Iowa Ducks Unlimited (DU) recently completed a very successful fundraising drive that allowed development of three habitat projects as a tribute to former Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Director Larry Wilson. Wilson, an appointee by former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, completed a distinguished career with DNR that encompassed 21 years of service to the State of Iowa.
On a gorgeous fall day, September 23, Larry’s family and DU and DNR friends joined him to dedicate the third and final project as part of this tribute effort. DU completed the project on the 700-acre Jensen tract in Fremont County. Iowa DNR owns and manages the tract as a new addition to the Riverton Wildlife Management Unit. Thanks to DU’s technical capability, a state-of-the art pump station was built that allowed 500 acres of the tract to be managed as seasonal marsh.
The site is open to the public, in close proximity to other wetlands, and highly attractive for a host of wildlife species. Blue-winged and green-winged teal, pintails, shovellers, wood ducks and mallards were quick to find the site as well as thousands of other migratory birds that have used the newly created wetlands during this fall’s migration.
DU Major Donor Chairman Keith Helland observed, “The $400,000 we raised and the three projects we developed for Larry will be something that will benefit all Iowans who are interested in the outdoors.” Keith was especially appreciative of the generosity of the 73 individuals who made major donor pledges and the 18 artists who contributed original artwork to this fundraising effort.