Edgefield, S.C. – National Wild Turkey Federation officials last
month announced a restructuring that includes workforce reductions
at its South Carolina headquarters as well as among its field
Sources indicated about 15 jobs were slashed at the NWTF’s
Edgefield, S.C., home base, and another 15 regional directors.
In addition, some staff biologist positions that are currently
vacant will not be filled in the immediate future.
“While eliminating jobs is not a preferred action, given the
current economic climate in which we live, it is a responsible move
and we must make these changes so the NWTF can continue to fulfill
its mission of conserving the wild turkey and preserving the
hunting tradition,” NWTF_CEO George Thornton said. “We have to be
good stewards of our resources and look out for the best interests
of conservation and our members.”
As part of the restructuring, the organization eliminated what
it called “artificial boundaries” of state lines for its regional
directors. Regional directors are responsible for working directly
with members on Hunting Heritage Banquets – the NWTF’s chief source
of income – and outreach events.
“We saw numerous examples of opportunities to reduce unnecessary
travel and better serve our volunteers and chapter
“Ultimately, this will allow us to put more money into our Super
Fund, which will result in more spending on conservation projects,
outreach events and upholding our hunting traditions.”
The NWTF Hunting Heritage Super Fund program pools money raised
at Hunting Heritage banquets, donated by corporate sponsors and
given to benefit wildlife conservation. Since 1985, the NWTF and
its partners have spent more than $286 million upholding hunting
traditions and conserving nearly 14 million acres of wildlife
But indications this year were that income from those banquets
was down considerably, which officials attributed almost solely to
the tough economic times across the country.
NWTF officials said each employee affected by the changes was
eligible to receive a severance package.
As a part of the streamlining, Bob Fountain has been named vice
president of training and chapter development. Fountain, formerly
vice president of operational support, will “oversee training of
all staff and work directly with field staff to strengthen
relationships with local NWTF chapters,” according to a statement
from the NWTF.
Fountain will also handle New York field operations, while
former regional director Marty Huber will return to that position
in the Empire State.
In addition, the NWTF has consolidated its four publications –
Turkey Call, Women In The Outdoors, Get in the Game and Wheelin’
Sportsmen – into one, Turkey Country, which will debut in
Karen Lee will serve as editor of Turkey Country, with Gregg
Powers as managing editor and P.J. Perea as senior editor.
“Having four different magazines devoted to separate programs
resulted in a fragmented communications effort where regular NWTF
members were rarely aware of volunteer opportunities within the
outreach programs,” NWTF_Editorial Director Burt Carey said. “By
folding these four magazines into a single publication, we’re
creating a method for focusing on our member volunteers while
providing a tool that tells the (NWTF) story in each and every