National conservation program gets $500K boost from Duke Energy

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  • National Wild Turkey Federation, Duke Energy set up a five-year, $500,000 partnership to restore 6,000 acres of critical habitat in Indiana, the Carolinas and Florida

  • Projects will benefit imperiled pollinators, birds and other wildlife species

EDGEFIELD, S.C. — The National Wild Turkey Federation’s (NWTF) Energy for Wildlife program received a recent boost thanks to a $500,000 Duke Energy Foundation grant to conserve or enhance more than 6,000 acres of critical habitat across Florida, the Carolinas and Indiana.  

The project is designed to benefit imperiled pollinators and birds, as well as numerous other wildlife species. Conservation efforts will focus on establishing or enhancing habitat on public lands, such as state or national forests, and nearby areas where Duke Energy’s transmission right-of-ways split large areas of forested habitat. The enhanced habitat conditions will provide cover and a sustainable food source, while serving as a protective travel corridor  for wildlife species that need it most.

“The NWTF has worked with Duke Energy to rehabilitate numerous right-of-ways, but this partnership takes our relationship for wildlife and habitat improvement to an entirely new level,” said NWTF CEO George Thornton. “We look forward to leveraging this funding and the dedication of our volunteers to directly affect some of the most imperiled habitats across Duke Energy’s coverage areas.”

Funding will also support education efforts for Duke Energy customers – landowners and regional stakeholders – about the benefits of adopting conservation practices on their own properties. In addition, Duke Energy will offer in-kind support for the project, including coordinating in-house vegetation management professionals to help with the location and implementation of the projects.

“We need to act now to ensure that our kids and grandkids can enjoy the benefits of natural habitat and wildlife that we now enjoy,” said Shawn Heath, president of the Duke Energy Foundation. “Beyond this donation, we are ready to roll up our sleeves and work with NWTF to preserve the natural habitat that wildlife, and future generations, will depend on.”

Conservation practices, which will include integrated vegetation management, timber management practices, and targeted herbicide treatments, will aim to provide enhanced feeding and nesting environments for wildlife species.

About the National Wild Turkey Federation
The NWTF is a nonprofit conservation organization that works daily to further its mission of conserving the wild turkey and preserving our hunting heritage. Through dynamic partnerships with state and federal wildlife agencies, the NWTF and its members have helped restore wild turkey populations across the country, improving more than 17 million acres of wildlife habitat and introducing 100,000 people to the outdoors each year. The NWTF was founded in 1973 and is headquartered in Edgefield, South Carolina. According to many state and federal agencies, the restoration of the wild turkey is arguably the greatest conservation success story in North America’s wildlife history. To learn more, visit or call (800) THE-NWTF.

About Duke Energy Foundation
The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to address the needs of the communities where its customers live and work. In 2015, the foundation provided more than $30 million in charitable gifts. The foundation’s education focus spans kindergarten to career, particularly science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), early childhood literacy and workforce development. It also supports the environment and community impact initiatives, including arts and culture.

Duke Energy employees and retirees actively contribute to their communities as volunteers and leaders at a wide variety of nonprofit organizations. Duke Energy is committed to building on its legacy of community service. For more information, visit

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is an S&P 100 Stock Index company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at

Media contact: Pete Muller, 803.637.7698