWTF on many projects, including:
- Establishing a cost-share program in 1994 that has put more than $2.2 million into habitat enhancement across 470 projects throughout the state’s public wildlife management areas and state forests, impacting over a million acres to date.
- Providing approximately $375,000 to support NWTF cooperative positions, including two biologists and one youth hunting program coordinator since 2006. These positions have fostered the generation of another $3 million of cash match and $2.5 million of in-kind match to impact more than 650,000 acres of public and private lands habitat.
- Providing more than $100,000 of in-kind value through the Florida FWC Private Lands Program in support of NWTF landowner outreach and education, which have reached more than 1,500 landowners representing more than 250,000 acres since 2006.
“The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has helped create a sustainable and healthy future for Florida’s fish, wildlife, water and habitat resources and has forged an incredibly productive relationship with the NWTF,” said James Earl Kennamer, Ph.D., NWTF chief conservation officer. “Florida FWC’s partnerships with the NWTF have enabled us to improve wildlife habitat throughout the state and help pass along our hunting heritage to the next generation.”
The NWTF is a nonprofit conservation organization that works daily to further its mission of conserving the wild turkey and preserve the state’s hunting heritage. Through dynamic partnerships with state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, the NWTF and its members have helped restore wild turkey populations across the country, investing more than $372 million to conserve 17 million acres of critical habitat for all types of wildlife.