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Banding Together for Waterfowl

Iowa governor attends state convention, recognizes 75th anniversary

  • DU Iowa State Chairman Frank Mertz (left) and Gov. Terry Branstad
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Gov. Terry Branstad recognized Ducks Unlimited for its 75th anniversary by signing a proclamation at DU's Iowa state convention on Feb. 11. In his proclamation, Gov. Branstad commended DU for its conservation success. "DU has been an effective leader in conservation efforts throughout the state and across North America using science-based policy and sound conservation practices," he said. "I've been a DU member for many years."

Since beginning work in Iowa in 1986, DU has conserved more than 70,600 acres of critical wetland habitat. Through its Living Lakes initiative, launched in 2004, DU has worked with many partners to improve waterfowl habitat throughout the state.

"On behalf of Iowa's more than 20,000 passionate DU members, I would like to thank the governor for attending and for his praise of DU," said Frank Mertz, DU Iowa state chairman. "The volunteers work hard to ensure DU can continue its work in the state and keep the skies filled with waterfowl."

The proclamation signed by Gov. Branstad cites the value of Iowa's shallow lakes and wetlands as prime habitat for waterfowl during migration and breeding, and as waterfowl hunting areas that preserve the state's outdoor heritage. Iowa's wetlands are also valued for their role in water-quality protection, flood control and the state's overall environmental health.

Iowa's support for the outdoors was evident in 2010 when voters approved the Iowa Water and Land Legacy Amendment. This amendment established a permanent, constitutionally protected fund dedicated to water quality, soil conservation, wetlands restoration to protect Iowans from future flooding, enhancing parks and recreation, protecting wildlife habitat and other specific conservation programs.

From the White House to state legislatures and governor's mansions across the country, government leaders are congratulating Ducks Unlimited on its 75th anniversary. A collection of these proclamations and letters recognizing this organizational milestone will be on display at the DU National Convention in May.

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