GREENWOOD, S.C. — Dedicated National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) volunteers, like those from the Neil “Gobbler” Cost Chapter in Greenwood, are the lifeblood of the conservation organization and its Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative.
“Over our 27-year history in this community, we have treated our public lands as if they were our own,” said Mike Waters, Neil “Gobbler” Cost member and South Carolina NWTF Chapter board member. “We also want to introduce new individuals to the outdoors through our programs. Even if they do not become hunters or anglers, we hope they leave more knowledgeable and more vested in the future of our wildlife.”Between their award-winning JAKES event and numerous habitat projects, volunteers from Greenwood, South Carolina, are working to ensure the future of the hunting and outdoor lifestyle in their community.
In addition to the recent Fujifilm Wildlife Conservation and JAKES Day event where volunteers introduced more than 125 youth to outdoor activities like BB gun and archery shooting, Waters and other volunteers host several hunting or fishing outings for youth or mobility impaired individuals. The events sometimes take place on their own private lands and ponds.
The volunteers spend a great deal of time working to improve their public lands. Visitors to the Long Cane Ranger District of the Sumter National Forest have harmed several tracts of land, leaving roads rutted out and in disrepair. Through a healthy working relationship with the USDA Forest Service, the chapter plans to install new gates to restrict vehicle access. They will also rehabilitate and plant millet, clover and wheat on the roads. Another tract of land received a new road to an area of the property that was once difficult to reach. The new road provides better walk-in access to prime deer, turkey, quail and dove habitat.
The NWTF Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative is a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to give the NWTF more energy and purpose than ever. Through this national initiative, NWTF has committed to raising $1.2 billion to conserve and enhance 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. Without hunters, there will be no wildlife or habitat. The NWTF is determined to Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.
To learn more about this or other chapters and events taking place in your area, visitwww.nwtf.org/in_your_state. For information about the Sumter National Forest, visit www.fs.usda.gov/scnfsor www.facebook.com/scnfs.