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Policy News 1.11

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Top stories for Aug. 11, 2009
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Two Minnesota lakes under new management

More than 600 acres of wetlands and shallow lakes in Minnesota are under new management by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, as Designated Wildlife Management Lakes.

A grant from the North American Wetlands Conservation Act helped secure 316-acre Lake Jennie, which along with 330-acre Smith Lake, will be managed and improved for waterfowl habitat.

The lakes will be improved with funds from the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council, and they will have water control structures added to mimic wet/dry cycles common to the region and encourage waterfowl friendly aquatic vegetation growth.




Where to hunt with your Duck Stamp dollars

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has developed a new Web site aimed at helping people find hunting opportunities on national wildlife refuges. More than 300 refuges allow public hunting, and more than 2 million hunters visit refuges every year.

Ducks Unlimited members and supporters are some of the biggest contributors to the National Wildlife Refuge System. Federal Duck Stamp sales have allowed for the purchase of more than 5 million acres of refuge land since the program began in 1934. A proposal to increase the purchasing power of the Duck Stamp recently passed the House Natural Resources Committee.

Hunters can search for refuges based on type of game and location to find refuge hunting options that suit their preferences.





Could ducks be blowin' in the wind?

Research by a University of North Dakota graduate student and Ducks Unlimited will shed some light on what a burgeoning wind energy movement will have on waterfowl in breeding areas.

Researchers have attached small transmitters to nearly 200 female ducks—half nesting near wind farms and half nesting away from them—to compare mortality rates. The early results, and findings from a similar study last year, indicate a high level of compatibility between wind power and waterfowl.

Ducks Unlimited, wind development companies and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will continue to look at the impacts of wind energy on waterfowl as landowner interest increases.





Don't go to Washington to be a leader for waterfowl – let Washington come to you!

Ducks Unlimited members and supporters are excellent advocates for wetlands and waterfowl, calling and e-mailing their members of Congress to push for policies and programs that benefit waterfowl. A few even make trips to Washington, D.C., to meet with their congressmen.

But in August, Congress comes to you! Members of Congress will be back in their home states for the month of August to meet with constituents and work in their districts. This is the perfect time to meet with them and tell them about your interest in conserving wetlands and waterfowl habitat.

Town hall meetings, county fairs and other public appearances are excellent opportunities to meet with your congressmen. Or if you'd like, call them and schedule a meeting while they are in town.

To find the schedules of your members of Congress, visit www.house.gov or www.senate.gov. Or you can call the Capitol Switchboard at 202.224.3121.

 

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