The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife has been awarded a top honor for its conservation efforts.
ODWC accepted the Land Stewardship Award during the National Wild Turkey Federation Convention in Nashville over the weekend.
NWTF honored the wildlife department with the national award for its collaborative conservation delivery across the state.
ODWC director JD Strong credited the state's 30 wildlife biologists and technicians who work hard to improve habitat for all the state's wildlife, including turkey.
“[They] pour out their sweat and toil every day for nothing more than the reward of a prosperous flock and a better hunt for our sportsmen and women,” Strong said. “This award embodies the strong and productive partnership we have forged over the years with NWTF, which has enabled us to do so much more to improve habitat and grow hunting than we could ever do on our own.”
An NWTF news release says ODWC has entered into secured agreements with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Oklahoma Prescribed Burn Association to facilitate conservation and habitat improvement across the state.
“The NWTF would like to take this time to recognize the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation for their outstanding work,” NWTF CEO Becky Humphries said. “Opening private lands for public access, improving wildlife habitat and creating strong partnerships —these are intrinsic components to the NWTF mission, and it is great seeing a state agency pushing a similar mission.”
McCurtain County Game Warden Kenny Lawson took home the top law enforcement award, being named NWTF’s Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.
Tulsa's NWTF chapter was recognized for being one of the top fundraisers in the country.
NWTF was formed in the 1970s to raise money to conserve wildlife habitat and preserve a hunting heritage. It has raised nearly half a billion dollars since.