The National Wild Turkey Federation presented a check for $169,985 to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation at Monday’s meeting of the state wildlife commission.
The money will be used mostly for improving turkey habitat and turkey hunting in the state.
Gary Purdy of Enid, the regional director for the National Wild Turkey Federation, reported that by the end of 2010, the conservation organization will have contributed more than $1 million in Oklahoma since 1985 for improving wildlife habitat, outreach and education programs.
Frankly, I usually don’t report such stories. They and the obligatory “check holding” photos that go with them are boring and mundane.
And there are so many groups that give money to the Wildlife Department it rarely becomes newsworthy for newspapers with tight news holes.
Trout Unlimited. Ducks Unlimited. Safari Club. Quail Forever. NatureWorks. I could go on and on.
It seems like at almost every state wildlife commission meeting there is a conservation organization giving a few thousand dollars to the Wildlife Department.
But over the years, a few thousand dollars turns into hundreds of thousands. And in the case of the National Wild Turkey Federation, it’s about to top $1 million.
It is newsworthy. These groups do important work that often go unnoticed and unrecognized.
So here is a pat on the back to all that do it right. Without wildlife conservation groups, sportsmen in Oklahoma would not be enjoying the outdoor opportunities that undoubtedly many of us take for granted.
Like the enhancements to the state’s most popular trout fishing stream, the Lower Mountain Fork River. Trout Unlimited chapters and the Lower Mountain Fork River Foundation had a lot to do with making that happen.
Like the recent improvements made on the Waurika Wildlife Management Area for waterfowl hunting. Ducks Unlimited partnered with the Wildlife Department on that project and on many others.
The return and proliferation of turkeys all across the state. The Oklahoma chapters of the National Wild Turkey Federation has played critical roles in ensuring there are wild turkeys now in all 77 counties.
“Without the help of the many generous conservation organizations around the state we would not have the first-class hunting and fishing we have in Oklahoma,” said Nels Rodefeld of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
“Their financial support, their sweat equity and their partnerships are a big part of what make this state such a great place to live and play.”
Many of these conservation organizations are holding annual fund raising banquets in the coming weeks.
They support hunting, fishing and wildlife in Oklahoma. So get out and support them.