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Alabama wild turkey chapter OKs projects in North Alabama

HUNTSVILLE — To answer the call of a dwindling wild turkey population, the Alabama National Wild Turkey Federation State Chapter recently approved $183,613 to 25 projects across the state for the 2024 Fiscal Year. The organization also made a $50,000 commitment to wild turkey research.

With collaborative partner funding, the organization said its investment will be more than $1 million to fund research and enhance more than 121,000 acres of wildlife habitat over the next 12 months.

“The investment by the Alabama NWTF State Chapter amplifies the organization’s new Habitat for the Hatch Initiative, with 19 new projects in Alabama providing nesting, brood-rearing and foraging habitats critical to wild turkey nest initiation, nest success and brood survival,” according to a news release. Several projects are slated for the North Alabama area.

In addition to the projects in Alabama, the state chapter is allocating $50,000 to Habitat for the Hatch to be used across the initiative’s 18-state region.

“The wild turkey decline doesn’t just affect us in Alabama, it affects all as turkey hunters and turkey enthusiasts,” said chapter President Scott Brandon. “Through Habitat for the Hatch, we will put the habitat wild turkeys need on the ground to successfully recruit broods year after year, in Alabama and across the Southeast. We are proud to invest in this new initiative.”

The North Alabama projects include the Sipsey Wilderness, Bankhead National Forest, Freedom Hills, Lauderdale, Riverton, James D. Martin-Skyline, Swan Creek, Mallard Fox, and Little River Wildlife Management Areas. The projects are for prescribed burning and early successional habitat management.

To view the Alabama projects and a map of the project sites, click here.

“When there is a challenge, the NWTF works to solve it,” said Derek Alkire, NWTF district biologist for Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky. “Our volunteers in Alabama are dedicated to ensuring wild turkeys and all of our natural resources will be around for future generations to enjoy. These new projects will directly help increase wild turkey habitat and enhance overall ecological health across the state.

“We are ready to hit the ground running this fiscal year.”

Each year, the Alabama chapter allocates funds for a variety of conservation and education and outreach events. Funding is provided through the NWTF Super Fund, where volunteers raise money at banquets and other types of fundraisers and then allocate a significant portion of those funds toward approved conservation and outreach projects. For information on events that help fuel the Super Fund, click here.

Additional funds are provided by the sale of Alabama-NWTF specialty vehicle license plates.

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