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World Leader in Wetlands Conservation

Policy News: Vol. 1, Issue 7

Top stories for July 14, 2009
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Make your voice heard by Congress

With summer stretching into the dog days of August, members of Congress soon will be returning to their home states and districts for much of the month, talking with constituents and reconnecting with local issues.

It is also a perfect time for DU members and supporters to remind their members of Congress the issues important to them as waterfowl hunters and conservationists. Townhall meetings, county fairs and other community activities are perfect opportunities to connect DU's conservation mission to local issues.

Ducks Unlimited staff in Washington, D.C., and across the country continue to work with members of Congress and their staffs to ensure that wetlands and waterfowl habitat are represented in national policies—and talking to your elected representatives while they are back in your hometown is one of the most effective ways you can help. To find out more about your members' schedules, please use the resources below.

You can find information about your representative at www.house.gov.

Find your senators at www.senate.gov.

Or you can call the Capitol Switchboard at 202.224.3121.

Learn more about DU's policy priorities to discuss with members of Congress.


Congressional sportsmen stand up for conservation

DU and prominent sportsmen in Congress are leading the charge for conservation, promoting a program to help landowners protect their land for future generations. This program expires at the end of 2009. The popular program, which promotes voluntary conservation on private land, will expire at the end of the year unless Congress acts to extend it.

The Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, along with DU and other partners, is hosting a breakfast briefing tomorrow to inform other members of Congress and staff of the importance to easements for protecting land for the future, and also to encourage them to be leaders for conservation. Bills to extend the benefits for conservation easements have been introduced in the House and Senate.

You can help protect land for future generations by contacting your members of Congress and asking them to support extending conservation easement benefits.


Conservation programs restored

Congress is standing up for popular farm conservation programs such as the Wetlands Reserve Program and Grasslands Reserve Program, with both the House and Senate restoring funding that was cut in the administration's budget for 2010.

Funding for the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) and the Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) are both restored to the full Farm Bill allocation under the House-passed version of the Agriculture Appropriations bill. The Senate also restored funding for the programs in its bill.

The Senate Appropriations Committee also has released its recommendations for 2010 spending for agriculture, which also restored the funding to WRP and GRP.


Invasive species no longer welcome, thanks to DU, Minnesotans

Ducks Unlimited and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources have finished restoration of the nearly 900-acre Buffalo Lake, which will prevent carp and other invasive fish from continuing to degrade waterfowl habitat.

Thanks to help from local groups and individuals, and one large conservation easement from a private landowner, DU completed several upgrades to the water control structures that will improve water quality and result in abundant aquatic invertebrates on which breeding and migrating ducks thrive. The project was part of DU's Living Lakes Initiative, which aims to improve shallow lakes in Minnesota and Iowa.

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