The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission announced in July that for the next three years Ducks Unlimited
would receive 100 percent of its funding for waterfowl habitat conservation projects in Canada. This commitment brings Louisiana's
cumulative contribution to DU's Canadian conservation work to more than $10 million.
"Ducks Unlimited is pleased that the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission is continuing its proud tradition of making wise investments in waterfowl habitats that are important to the birds that visit the state each year," says Jerry Holden, DU's director of conservation programs in Louisiana. "Approximately 35 percent of the ducks harvested in Louisiana are raised in Saskatchewan alone, so investing Louisiana's grant funding in this province provides an excellent return on investment for the state's waterfowlers."
The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) program to support waterfowl habitat projects in Canada is an important contribution to the North American Wetlands Conservation Act. The distribution of funding is determined by each state's wildlife agency commission. Louisiana has been participating in this program since 1964, as long as any other state.
"The importance of state contributions to Canadian habitat conservation projects cannot be overstated," said Pat Kehoe, DU Canada's director of international partnerships. "Individual state contributions are combined with other state contributions, matched dollar for dollar by DU and DU Canada, and then matched again by North American Wetlands Conservation Act grants."
DU leveraged Louisiana's 2011 and 2012 grant contributions of $643,786 to secure a total investment of more than $3.2 million for waterfowl breeding habitat conservation in Saskatchewan. With this new three-year commitment, Louisiana will contribute $1 million, which will be leveraged to secure at least $4 million for waterfowl habitat conservation in this prairie province.
Habitat work on the breeding grounds is crucial to continental waterfowl populations. Louisiana's waterfowl hunters understand this, which is why nine past state chairmen and the current state chairman-elect were present at the commission meeting to support the best use of Louisiana hunters' investments.
"Ducks Unlimited's programs in the United States and Canada are helping to implement the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, and our prairie programs are structured to protect native, highly productive habitat, while also improving waterfowl production on working agricultural landscapes," Kehoe said.