Conservation organizations, outdoors enthusiasts and U.S. Rep. Fred Upton toured Allegan State Game Area in southwest Michigan on Aug. 20, seeing up-close how federal funding enhances habitat for wildlife and people.
Volunteers and staff from Ducks Unlimited, the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources joined Upton at Allegan, the largest state game area in Michigan. Ducks Unlimited and the NWTF used state and federal funding to restore nearly 300 acres of wetland and oak savannah habitat.
“It was a fantastic visit to the Allegan State Game Area to see first-hand how Ducks Unlimited is restoring critical wetlands and expanding hunting opportunities for all. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, coupled with NAWCA funds, have made a big difference here. We must continue to fight for a fully funded GLRI. I want to thank Ducks Unlimited for their hospitality and partnership over the years,” said Upton, representing Michigan’s 6th District.
Since 1964, the Allegan State Game Area has provided opportunities for hikers, hunters, anglers and birders. Keeping this area a gem for recreational activities requires dollars and strong partnerships.
Ducks Unlimited and the NWTF used the state Wildlife Habitat Grant Program, federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and North American Wetlands Conservation Act to fuel conservation work in western Michigan and across the state.
Allegan State Game Area is a haven for wildlife and sportsmen and women, like Steve Wyckoff from Greenville, Ducks Unlimited’s state policy chair for Michigan.
“My first hunting memories with my father happened here as we watch amazing numbers of Canada geese take flight right over our heads,” he said. “Access to quality public space like this is vital to today’s generation of outdoors men, women and children. I thank lawmakers like Rep. Upton for supporting the programs that allow Ducks Unlimited to do great conservation work.”