Driven by its new Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative, the NWTF is using crowdfunding — a fundraising approach that allows many individuals to make small donations towards a common project — to help fund a forester position dedicated to proactive management of forests in the Black Hills.
The NWTF, concerned by a mountain pine beetle epidemic plaguing the Black Hills forests, started the crowdfunding project because the region would benefit from a forester to oversee habitat management in a region that offers unique public hunting and outdoor opportunities for sportsmen across the nation.
Filling this position will help improve more than 2,000 acres of forest habitat. Much of the habitat work will be funded by cost share dollars, possibly as much as $800,000, available through the Natural Resource Conservation Service and a previously acquired federal grant. Beetle infestations create extremely dangerous conditions by killing trees across vast areas, exponentially increasing the chance for catastrophic wildfires.
NWTF chose the crowdfunding website CrowdTilt to help raise funds needed to hire fund the forester for the Black Hills region. CrowdTilt allows individuals to pledge a contribution towards the NWTF project without donors having to pay until the project meets its monetary goal of $10,000.
Interested individuals can review the full project description and donate to the NWTF Black Hills project on CrowdTilt by visiting https://www.crowdtilt.com/campaigns/improve-habitat-and-hunting-in-the-black-hills. The fundraising project will run until July 5, 2013.
This effort supports the NWTF’s new Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative, which will conserve and enhance four million acres of critical upland wildlife habitat to increase wild turkey populations, create 1.5 million new hunters and establish 500,000 additional acres of hunting access.
As a leading conservation organization, the NWTF created the initiative to tackle the challenges facing the sporting community: national turkey populations have declined 15 percent with much more dramatic declines in some historically important areas; 6,000 acres of upland wildlife habitat are lost every day; hunter numbers are not keeping pace with population growth, endangering the funding model for conservation in North America.
Logo courtesy National Wild Turkey Federation