DU Major Sponsors from California, Alaska, and Canada recently gathered to honor Jay and Karen Bartsch of Alberta for their dedication to conserving waterfowl habitat. Jay is a retired DU Canada (DUC) regional manager for landscape restoration. During the course of his career, he oversaw several of DUC's largest native prairie and wetland projects in southern Alberta, a key breeding ground for pintails and many other waterfowl species. He hosted many waterfowlers from "south of the border," educating them about the importance of conserving wetlands in this region. Always enthusiastic about the ducks, Jay and his wife, Karen, have been key DU supporters in the Brooks, Alberta, region for years.
In tribute to the pair, donors supported the expansion of DUC's Prouty Lake project, developed in support of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan and in partnership with Ducks Unlimited Inc., the province of Alberta, and the Bow River Irrigation District. This wetland complex provides key migration and breeding habitat for mallards, pintails, gadwalls, redheads, and blue- and green-winged teal.
Funds for this project were provided by DUC, Ducks Unlimited Inc., the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, the province of Alberta, and DU Major Sponsors from the Dingville (California) Duck and Social Club and Blue Sapphire Tour.
Al Montna, of the Dingville club, toasted the Bartsches while emphasizing the vital connection between Alberta and California's ducks and sportsmen. Several other members of the Dingville club joined in the celebration and also took time to remember young waterfowler Dayton Moore, who passed away at far too young an age.