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Ducks Unlimited nature trail highlights importance of prairie grasslands

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Interpretative trail dedicated in memory of Georgia conservationist

MCCLUSKY, N.D, October 22, 2007 – At a North Dakota ceremony on Saturday, Ducks Unlimited honored a devoted Georgia staff member by dedicating the Dan Denton Memorial Nature Trail. The nature trail is located on Ducks Unlimited’s new Coteau Ranch, southeast of McClusky, N.D.

The Denton family (from left to right): Dan's wife Pat, son Jason, sister in-law Julia, brother Don, and niece Catherine
Denton, who passed away in June 2004, was a resident of Snellville, Georgia. He served Ducks Unlimited for 32 years in Georgia and had a keen interest in the waterfowl breeding grounds of the Dakotas. During his life, he encouraged others to contribute to waterfowl conservation throughout North America.

“Dan worked hard to create an awareness of the connection between waterfowl that breed in the Dakotas and waterfowl that winter in the southeastern United States,” said Jim Ringelman, director of conservation programs for the Dakotas and Montana.

The Denton Trail is open to the public and features interpretive panels that describe the importance of wetlands and grasslands to wildlife and people. The Coteau Ranch is also open to walk-in hunting. Hunters can obtain a permit and map of the property from permit boxes located on the two main access roads to the ranch.

“The trail will provide an opportunity for the community to visit the Coteau Ranch and learn about prairie grasslands, range management and waterfowl,” said Paul Bultsma, Ducks Unlimited regional biologist and manager of the Coteau Ranch.

The Coteau Ranch is nearly 2,500 acres of native grassland, pasture and fallow cropland interspersed with small and large wetlands. Nearby landowners lease the property for grazing and haying. Ducks Unlimited plans to use the ranch as an outdoor classroom to educate people about prairie ecology.

Additionally, Ducks Unlimited will conduct research on grazing and haying rotations that could improve wildlife habitat and cattle production. Additional research plans include evaluating best management practices for grassland restoration and weed control. 

The Dan Denton Trail memorializes Denton’s contributions to the ducks and provides a lasting monument for his family to visit and remember his life. Ducks Unlimited and the people he influenced will always remember his impact on waterfowl habitat conservation.

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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Contact: Jennifer P. Kross
Communications Biologist
jkross@ducks.org
Mobile: 701-202-8896
Office: 701-355-3515

Click here for more information about the Prairie Pothole Region
Click here for more information about Ducks Unlimited in Georgia


 

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