Bayou Meto Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is the crown jewel of public waterfowl hunting areas in Arkansas. George Dunklin Jr., an Arkansas Game and Fish Commissioner, long-time DU supporter, and a current at-large member of DU's board of directors, provided key funding for a habitat restoration project on Bayou Meto WMA by winning the 2009 Budweiser Conservationist of the Year Award. Each winner selects a conservation organization to receive a $50,000 grant from Budweiser and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to support a conservation project of his or her choice. Dunklin selected Ducks Unlimited and Bayou Meto WMA as the recipients of these funds.
Ducks Unlimited and Arkansas Game and Fish Commission staff developed a state-of-the-art water-delivery system to enhance wetland management on the Wrape Plantation and Buckingham Flats, a popular public hunting spot on Bayou Meto. The 712-acre Wrape Plantation is a rest area that supports large numbers of waterfowl, benefitting those who hunt adjacent parts of the WMA.
"I'm proud to be able to direct these funds to one of Arkansas's most spectacular and well-known public areas," Dunklin said. "These efforts will improve habitat quality at Wrape Plantation and improve water management at Buckingham Flats to prevent stress to valuable red oaks. It is a true win-win."