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NWTF CEO Reappointed to Federal Advisory Council

EDGEFIELD, S.C. — George C. Thornton, CEO of the National Wild Turkey Federation, has been reappointed to the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council, an official advisory group that promotes and preserves America’s hunting heritage.

“Sportsmen are the driving force behind conservation,” Thornton said. “By working to ensure the continuation of our hunting heritage, we are supporting a proud tradition and ensuring the conservation of our natural resources for generations to come. It is an honor to be reappointed to this important council.”

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the names of the 18 committee members.

“I am confident that (the) appointments will provide a strong voice to the nation’s conservation and sportsmen communities and ensure that the next generation enjoys a thriving wildlife heritage,” Salazar said.

Council members will advise the federal government on policies related to wildlife and habitat conservation endeavors that benefit recreational hunting and wildlife resources. The Council also will encourage partnerships among the public, the sporting conservation community, the shooting and hunting sports industry, wildlife conservation organizations, the states, Native American tribes and the federal government.

“America’s rural communities and rural economies depend on healthy soil, water and air and America’s hunters and anglers – our nation’s first conservationists – have long fought to conserve those precious resources,” said Vilsack. “These appointees are uniquely qualified to advise us on the full range of issues addressed by the Council while reflecting the true conservation spirit of our nation’s outdoor traditions.”

Hunters and anglers are a tremendous economic force. The preliminary report of the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife Recreation Survey highlights the economic impact of hunting and fishing. In 2011, more than 37 million Americans spent $145 billion dollars pursuing their hunting, fishing and wildlife-related passions.

Council members are:

• George Thornton, National Wild Turkey Federation
• David Allen, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
• Jeffrey Crane, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation
• Robert Fithian, Alaska Professional Hunters Association, Inc.
• Jonathan Gassett, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources
• Thomas Franklin, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
• Winifred Kessler, The Wildlife Society
• Robert Manes, The Nature Conservancy
• Frederick Maulson, Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission
• Tommy Millner, Cabela’s
• Robert Model, Boone and Crockett Club
• Joanna Prukop, former New Mexico Secretary of Energy, Minerals & Natural Resources
• Stephen Sanetti, National Shooting Sports Foundation
• Larry Schweiger, National Wildlife Federation
• Christine Thomas, College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin
• John Tomke, Ducks Unlimited
• Howard Vincent, Pheasants Forever
• Steve Williams, Wildlife Management Institute

The NWTF is a nonprofit conservation organization that works daily to further its mission of conserving the wild turkey and preserving our hunting heritage. As the leader in upland wildlife habitat conservation in North America, the NWTF was a driving force in restoring wild turkeys, which now number more than 7 million.

The organization and its volunteers, working closely with wildlife management agencies and other partners, have invested $372 million and conserved 17 million acres of habitat to benefit wild turkeys and countless other species. The NWTF and its dedicated volunteers also introduce about 100,000 people to the outdoors every year through NWTF outreach programs.

To become a member of the NWTF, join a committee or start a chapter, visit www.nwtf.org or call (800) THE-NWTF. Follow the NWTF on Facebook at www.facebook.com/theNWTF.