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US Electric Company Agrees to Help Protect The Wild Turkey

US Electric Company Agrees to Help Protect The Wild Turkey

Did you know that Benjamin Franklin advocated the wild turkey, and not the bald eagle as the national bird of the United States?

In a letter to his daughter Franklin remarked, “For my own part, I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the representative of our country…For the truth the turkey is in comparison a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America… he is besides, though a little vain & silly, a bird of courage, and would not hesitate to attack a grenadier of the British guards who should presume to invade his farm yard with a red coat on.

Despite this fond opinion of the wild turkey, the bird was hunted into near extinction, and it is only thanks to the hard work of conservation organizations like the National Wild Turkey Federation that its number have increased from just over one million in 1973, to over 7 million today.

Although the NWTF also advocates the responsible hunting and consumption of the wild turkey, it’s most important success has come through partnerships with landowners and businesses that have the power to protect habitats that are important to all types of wildlife in North America.

Recently it was announced that the NWTF has formed a strategic partnership with American Electric Power, one of the countries largest suppliers of electric power. AEP is the newest member of the Energy for Wildlife program, which means they will work cooperatively to identify, develop and implement programs to enhance the environment and habitat for a number of wildlife species on AEP-owned lands.

NWTF’s Energy for Wildlife program helps utilities manage rights of way and other properties to provide ideal habitat for a variety of wildlife species, including wild turkeys, that are at risk from loss of open habitat. The Energy for Wildlife staff works directly with utility companies to develop and implement wildlife management and educational programs.

“Energy companies who enroll in Energy for Wildlife are not only helping to meet America’s energy needs, but the needs of its wildlife as well,” said James Earl Kennamer, Ph.D., NWTF’s chief conservation officer. “Through the program, American Electric Power and the NWTF are helping to protect and enhance a diverse array of wildlife habitat nationwide.”

No matter whether you will be feasting on locally raised, organic turkey this holiday, or granting a grateful turkey pardon by filling your belly with delicious vegetables instead, take a moment to think about the wild turkey, and all the other animal species that make our country special.

Americans have so much to be thankful for, but action, as well as strong words, are needed to ensure that these things are not lost due to negligence and greed.

Sign the TALK TURKEY – THINKING ABOUT YOUR HOLIDAY MEAL petition.

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Image Credit: mayo.personcounty.net

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30 comments

+ add your own
9:52PM PDT on May 23, 2010

I'm glad to hear that big corporations are getting involved in helping wildlife - it's about time.

4:57PM PST on Jan 7, 2010

I apologize to Michael R for calling him a sorry person.

8:23AM PST on Nov 28, 2009

:-)

8:46AM PST on Nov 25, 2009

Great info!

12:41PM PST on Nov 23, 2009

Thanks for the info.

1:18PM PST on Nov 22, 2009

The more we help the earth the better.

6:01AM PST on Nov 22, 2009

Hooray Michael R - I agree wholeheartedly. Volunteering at my local Zoo [how 'bout U?] I had learned about the turkey's intelligence, vs lack of same for eagles and am sorry the turkey isn't our national bird. Wouldn't the US's detractors love that - but maybe the pejorative, "turkey" wouldn't even be in our parlance!

4:10AM PST on Nov 22, 2009

The only way we have a chance of saving our wonderful planet and all it's creatures is to work together as a world community. We need all business's and individuals on board to learn what they can do to stop polluting and restore all of our living creatures. I believe every living creature is an important part of what makes the earth work properly. That includes people learning how to live in harmony. I am very happy whenever we make steps in that direction. Barbara H.

6:48PM PST on Nov 21, 2009

Wow Lars for saying you're a christian you sure come off as d***. Michael's right, this isnt facebook. I actually have a life i have to live. i get on here to sign petitions and get caught up with some news. Why cant we get along. Of everything i've read on this site your's was the only disrespectful comment! And you call yourself a christian!

8:07AM PST on Nov 21, 2009

Turkeys are a beautiful bird, they need to be free and live life as well as any other wild bird.

G. C. Houston, Texas

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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Beth Buczynski Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in... more
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