By James Powell, Rich Smith, David Schuessler, and Ken Babcock
Ducks Unlimited's mission
to conserve, restore, and manage wetlands and associated habitats for North America's waterfowl is continental in scale and timeless in scope. To ensure our vision of habitat sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow, and forever, DU volunteers
and other members
have always generously given their time, energy, and money. DU invests these resources carefully to achieve the greatest benefit for this continent's waterfowl, other wildlife, and people.
While DU works in all 50 states and throughout Canada and Mexico, we focus our efforts and resources on the habitats that are most important to waterfowl, regardless of political boundaries. Working hand in hand, DU staff, volunteers, and partners take a continental, landscape-scale approach to wetlands and waterfowl conservation to ensure that all of our conservation priorities are supported. DU's science team has identified the most important landscapes to waterfowl
across North America, including the Western Boreal Forest and the Prairie Pothole Region of the United States and Canada, California's Central Valley, the Mississippi Alluvial Valley, and the Gulf Coast of the United States and Mexico.
"Ducks Unlimited recognizes that other regions of this continent are also significant to wildlife and important to the people who live there," DU President George Dunklin Jr. says. "Over more than seven decades of conservation work, DU has always known that a strong base of supporters who understand the connection between waterfowl habitat in their own regions and other landscapes is the best way to ensure our continental success."
Ties to the National Business Plan
In April 2012, directed by Ducks Unlimited's strategic plan and specific objectives in DU's national business plan, Ducks Unlimited volunteers and staff began working on a new set of regional initiatives to link conservation and fundraising throughout the United States. These regional initiatives integrate the biology and science of waterfowl conservation with the motivations of those who support Ducks Unlimited.
Goals for these 16 regional initiatives
were developed by leadership teams using region-specific surveys, focus groups, and other research. While the initiative boundaries encompass the entire United States, the primary focus will continue to be on priority waterfowl breeding and nonbreeding landscapes. The overall intent of these initiatives is to generate more philanthropic investment for waterfowl conservation in a manner that aligns donor interest with conservation priorities.