ARLINGTON, Va. – April 1, 2013 – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources was celebrated at a Ducks Unlimited breakfast held at the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Arlington, Virginia
. The DU breakfast is an annual affair that acknowledges meaningful contributions by conservation partners and champions. The state of Illinois
was recognized for their investment of more than $10 million in duck stamp funds in continental priority projects in Canada.
"Illinois is an excellent example of a state sporting and conservation community that understands why natural resources must be supported on a continental scale," said DU CEO Dale Hall. "The work that has been made possible by the Illinois duck stamp program will benefit waterfowl and waterfowl enthusiasts across much of North America."
Under Illinois state statute, half of the duck stamp license fee paid by sportsmen is dedicated to wetland habitat projects in Canada that are tied to the North American Waterfowl Management Plan
, which has resulted in an investment of more than $10 million. DU has been an important partner to IDNR by matching Illinois duck stamp monies dollar for dollar with DU funds, and again with another $15 million of federal funds from the North American Wetlands Conservation Act
, to create a lasting waterfowl habitat conservation legacy in Canada.
Illinois waterfowl hunters in turn benefit each year from the great numbers of ducks, geese and swans produced on duck-stamp-funded projects in the Canadian prairies as the birds migrate back through Illinois in the fall.
"It's a testimony to Illinois sportsmen and women who have supported this program through the years," said IDNR Director Marc Miller. "Collecting these license dollars and putting them on the ground in the Canadian prairies has had a direct impact on the quality of our waterfowl hunting and on the magnitude of the migration of birds we get to experience every year here in Illinois. Not many states have had such a direct hand in protecting the future of waterfowl conservation as Illinois; all Illinois citizens should be proud of this achievement."
Ducks Unlimited is the world's largest non-profit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, DU has conserved more than 13 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org. Connect with us on our Facebook page at facebook.com/DucksUnlimited, follow our tweets at twitter.com/DucksUnlimited and watch DU videos at youtube.com/DucksUnlimitedInc.