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Conservationists can help during crisis in Gulf

EDGEFIELD, S.C. — As the disastrous Deepwater Horizon oil spill spreads along the Gulf Coast and threatens to cause lasting damage to land, water and wildlife resources, conservationists have the opportunity to help.

The National Wild Turkey Federation has established the Gulf Coast Emergency Conservation Fund to help fund conservation and remediation efforts. Donations will be used to help the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and state wildlife agencies in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida.

If you hunt, fish or enjoy Gulf Coast marshes and wetlands, please help ensure their survival by making a tax-deductable donation to the Gulf Coast Emergency Conservation Fund now.

“These donations are important because they will help state and federal agencies limit the damage to the Gulf Coast and its wildlife,” said George C. Thornton, NWTF CEO. “Please give to this worthwhile cause.”

While the full damage from the spill has not yet been realized, and the needs for cleanup not yet known, the NWTF is committed to assisting in any way possible. One project already in the works is donating NWTF transport boxes, which are typically used to transfer wild turkeys to suitable habitat, to state agencies.

Currently, boats patrol Gulf waters and use pet carriers to rescue animals covered in oil. The wax-coated NWTF transport boxes fold flat for easy storage until they are needed to safely transfer oil-soaked animals to safety, allowing boats to carry more rescue boxes.

The NWTF already has shipped 125 transport boxes to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in Baton Rouge. The boxes will be distributed to LDWF’s incident command centers along the coast.

“The LDWF is dispatching several crews by boat each day to look for birds and other oiled marine life,” said Jimmy Stafford, LDWF’s wild turkey and small game program leader. “These transport boxes will be much more convenient when carried by boat than the bulky pet carriers. It is very thoughtful and generous for the NWTF to offer this help and it is much appreciated.”

Robert Abernethy, NWTF assistant vice president of agency programs, added, “Shipping NWTF transport boxes for use by state agencies is one way the NWTF saw to help during this catastrophe. The Federation is dedicated to conserving wild turkeys, but our work doesn’t stop there. We are committed to helping in any way we can to protect and restore the Gulf’s fragile ecosystems.”

The National Wild Turkey Federation is a nonprofit conservation organization that works daily to further its mission of conserving the wild turkey and preserving our hunting heritage.

Through dynamic partnerships with state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, the NWTF and its members have helped restore wild turkey populations across the country, spending more than $306 million to conserve 14 million acres of habitat for all types of wildlife.

For more information call (800) THE-NWTF or visit www.nwtf.org or http://turkeyshoppe.nwtf.org/p-1243-gulf-coast-emergency-conservation-fund.aspx.

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The Conversation

  • Terry Scoville says: June 4, 2010 at 10:12 am

    I am glad to hear that NWTF is doing all it can to help with this mega disaster. I have wondered where is the outrage of the U.S. citizens regarding this devastation. I trust that other organizations such as Delta Waterfowl and Ducks Unlimited are busy organizing their supporters. So far I have not seen or heard from them. BP and their back door handshakes with politicians have created this disaster and in my opinion it criminal.