DES MOINES, Iowa – Feb. 22, 2012 – Gov. Terry Branstad recently recognized Ducks Unlimited for its 75th anniversary by signing a proclamation at DU’s Iowa state convention. The convention celebrated the DU members and volunteers in the state who help make the organization’s conservation achievements possible.
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.”
DU’s founders established the group in 1937 with a mission to conserve, restore and manage wetlands and associated habitats for North America’s waterfowl. Since DU began working in Iowa in 1986, it 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.
Ducks Unlimited's 75th anniversary celebration will continue throughout the year with special events, merchandise, projects and promotions across the continent. DU’s 75th anniversary book, “The Ducks Unlimited Story” by Michael Furtman, chronicles DU's first 75 years with never-before-seen photos and documents from the DU archives. Log on to http://www.ducks.org/75 for more updates and information on DU's 75th anniversary.
Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America’s continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 12 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. Visit the DU website, www.ducks.org, for more information.