Congressman John Garamendi of California
knows a great deal more about the mission
of Ducks Unlimited now, after recently sitting down for a working lunch with Western Regional Office Director Mark Biddlecomb and WRO Public Policy Director Chris Unkel.
Paul Bonderson, DU senior vice president and chair of the Conservation Programs Committee (CPC); Doug Federighi, DU board member and assistant chair of the CPC; John Donnelly, executive director of the Wildlife Conservation Board; John Carlin of River Partners; John Carlson, president of California Waterfowl Association; and Garamendi's chief of staff and another staffer participated in the open discussion as well. Topics included resource allocation, Delta water, refuge water supplies and the need to maintain current funding levels for NAWCA
Both Biddlecomb and Unkel described it as a "fact finding" meeting and were pleasantly surprised to find Garamendi exceptionally knowledgeable on water and conservation issues.
The pair also noted that Garamendi seemed to appreciate the chance to share viewpoints, promising to continue talks with Biddlecomb and Unkel on an ongoing basis. That's good news for DU and conservation
in general, because after congressional boundaries are adjusted Garamendi is likely to represent a significant portion of California's waterfowl habitat