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DU expands efforts in Wyoming

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DU and partners to spend a million dollars on North Platte River wildlife habitat

TORRINGTON, Wyo., - Ducks Unlimited has formed new partnerships with several conservation partners to enhance and conserve wetland habitat along the North Platte River. As part of its Platte River Initiative, DU initiated a multi-year, million dollar effort to restore degraded wetlands, enhance river bottom habitats and protect high-priority lands in a region that has lately seen a decline in waterfowl use and waterfowl hunting.

“The Platte is crucial to waterfowl as migration stopover habitat and a wintering rest area,” said Greg Kernohan, DU’s manager of conservation programs for Wyoming. “We’re excited to step up our work in Wyoming.”

The dollars DU is spending in Wyoming are crucial in securing a federal North American Wetlands Conservation grant to add to the more than 5,000 acres of waterfowl habitat already conserved in the state.

The mountains and plains of Wyoming abound with many different types of wetland habitats maintaining important populations of ducks and geese. Together with federal, state and landowner partners, DU is looking to restore the North Platte River to its former glory as a waterfowl haven.

“It is no surprise that the citizens of the Cowboy State have recognized the importance of these habitats and have continued to move forward to provide the resources necessary to conserve important wetlands there,” Kernohan said.

As an example of DU’s expanded effort in the North Platte watershed of Wyoming, the wetland conservation organization has entered into a partnership with a landowner near Yoder to restore nearly 30 acres of seasonal, shallow-water wetland habitat. Traditionally a favorite for migrating mallards, green- and blue-winged teal, wigeon, northern pintail and Canada geese, the quality of the habitat has deteriorated over the years as the wetland’s levee and water-control structures deteriorated. The landowner could no longer effectively manage the tract for waterfowl or his farming needs

“The site exemplifies the degraded conditions of many of the wetlands associated with the North Platte River in the state,” said Matt Reddy, DU regional biologist, “and our work there demonstrates the partnering strategies DU employs to once again fill Wyoming’s skies with ducks and geese.”

DU will partner with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act and the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resources Trust to restore the wetland structures so the landowner can better manage the site for ducks and geese during migration.

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.

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For more information:

DU’s Platte River Initiative – www.ducks.org/platteriver

Wyoming Wildlife & Natural Resources Trust – http://wwnrt.state.wy.us/index.htm

Media contacts:

Becky Jones Mahlum, 701-355-3507, bjonesmahlum@ducks.org

Jennifer Kross, 701-202-8896, jkross@ducks.org

Platte River Initiative

Wyoming Wildlife & Natural Resources Trust 

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