National forest in Utah, turkey group strike timber deal

Posted: Sep 20, 2011

Written by

MARK HAYNES, The Salt Lake Tribune
Wild turkeys

Dixie National Forest is going to allow the National Wild Turkey Federation to cut timber commercially and use any proceeds to help improve forest lands.

Kenton Call, spokesman for the forest located in southern Utah, said the agreement will create the largest stewardship program undertaken by the forest and the turkey federation, one of the largest in the country.

Call said the turkey federation, based in South Carolina, will be able to haul out timber on nearly 2,000 acres in an area known as the Pockets, in Garfield County. In return, the wildlife group will conduct service projects in the forest, including thinning the forest and improving aspen stands. Dixie is the largest national forest in Utah.

Stan Baker, a Moab resident and wildlife biologist for turkey federation programs in Utah and Colorado, said the project will improve habitat for turkeys and other wildlife by opening up areas of forest for growth of grasses and other flower-bearing plants. It will also clear fuels that could feed wildfires.

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