On Saturday, November 18th, the California State Chapter of the NWTF conducted its annual Leadership Day and State Awards Banquet in Placerville, CA. The location was chosen based off of the venue’s proximity to the Cleveland-Icehouse Forest Health Project, where NWTF staff could illustrate to its volunteer leaders how they are helping to Save the Habitat in California.
The day kicked off with a great talk by Bill Gaines, of Gaines and Associates Government Relations, about the legislative and political threats to hunting and conservation in California. Bill is a huge asset to sportsmen here in the Golden State, and it was great to hear his perspective on how the political paradigm in California is affecting our hunting heritage.
Next up was Ted Lidie, of Northern Firearms Instruction. Ted is also a California State Board Director, as well as a member of the Redding Chapter and the head of the nationally recognized Redding JAKES program. Ted gave a great talk on the new firearm laws that were passed in the last few years, and how to make sure you and your firearms are in compliance and not outside of the law. Ted’s talk was packed with very useful information.
Ted was followed up by a cooking demonstration by California State Board Director, TJ Downes. TJ (sporting a fantastic white chef’s hat) went through how he prepares his wild turkey breasts, legs, and thighs, and continued on a step by step process on how he makes his wild turkey cutlets (which came out superb!). This was a highly interactive session with lots of Q&A, and many of the volunteers favorite activity.
After lunch, volunteers piled into a van and headed east into the Eldorado National Forest. Here, NWTF District Biologist, Kevin Vella, along with Dana Walsh and Michelle Havens of the U.S. Forest Service illustrated to volunteers the benefits of the Cleveland-Icehouse Forest Health Project, and how this project is benefiting wildlife and our federal public lands. A great project that is currently impacting 675 acres and is up over $1 million wrapped up into the agreement.
We then kicked off the State Awards Banquet that evening where chapters received awards for their outstanding efforts, and the California State Chapter named the 2017 Wildlife Officer of the Year, Officer Dave Moskat.
The California State Chapter would like to thank everyone who came out and look forward to your undying commitment to Save the Habitat Save the Hunt!