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Wildlife Commission Accepts NWTF's $27,500 Donation

nwtf donation wetlands
The Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission accepted a $27,500 donation from the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF)



The Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission accepted a $27,500 donation from the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) during its regular meeting June 3 in Oklahoma City. 

The funds will be used by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation as part of NWTF’s “Waterways for Wildlife” habitat improvement initiative. The initiative’s goal is to improve the health and vigor of riparian areas on at least 75,000 acres.  

This ambitious plan will enhance riparian plant communities along 1,500 linear miles of rivers and streams in the American Great Plains, stretching from North Dakota to Texas. 

Since launching in 2022, the initiative has provided funds for 52 projects in 10 states. “Of those 52 projects, six of them have been in Oklahoma,” said Annie Farrell, district biologist with NWTF. “Three of those six projects have been completed so far, impacting 2,600 acres.” 

This donation is earmarked for invasive redcedar removal and cottonwood plantings in riparian areas on Beaver River and Lexington wildlife management areas, which will improve habitat for wild turkeys while also benefiting scores of other wildlife species. 

Also on Monday, Commissioners approved a Fiscal Year 2025 budget for ODWC totaling $96.3 million.  

In other business, the Commission: 

  • Received updates on various ODWC divisions from Interim Director Wade Free, who reported that hunters e-checked about 6,200 wild turkeys harvested this spring, which was up from about 5,600 last year.  
  • Approved officers for the coming year: James V. Barwick as chairman, Rick Holder as vice chairman, and Mark Mabrey as secretary/treasurer. 
  • Recognized Wildlife Division Administrative Assistant Mikki Wilmoth for 20 years of service.  

The Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission is the eight-member governing board of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. The Commission establishes state hunting and fishing regulations, sets policy for the Wildlife Department, and indirectly oversees all state fish and wildlife conservation activities. Commission members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Oklahoma Senate.   

The next regular Wildlife Commission meeting is set for Aug. 5, 2024, at the John D. Groendyke Wildlife Conservation Building, 1801 N. Lincoln Blvd. in Oklahoma City.   

A video of the June 3 meeting is available on the Outdoor Oklahoma YouTube Channel at