"George is the very model of not only a DU volunteer but the finest order of waterfowl and wetlands conservationist," said DU CEO Dale Hall. "He has made conservation his life's work and is committed to ensuring a strong future for waterfowl across the continent. He sees the big picture and the importance of conserving not only waterfowl habitat in his home state, but critical prairie breeding grounds to the north and Gulf Coast wintering areas to the south."
Dunklin has built a lasting legacy within the Ducks Unlimited family, beginning as a grassroots volunteer more than three decades ago. From there, he moved through the ranks to become Arkansas state chairman, an at-large member of DU's board of directors, senior advisory vice president for conservation and finally the organization's first vice president before becoming president this year. He is also a DU major sponsor and a member of Wetlands America Trust, the foundation arm behind Ducks Unlimited.
"When I met past DU President Herman Taylor in 1983, I'd been a DU member since I was 16, but hadn't been a true volunteer yet. I didn't understand what the organization was doing for us and for waterfowl," Dunklin said. "Mr. Taylor explained to me the importance of what Ducks Unlimited was doing to support conservation and how truly crucial waterfowl and wildlife habitat was. He changed my life."
Dunklin has reinforced his commitment to Ducks Unlimited many times throughout the years, including when he was selected in 2009 as the Budweiser Conservationist of the Year. This award allowed Dunklin to select DU to receive a $50,000 grant from Budweiser and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to support a conservation project at Bayou Meto Wildlife Management Area, a popular public hunting area east of Pine Bluff.
"In a modern society that wants instant gratification, DU must continue our message that the only true pleasure is one that will have positive benefits long after we've departed this world. I can think of no better way to accomplish this than through conservation," Dunklin said. "It's not just about the ducks – it's about what each of us can do for the land, the resources, our outdoor heritage and the family and friends we share it all with."
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest non-profit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 13 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org. Connect with us on our Facebook page at facebook.com/DucksUnlimited, follow our tweets at twitter.com/DucksUnlimited and watch DU videos at youtube.com/DucksUnlimitedInc.