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Policy News 2.21


Top stories for May 25, 2010
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DU's Governmental Affairs staff to attend first-annual DU Sporting Expo this weekend

Amidst the climbing walls, hunting demonstrations and concerts lined up for the first-annual Ducks Unlimited Sporting Expo in Grapevine, Texas, staff from DU's Governmental Affairs Office will be at work. They will discuss with Expo visitors the public policy aspects of DU's conservation work. The team will be located at DU's Expo booth to greet attendees and discuss the role grassroots supporters play in DU's public policy efforts.

"We encourage everyone at the Expo to stop by the DU booth and say hello," said Scott Sutherland, director of DU's Governmental Affairs Office in Washington, D.C. "It's vitally important that DU supporters be part of this effort and that they know how important they are to making DU's public policy work a success. This will be a fantastic opportunity to interact with new and old friends amidst a fabulous, fun-filled celebration of our sporting lifestyle. We look forward to it."


The DU Sporting Expo is being held in conjunction with DU's 73rd National Convention at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas, May 26-30.

Also at the convention's National Leadership Conference on Friday, May 28, Rogers Hoyt Jr., DU's senior vice president of event and volunteer management, and Jim West, DU's group manager of fundraising, will team up with Sutherland to give a presentation on how DU volunteers and members can more effectively work toward public policy success for the organization.

DU celebrates Boreal wetlands protection announcement

After years of turmoil between industry and conservation organizations, 170 million acres of Canada's Boreal Forest are being protected through the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement, which was signed May 18 and organized by the Pew Environment Group.

Ducks Unlimited has worked with the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) in the past, helping to develop sustainable forestry practices in the Boreal. The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement will conserve Boreal wetlands, which are critical to nearly 50 percent of North America's waterfowl population.

"This is a monumental step in conservation," said Dale Hall, Ducks Unlimited CEO. "Without the extraordinary leadership of the Pew Environment Group, the largest commercial forest protection agreement in history could never have been achieved. Their bold vision and guidance helped set in motion an agreement that redefines the future of conservation and commercial forestry, and could become a model for forest practices in other parts of the world. We look forward to working with FPAC to make this vision a reality."

The Pew Environment Group works to protect wilderness areas and public lands, both within the United States and around the globe. The group invests in public education and advocacy efforts to mobilize support for protection of some of the world's last great wilderness areas and forests on public lands.

"The importance of this agreement cannot be overstated. FPAC member companies and their [environmental non-governmental organization] counterparts have turned the old paradigm on its head," said Avrim Lazar, president and CEO of FPAC. "Together we have identified a more intelligent, productive way to manage economic and environmental challenges in the Boreal that will reassure global buyers of our products' sustainability. It's gratifying to see nearly a decade of industry transformation and hard work greening our operations culminating in a process that will set a forestry standard that will be the envy of the world."

Canada's Boreal Forest is estimated by scientists to be the largest intact forest and wetland ecosystem on the planet, and the Western Boreal is listed as one of DU's top-priority regions. This conservation milestone will ensure that breeding waterfowl have consistent habitat for future generations.

"For years we have helped bring opposing parties together to conserve this global treasure, Canada's [Boreal Forest]," said Steve Kallick, director of the Pew Environment Group's International Boreal Conservation Campaign. "We're thrilled that this effort has led to the largest commercial forest conservation plan in history, which could not have happened without both sides looking beyond their differences. As important as today's announcement is, our ultimate success will be measured by how we tackle the work ahead to put this plan into practice."

For more information on the Western Boreal Forest and other DU priority areas, please use the links below.

DU assists National Wetlands Award recipient with conservation mission

Last week, the Environmental Law Institute honored its 2009 National Wetlands Awards (NWA) recipients at a reception on Capitol Hill.

The Laszlo family – Jeff Laszlo and his niece Caitlin. Photo courtesy of www.nationalwetlandsaward.org.


Under the category of Landowner Stewardship, the Andrew and Anne Laszlo family of Montana received the award for permanently protecting more than half of their 14,000-acre ranch, making it the largest wetland and stream restoration project of its kind in the state.

The Laszlos are working with federal, state and private conservation partners—including Ducks Unlimited— to restore a major portion of the O'Dell Creek headwaters in Madison County, Mont. Their efforts are paying off for conservation, filling drainage ditches, restoring wetlands, creating streams and increasing the number of bird species on the property from 11 to 90. The next phase of the project, which will take place from 2010-2011, is a series of large wetland restorations in the 800-acre pasture just east of the stream restoration project.

Bob Sanders, DU manager of conservation programs for Montana, praised the Laszlos' initiative and commitment in handling their property with conservation at the forefront. "The Laszlos' work to restore, protect and create viable habitat for wildlife on their property is a great example of how individual landowners really can make a difference in the quest to save rapidly disappearing wetland acres."

For more than 20 years, the NWA program has honored more than 150 champions of conservation while bringing attention to the vital need for wetland and wildlife habitat protection and restoration.


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