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World Leader in Wetlands Conservation

Peaks to Prairies Initiative

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The Rocky Mountains make up a majestic landscape that has inspired Americans for centuries. The rugged peaks and valley wetlands offer a unique sense of place and open spaces for outdoor adventure.

Ducks Unlimited's Peaks to Prairies Initiative provides an opportunity for Rocky Mountain outdoor enthusiasts to help decide the future of the waterfowl and other wildlife that enrich their lives. The initiative supports the continental life cycle of waterfowl, from the beautiful wetlands and grasslands of the Rockies to the nesting grounds where healthy migrations begin.

As part of the Peaks to Prairies Initiative, Ducks Unlimited is looking to restore exceptional places in the Rockies to their original state, as well as to protect the wetlands and grasslands of the Prairie Pothole Region, the primary source of nearly 70 percent of the continent's waterfowl. The prairies are the world's best waterfowl nesting grounds. The Rocky Mountain waterfowling experience would not be the same without a healthy prairie system to provide the unmatched spectacle each fall. In turn, the Rockies provide important migration habitat for thousands of ducks, geese, and swans, while also providing outdoorsmen and women a variety of special places for recreation.

Duck, Duck, Moose – All are Welcome in Mountain Wetlands

What do moose and ducks have in common? Wetlands. Wetlands are sometimes referred to as "biological supermarkets." Wetlands found in the valleys and parks of the Intermountain West provide enriched foods to many animal species, from small aquatic insects to ducks to large mammals like moose, which live close to lakes and marshes to feed on aquatic plants.

Although not as numerous as other mountain habitats, like sage and woodlands, wetlands are richer with ecological diversity. Especially in the Rocky Mountains, wetlands provide one of the highest biological returns on investment when it comes to protection and restoration efforts. But due to unprecedented development in the Rockies and soaring crop prices on the prairies, wetlands are more threatened today than at any other time in history.

DU's Five-Year Plan for Peaks and Prairies

Today, the prairies face greater challenges than ever, threatening the continent's outdoor heritage. Wetlands critical to nesting waterfowl are being drained at an accelerated pace and the last remaining prairie grasslands are being converted to cropland. Ducks Unlimited must safeguard the prairies for the future of waterfowl, our hunting heritage and generations of people.

With your support of our Peaks to Prairies Initiative, DU will work to maintain the special places that mean so much to the people who love the Rocky Mountain landscape, by collaborating with partners and landowners to:

  • Protect critical waterfowl habitat on the prairies
  • Protect and restore exceptional wetlands in the Rockies
  • Use world-class science to guide our conservation efforts
  • Employ strategic public policy solutions to safeguard the future of wetlands and waterfowl in the Rockies, on the prairies and beyond. Funding derived from the Peaks to Prairies Initiative enables Ducks Unlimited to conduct important science, public policy, and outreach efforts, as well as conserving the breeding and migrating habitats important to waterfowl. DU's research and evaluation efforts are the foundation upon which our direct conservation programs and our policy and outreach work are based.

Peaks to Prairies Initiative at a Glance

Five-Year Initiative Goals (FY 2012-16)
Habitat Delivery: 3,521 acres
Public Revenue: $2.6 million
Philanthropic Revenue: $500,000
Total Revenue Goal: $3.1 million

Initiative States:
Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana

Conservation Focus:
Protect and restore wetlands in the Rocky Mountains and in the Prairie Pothole Region for the benefit of waterfowl and our hunting heritage.

By contributing to DU's Peaks to Prairies Initiative, you will be supporting important wetlands conservation in the Rockies as well as on the breeding grounds of the U.S. and Canadian Prairie Pothole Region, where most birds are produced before beginning their journey to the wintering grounds. Ducks Unlimited's 10 years of nesting research in the Prairie Pothole Region is clear: wetlands are critical to waterfowl production and migration. DU is working with landowners in the prairies and Rockies to protect wetlands on both sides of the border before they disappear, as well as restoring those that have been lost or degraded.

Cross-border Conservation


By contributing to DU's Peaks to Prairies Initiative, you will be supporting important wetlands conservation in the Rockies as well as on the breeding grounds of the U.S. and Canadian Prairie Pothole Region, where most birds are produced before beginning their journey to the wintering grounds.

Ducks Unlimited's 10 years of nesting research in the Prairie Pothole Region is clear: wetlands are critical to waterfowl production and migration. DU is working with landowners in the prairies and Rockies to protect wetlands on both sides of the border before they disappear, as well as restoring those that have been lost or degraded.

Our Peaks and Prairies Need You Now

Your gift to Ducks Unlimited is invaluable, and it is truly the greatest contribution you can make to secure the future of wetlands and waterfowl. Every dollar you give to Ducks Unlimited is leveraged multiple times to create a conservation impact far beyond your initial gift. In addition, we invest at least 80 cents of every dollar received in our conservation mission. Start making a difference right now for waterfowl, outdoorsmen, and future generations of wildlife and people by making your gift to DU's Peaks to Prairies Initiative. Help conserve more than 3,500 acres of key habitats in the Rocky Mountains and North America's prairies with your gift today.

Don't wait.

Call DU at (701)355-3500 today to speak with fundraising staff in your area.

Make an online gift.

Download a printable PDF for this intiative

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