|(Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
BLUE RAPIDS–The Tuttle Creek Wildlife Area has grown by almost 500 acres as the result of a collaborative effort by The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), Pheasants Forever (PF), Quail Forever (QF), and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT). The conservation organizations and KDWPT partnered to acquire a 484-acre tract of land adjacent to the Tuttle Creek Wildlife Area in Riley County. The tract, which is open to public hunting, permanently protects habitat vital to many species of wildlife, including turkey, pheasants, quail and prairie chickens. The acquisition also improves access to 550 acres of the existing Tuttle Creek Wildlife Area.
“It’s great to see conservation organizations work together with state wildlife agencies to increase public access opportunities for outdoor recreation,” said Robin Jennison, KDWPT secretary. “In Kansas, where less than three percent of the land is in public ownership, projects like these and our continued relationships for conservation are extremely important.”
In addition to providing partial funding for the land acquisition, the conservation organizations worked with KDWPT to help the acquisition pass through the Legislature.
NWTF, PF/QF and Ducks Unlimited (DU) signed a memorandum of understanding earlier this year, creating a historic partnership to ensure wild bird habitat conservation and North America’s hunting heritage remains strong for generations to come.
“This particular acquisition is a shining example of what the conservation community can accomplish when we all work together for a unified cause,” said Jared McJunkin, NWTF Great Plains District conservation field supervisor. “While this is the first successful land acquisition for the NWTF in Kansas, we believe additional projects will follow.”
The NWTF and PF/QF are national nonprofit wildlife conservation organizations working to conserve wildlife habitat and our outdoor traditions. The NWTF (www.nwtf.org) has 36 chapters across Kansas, and the organization’s “Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.” initiative was launched with goals of raising $1.2 billion to conserve more than 4 million acres of essential upland wildlife habitat, create at least 1.5 million hunters and open access to 500,000 acres for hunting, shooting and outdoor enjoyment nationwide.
Since 1982, Pf and QF (www.pheasantsforever.org) have impacted more than 10 million acres of wildlife habitat in the U.S., of which more than 175,000 acres have been permanently protected and opened to public hunting. There are 36 PF and 13 QF chapters in Kansas, where the organization has spent more than $4.7 million enhancing wildlife habitat on more than 437,000 acres. Events conducted through various partnerships and the organization’s grassroots network of chapters, have provided nearly 13,000 youth with positive outdoors experiences.