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DU receives Louisiana land conservation organization designation

Only sixth certification issued in state
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LAFAYETTE, La. – March 29, 2012 – Ducks Unlimited and its landholding foundation, Wetlands America Trust (WAT), were jointly certified as a land conservation organization by the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (LDNR) this week. Only five other organizations have been granted this certification, and DU is the only one also accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission (2011).

"This certification allows DU to diversify our conservation efforts in Louisiana and facilitates restoration partnerships moving forward," said Bob Dew, DU manager of conservation programs.
 
LDNR Secretary Scott Angelle determined that DU and WAT should be jointly certified as a land conservation organization last July, but in line with La. R.S.31:149, the application had to be approved by both the Louisiana house and senate natural resources committees. 

"DU has successfully partnered with the Department over the years, bringing back to life a Pointe-aux-Chenes wetland project damaged by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, as well as an outstanding marsh terrace project in the Calcasieu-Sabine watershed that restored more than 7,000 acres within Oyster Bayou," Angelle said. "We recognize Ducks Unlimited's ability to effectively restore and enhance both coastal lands and wildlife resources in our state and look forward to working with them in this expanded role."

To be accredited in 2011, DU met established national standards for excellence ensuring that the organization upholds the public trust and that its land conservation efforts are permanent. The additional certification from Louisiana furthers opportunities for DU's wetland conservation efforts in the state.

"Certification as a Land Conservation Organization by the State of Louisiana will give Ducks Unlimited an additional tool to assist our conservation partners in achieving wetlands conservation goals today that ensure the wetland habitats in this 'Sportsman's Paradise' continue to provide benefits for waterfowl and the people of Louisiana for generations to come," Dew said.

Ducks Unlimited has worked with many partners, public and private, to positively impact more than 358,000 acres of wetland habitat in Louisiana, of which more than 100,000 acres are in coastal Louisiana.

Ducks Unlimited is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, DU is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, with special events, projects and promotions across the continent. 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. 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.

Andi Cooper
(601) 956-1936
acooper@ducks.org

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