EDGEFIELD, S.C. — The Illinois NWTF State Chapter recently met in Springfield to review Hunting Heritage Super Fund project proposals for the 2024 Fiscal Year. After the reviewing and ranking process, the Illinois State Chapter approved $160,000 for mission-related activities across the Prairie State, including a $23,200 unrestricted gift to the conservation program in Illinois, $61,300 for seven priority conservation projects and $75,500 for hunting-heritage-related projects, such as education and outreach events, chapter scholarships, 4H Shooting Sports, mentored hunts and more.
NWTF awarded funding will be matched with almost $251,200 in partner funds for the approved projects in Illinois.
“Our volunteers in Illinois are staunch conservationists that are dedicated to both raising funds for the mission and delivering the mission,” said John Burk, NWTF district biologist for Missouri, Illinois and Iowa. “Between our volunteers and dedicated partners, we are tackling some of the biggest conservation challenges in the state while also ensuring future generations get the opportunity to enjoy our natural resources.”
The Super Fund is a funding model where NWTF volunteers raise money at banquets and other types of fundraisers and then allocate a significant portion of those funds back into meaningful conservation and outreach projects in their respective states. For Illinois 2024 Super Fund allocations, projects include:
$23,200 as an unrestricted gift to the conservation programs for use in Illinois.
$18,000 to the Shawnee National Forest to pay for the dragon eggs needed to conduct aerial burning on the Shawnee National Forest
Partner: USDA Forest Service
$10,000 to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to complete 600 acres of bush honeysuckle control at Mackinaw River State Fish and Wildlife Area.
$10,000 to the IDNR to complete 647 acres of bush honeysuckle control at Argyle Lake State Park.
$7,500 to support the Big Rivers Prescribed Burn Association.
Partner: Big River Prescribed Burn Association
$7,500 to complete 125 acres of sericea lespedeza control at Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area.
$8,000 earmarked to Illinois NWTF members to participate in the spring seed subsidy program.
Partner: Illinois NWTF members.
$300 to provide support funding for a “Carrying the Torch” landowner workshop in northwestern Illinois.
Partners: Woodland Wildlife Cooperative, IDNR, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, Forest Service, Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation, US Fish and Wildlife Service.
The announcement of the 2024 projects in Illinois comes on the heels of a laser-focused 2023 Fiscal Year for the NWTF in the Prairie State, including 17,454 acres conserved or enhanced through active conservation projects from August 2022 to August 2023.
About the National Wild Turkey Federation
Since 1973, the National Wild Turkey Federation has invested over half a billion dollars into wildlife conservation and has conserved or enhanced over 22 million acres of critical wildlife habitat. The organization continues to drive wildlife conservation, forest resiliency and robust recreational opportunities throughout the U.S. by working across boundaries on a landscape scale.
2023 is the NWTF’s 50th anniversary and an opportunity to propel the organization’s mission into the future while honoring its rich history. For its 50th anniversary, the NWTF has set six ambitious goals: positively impact 1 million acres of wildlife habitat; raise $500,000 for wild turkey research; increase membership to 250,000 members; dedicate $1 million to education and outreach programs; raise $5 million to invest in technology and NWTF’s people; and raise $5 million to build toward a $50 million endowment for the future. Learn how you can help us reach these lofty goals.
Credit: Source link