Ducks Unlimited Working in Western Kentucky
Ballard County Projects to Enhance Over 700 Acres of Waterfowl Habitat
WICKLIFFE, Ky., January 21, 2007- Ducks Unlimited is partnering with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources to enhance and develop 721 acres of waterfowl habitat on two Ballard County wildlife management areas. The projects, planned over the next three to five years, will cost nearly one-half million dollars.
“We plan 25 individual projects on Ballard Wildlife Management Area and Boatwright WMA, and another 100 acre tract within Ballard County,” said Tim Willis, Ducks Unlimited’s regional biologist for Kentucky. “None of this work would be possible without the support of our major donors in Kentucky. Most of the funding came directly from them,” Willis said.
Ballard County is a vitally important area for waterfowl migrating along the Mississippi Flyway. Located in extreme western Kentucky at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, it serves as a centerpiece for waterfowl habitat. Axe Lake Swamp State Nature Preserve, recognized as a priority wetland in the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, is located in Ballard County near the two WMAs.
“Because of the substantial wetland habitat found in Ballard County, conducting projects in this area will provide an outstanding opportunity for future waterfowl management in Kentucky,” said Wildlife Division Director for the KDFWR Karen Alexy. “With the incredible support received from major donors, together we are able to greatly enhance waterfowl habitat.”
Planned projects on Ballard WMA include the enhancement of 172 acres and development of 20 acres of moist soil habitat. Projects on Boatwright WMA will enhance 368 acres of habitat, some of which is open to hunting. In addition to the 368 acres of enhanced habitat, an additional 91 acres of wetland habitat will be developed by the partners.
“Enormous acreages of wetland habitats have been lost in many critical migration areas, including the Mississippi River Valley” Willis said. Ducks Unlimited restores key habitats in migration areas that are most important for waterfowl survival and breeding success.
Over eighty-six percent of the 721 acres will be open to public hunting. Ducks Unlimited and KDFWR want to ensure opportunities abound for waterfowl hunters in the area.
“With the number of waterfowl that migrate through this area, we want to offer hunters ample hunting opportunity while maintaining and improving waterfowl rest and food resources,” Willis said.
“The partnership that exists between DU and the KDFWR demonstrates what can be accomplished to benefit waterfowl, wetland habitat, and sportsmen and women in Kentucky when everyone works together,” said Alexy. “A great deal of potential lies ahead of us.”
With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization with over 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.
For more information on Ducks Unlimited’s work in Kentucky go to:
For more information on the importance of the Mississippi Alluvial Valley go to: