In the end, waterfowl populations, habitat, and conservation supporters all depend on each other. We know that large numbers of conservation supporters are required to support waterfowl habitat conservation, which in turn ensures future populations of ducks and geese. And habitat for waterfowl also means habitat that provides enjoyment for everyone who values these magnificent birds. As we begin DU's next 75 years, we must do what is needed today to ensure sustainable numbers of conservation supporters, abundant wetlands and other wildlife habitats, and healthy waterfowl populations for generations to come.
Dale D. Humburg is chief scientist at DU national headquarters in Memphis.
Planning for the Future Sound strategic planning is especially important in waterfowl conservation because the birds and their habitats are almost always in a state of flux. At regional scales, substantial changes in waterfowl distribution can occur from year to year. Weather and habitat conditions are highly dynamic, often accounting for annual differences in waterfowl movements and regional hunting opportunities.
Participation in waterfowl hunting and support for wetlands and waterfowl conservation are also highly variable. People who are engaged in these activities today may not be tomorrow. Consequently, to ensure a sustainable future, DU and its partners must pursue dynamic strategies to keep pace with a rapidly changing world.