Making Tracks—A Partnership Program That Works

The "Making Tracks" partnership program was initiated in 1986 with the joint signing of a memorandum of understanding between the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF). In 1997 alone, through the challenge cost share program, 89 projects were funded for $746,000 in 26 states. The amount of NWTF money available for partnership projects is growing at 20% per year. This partnership is also international as the NWTF and USFS cooperated with many agencies and individuals in Mexico and the United States to help restore the Gould's subspecies of wild turkey to historic range in Arizona. The partnership also includes hosting J.A.K.E.S. (Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics, and Sportsmanship) youth events across the nation. The partnership has also initiated funding for increased prescribed burning projects in the Southeast in 1996 and across the nation in 1998 (proposed). Rewarding partners for their contributions can best be accomplished in 3 ways: 1) More biologically sound projects, 2) Display of the partners' name and/or logos in prominent places 3) Help partners host fund-raising banquets. The "Making Tracks" partnership is expected to continue fast growth well into the new century.

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