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DU Board Member Speaks Out Against Navy OLF

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Statement by Lloyd Goode of N.C. to Hyde County Public Hearing on DSEIS

RALEIGH, N.C., March 19, 2007 - Ducks Unlimited Board Member Lloyd Goode of North Carolina has prepared a statement opposing the Navy's proposal to construct an outlying landing field (OLF) in Washington County, North Carolina. Mr. Goode will present this statement tonight at the Hyde County Public Hearing on the Navy’s Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS).

The Public Hearing will begin at 4:30 p.m. at Mattamuskeet Elementary School, 60 Juniper Bay Rd. Swan Quarter, N.C.

Below is Mr. Goode’s statement:
Statement by Lloyd Goode Regarding Navy Outlying Landing Field DSEIS Hyde County Public Hearing March 19, 2007

“Hello, my name is Lloyd Goode and I serve on the Board of Directors for Ducks Unlimited.  I am a life-long resident of North Carolina and an avid duck hunter and conservationist.  DU is an international wetlands conservation organization with more than 22,000 members in the state of North Carolina.  Since 1937, DU has helped to conserve approximately 12 million acres of habitat, including nearly 50,000 acres in the state of North Carolina

DU is opposed to the Navy's proposal to construct an outlying landing field in Washington County, North Carolina.  We believe the Site C proposal will severely impact the waterfowl and wetland resources of North Carolina.

Beginning in 2002, DU has stated its opposition to Site C due to the proximity of the site to the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge and the importance of the area to Atlantic flyway waterfowl populations.  Nearly one million swans, geese, and ducks winter in this region in most years and non-migratory geese and resident wood ducks utilize the area year-round. According to the DSEIS, the Site C proposal had the highest number of wintering snow geese of any of the nearby Refuges surveyed.

A team of DU scientists are reviewing the DSEIS and will submit comments in the near future.  As stated in the past, we have serious concerns about the Navy’s plans to manipulate 30,000 acres of land in a way to minimize attraction to large numbers of waterfowl.  This would take major acreage of foraging habitat from the coastal landscape at a time when DU and our partners, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, are working to combat wetland loss and expand that forage base.  Further, we are concerned about plans to address Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard (BASH) challenges by using lethal and non-lethal techniques to repel, harass and remove waterfowl from the OLF and surrounding areas.

In northeastern North Carolina, DU has worked with private landowners, public agencies and other NGOs to invest more than $20 million in private and public dollars for conservation projects.  The work includes habitat enhancements at Pungo Lake, Pocosin Refuge, Mattamuskeet Refuge, and Lantern Acres Game Lands. Unfortunately, construction of the OLF could negate most of our past, present, and future conservation efforts in a relatively short amount of time.

We are pleased that Governor Easley and other North Carolina officials have joined with us in stating their concerns with the OLF proposal. We are continuing our efforts to oppose further funding for Site C and urge the Navy to consider alternative sites for the OLF. The risks of the OLF at Site C are far too severe for waterfowl, other wildlife, and, very importantly, the people and local economies of North Carolina.  Thank you.”

With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization with almost 12 million acres conserved. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands - nature’s most productive ecosystem - and continues to lose more than 80,000 wetland acres each year.

Contact: Jennifer Kross
601.206.5449
jkross@ducks.org

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