The National Wild Turkey Federation is pleased to announce it has received a Yamaha OHV Access Initiative GRANT of $20,000 to improve recreational access to an 18,500 acre portion of State Trust lands and the Coronado National Forest lands in Graham County, Ariz. The GRANT was awarded as part of Yamaha’s OHV Access Initiative promoting safe, responsible riding and open, sustainable riding areas.
Hikers, hunters, anglers, off-highway vehicle enthusiasts, horseback riders and others use a trail beyond the end of Frye Mesa Road to access the 18,500 acres on Mt. Graham, the highest point in the Coronado National Forest. This area receives approximately 10,250 days of recreational use annually. This project builds upon the Arizona Department of Game and Fish’s emphasis on increasing the amount of land available for public recreation.
Current access to these lands has been possible through the generosity of local land owners who allow the public to cross their property to reach the area. The Frye Mesa Access Project secures a half mile of road right-of-way, which ensures permanent public access to approximately 45 miles of roads and trails on 18,500 acres of public lands.
“The Frye Mesa Access Project is a great example of how we will accomplish the goal of opening a half million acres for public hunting,” said Joel Pedersen, NWTF director of western conservation planning. “By working with like-minded partners on strategic opportunities, a small investment can be made to produce huge dividends for sportsmen.”
The NWTF is embarking on its new Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative to help address declining wild turkey populations, the loss of wildlife habitat and the shrinking number of hunters. To combat these challenges, the initiative 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.
“The Yamaha Access Initiative is about access and safe, responsible use of our equipment and our resources,” said Steve Nessl, Yamaha’s ATV/SxS group marketing manager. “Yamaha is proud to partner with the NWTF and to support its initiatives that will create new, sustainable access for outdoors enthusiasts.”
The Frye Mesa Access Project was made possible by a conservation partnership of Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A., the NWTF, the Arizona Department of Game and Fish, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Mule Deer Foundation and the Arizona State Chapter of Safari Club International.
Image courtesy National Wild Turkey Federation