Our challenges pale in comparison to those faced daily by the splendid birds that inspire this grand organization—the magnificent migrations across a continent twice a year, the struggle to remain healthy while winging those thousands of miles so that when they return to their breeding grounds, they are fit to reproduce. And yet they persist. Ducks do not have it in them to give up.
Nor does Ducks Unlimited.
DU will not give up because those who belong to it and work for it cannot imagine a world—will not allow a world—in which autumn skies are not filled with skeins of waterfowl. They will not allow a time in which the human soul has no place to be renewed by a dawn in the marsh, or by the sound of wings in the growing light and the whimper of an anxious retriever. They will never give up preserving a world where they can experience the excitement of a youngster's first day in a blind, or the warmth and smell of a plump bird in their hand. They will not tolerate the end of such magic that wetlands can produce.
This is the work, passion, and promise of DU. It is its remarkable past. It is its shining present. And it's Ducks Unlimited's bright future.
Michael Furtman has written more than a dozen books, including
The Ducks Unlimited Story, from which this excerpt is taken. To order a copy, visit www.ducks.org/75book or call 800-453-8257. Furtman lives in Duluth, Minnesota, with his wife, Mary Jo, and their Labrador retriever, Bella.