Cross Charitable Foundation Grants NWTF Funding for Big Sky Forestry Initiative

EDGEFIELD, S.C. — The Cross Charitable Foundation, dedicated to supporting organizations actively promoting the conservation of wildlife and the environment, recently awarded a $10,000 grant to the National Wild Turkey Federation.

The grant from the Cross Charitable Foundation will be used for the Big Sky Forestry Initiative, a collaborative effort between the NWTF and the USDA Forest Service, in Montana. The project aims to reduce the threat of wildfire to keep our communities safe, improve wildlife habitat, offer accessible recreation opportunities with more healthy game animals and enhance water quality.

Working with diverse organizations and agencies to find shared values and goals is key to the Big Sky Forestry Initiative. The initiative will also help to fulfill the NWTF’s mission by tackling these significant ecological challenges in Montana and promoting the conservation of natural resources.

“The Big Sky Forestry Initiative is another phenomenal example of shared stewardship at work and bringing together organizations for our natural resources,” said Elizabeth Dowling, NWTF Rocky Mountain Restoration Initiative coordinator. “We are immensely thankful for the Cross Charitable Foundation’s investment in BSFI and the pivotal work we will accomplish through their generosity.” 

Montana’s forests are currently facing deteriorating health, due to fire suppression, climate change, drought, insects, disease and other factors. Traditionally, fire has played a significant role in shaping the state’s landscape; however, in recent decades, wildfire seasons have become more severe and prolonged. Consequently, this has posed challenges for the state’s wildlife, including the wild turkey population.

The Big Sky Forestry Initiative will mitigate the dangers posed by catastrophic wildfires that can cause extensive harm to local communities, the landscape and many species of game and nongame wildlife. 

To generate funds for the Big Sky Forestry Initiative and demonstrate the dedication of Montanans to healthy forests, the NWTF is hosting a kickoff event in Bozeman, Montana, on June 8, 2023. Additionally, attendees can enter to win a seat at the MeatEater VIP table with Steven Rinella, Ryan Callaghan, Janis Putelis and Clay Newcomb. To register for the event or to enter the drawing (includes an NWTF membership), click here.

To learn more about the NWTF’s fundraising event or how you can contribute as a partner, donor or sponsor to the Big Sky Forestry Initiative, please contact Regional Director Jason Tarwater at (785) 221-6515,, or John Brennan at

About the National Wild Turkey Federation
Since 1973, the National Wild Turkey Federation has invested over half a billion dollars into wildlife conservation and has conserved or enhanced over 22 million acres of critical wildlife habitat. The organization continues to drive wildlife conservation, forest resiliency and robust recreational opportunities throughout the U.S. by working across boundaries on a landscape scale.

2023 is the NWTF’s 50 th anniversary and an opportunity to propel the organization’s mission into the future while honoring its rich history. For its 50 th anniversary, the NWTF has set six ambitious goals: positively impact 1 million acres of wildlife habitat; raise $500,000 for wild turkey research; increase membership to 250,000 members; dedicate $1 million to education and outreach programs; raise $5 million to invest in technology and NWTF’s people; and raise $5 million to build toward a $50 million endowment for the future. Learn how you can help us reach these lofty goals.

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