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Golden Eagle Ranch and DU protect 20 miles of South Platte River bottom

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PROCTOR, CO, Feb. 14, 2008 - Through the conservation-minded generosity of a Proctor, Colorado hunting club, 20 miles of the South Platte River bottom are now protected with conservation easements. The Golden Eagle Ranch recently donated a 967-acre conservation easement to DU. This donation is in addition to the 1,100 acre easement the ranch gave DU in 2003.

“The Golden Eagle Ranch has become a true conservation partner to DU,” said Greg Kernohan, DU program manager for Colorado and Wyoming. “Ranch owners have donated land, cash and other services to several local public grants. They have also completed substantial wetland restorations on the property. We couldn’t be more proud of our friends at the Golden Eagle.”

Located immediately west of Tamarack Ranch State Wildlife Area, Golden Eagle Ranch property includes some of the most pristine riverbottom along the South Platte River, with healthy communities of mountain snowberry beneath a gallery of mature cottonwoods. The combined vegetation provides exceptional habitat for quail, as well as the ample turkey, deer and waterfowl.

The ranch has also restored over 100 acres of seasonal wetlands that provide moist-soil habitat for migrating waterfowl and wintering roosts. Next conservation steps include an additional 120-acre wetland and saltgrass meadow restoration in cooperation with the North American Wetlands Conservation Council, South Platte Water Related Activities Program and the Colorado Water Conservation Board.

Golden Eagle Ranch Managing Owner, Chuck Woods, says the partnership with Ducks Unlimited has been one of the group’s most productive and satisfying endeavors. “Ducks Unlimited brings the expertise to restore wetlands for waterfowl and organizes use of wetland water to benefit the landowners, endangered species, and local agricultural producers,” Woods said.

Water placed in the wetlands will be used to recharge the South Platte River, further increasing water use for neighboring farms reliant on the water for agriculture. “The plan is to provide agricultural producers with water during the summer and then use their water to provide habitat for ducks in the fall and winter,” Woods said. “It is a win-win-win situation for all involved.”

Ducks Unlimited seeks to provide solutions to complex water problems so that we may fulfill our mission of filling the sky’s with waterfowl, while assuring a healthy ecosystem, and viable economic prosperity.

With more than one million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s leading wetland and waterfowl conservation group. Wetlands are nature’s most productive ecosystems, but the United States has lost more than half of its original wetlands. Ducks Unlimited’s mission is to conserve, restore and manage wetlands and associated uplands to benefit waterfowl, other wildlife and people.

For more information on DU’s programs along the Platte river, www.ducks.org/platteriver.

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

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