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Presidential Transition: Letter to President-elect

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December 3, 2008 

Dear President-elect Obama:

On behalf of more than one million members and supporters, Ducks Unlimited would like to offer our congratulations on your election as President of the United States. We believe there are many reasons to be optimistic about the nation’s conservation future as you begin your term of office.

Ducks Unlimited (DU) is one of North America’s premier conservation organizations and is widely recognized as the world leader in wetlands conservation. We are a charitable, non-profit, 501(c) (3) organization with members and supporters in all 50 states and more than 60,000 active volunteers. We conserve, restore, and manage wetlands and associated habitats for North America’s waterfowl. Since 1937, we have directly conserved over 12 million acres of habitat in North America.

DU’s work is guided by science and implemented through collaborations with a wide range of public and private partners, especially private landowners. We have an extensive history of cooperation with farmers, ranchers, and landowners across North America where we promote voluntary, incentive-based, non-regulatory approaches to conservation.

In April 2008, Jason Grumet, head of the Environment and Energy Committee of the Obama campaign, publicly said that you have worked with DU in the past. Given that history and our mutual concerns about the future of conservation and the economy, we want you to know that DU stands ready to expand this partnership, and to assist your Administration in any way possible.

DU’s on-the-ground habitat protection work means we have spent more than 71 years creating environmentally sustainable job opportunities well before the current trend towards greening America’s workforce. DU looks forward to working with your Administration to continue our tradition of creating green jobs in the private sector.

Citizens all over the nation are becoming more invested in the environmental health of our country. Following a century long tradition begun by outdoor sportsmen and women, they have come to realize the value in preserving and restoring our natural heritage. As a result, conservation enjoys bipartisan support in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The current wave of support presents a valuable opportunity to initiate important changes that will create jobs, protect the nation’s environment and water supply, and preserve critical wildlife habitat, all while positively addressing the more pervasive issue of climate change. We stand ready to work with you in protecting our nation’s natural treasures.

To help initiate this work and open dialogue with you and your new Administration, we are pleased to share with you our perspectives on several priority policy issues. You will find attached to this letter summaries of nine policy areas that we consider the highest priorities for wetlands and waterfowl conservation. We hope you and your staff will incorporate these priorities in your strategic approach to conservation.

Ducks Unlimited would welcome the opportunity to meet with you and members of your Administration to discuss these policy issues in more detail and to develop plans to work together. We also offer you the assistance and expertise of our team of scientists, who we believe to be the best of the best in not only the United States, but the world.

Sincerely,

W. Bruce Lewis - President of Ducks Unlimited, Inc.

D.A. (Don) Young - Executive Vice President of Ducks Unlimited, Inc.

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