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Interior Secretary renews commitment to waterfowl conservation at 75th DU National Convention

Salazar signs NAWMP revision, answers volunteers' questions in Nashville
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  • Interior Secretary Salazar speaks to the crowd, alongside DU's Dr. Jim Ringelman and Paul Schmidt, masterminds being the 2012 Revision of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan
  • Interior Secretary Salazar (front) signs the 2012 Revision of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan on behalf of the United States, with support from (left to right) DU Chief Conservation Officer Paul Schmidt, Director of Conservation Programs Dr. Jim Ringelman, Executive Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Dan Ashe, DU CEO Dale Hall, DU President John Newman, Chairman of DU's Board of Directors John Pope and DU First Vice President George Dunklin Jr.
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – June 1, 2012 – Yesterday at the 75th Anniversary Ducks Unlimited National Convention, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar signed the 2012 Revision of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP), reaffirming the country's commitment to one of the largest and most successful continent-wide conservation initiatives ever undertaken.

"We are proud to have hosted this historic signing at our biggest national convention to date, celebrating DU's 75th anniversary," said DU CEO Dale Hall. "Ducks Unlimited stands steadfastly beside Secretary Salazar and the Department of the Interior, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and our other partners in conservation, as we reaffirm our commitment to carrying out the goals of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, as well as of this new revision."

Of the three goals outlined in the NAWMP revision signed today, two are part of the original plan, but the third—a new objective—underscores the importance of people to the success of waterfowl and wetlands conservation.

"The 2012 Revision of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan provides a renewed and energized vision for the future of waterfowl and wetlands conservation," Secretary Salazar said. "The blueprint lays out an adaptable waterfowl management strategy that leverages international resources to ensure abundant waterfowl populations and preserve habitat to support hunting and other recreational uses."

Waterfowl are among North America's most valued natural resources. In 2006, an estimated 87.5 million Americans spent $122.3 billion on wildlife-related recreation, including 1.8 million waterfowl hunters who spent nearly $1 billion on trips and equipment, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).

"The importance of waterfowl, in both ecological and economic terms, has placed waterfowl managers at the forefront of the conservation profession," said FWS Director Dan Ashe. "It's fitting that we're signing today's agreement in the presence of Ducks Unlimited, an organization who has really led the way when it comes to conserving habitat for the benefit of waterfowl, other wildlife, and people. This revision acknowledges and embraces a 21st-century approach to landscape-level conservation that is truly community driven."

First signed in 1986 by the United States and Canada, with Mexico becoming a signatory in 1994, NAWMP is an international strategy for conserving migratory waterfowl throughout the continent. It has remained a leading model for other international conservation plans, in large measure because it is an evolving document that is updated periodically with engagement and input from the waterfowl conservation community.

Dr. Jim Ringelman, director of conservation programs in DU's Great Plains Region, and Paul Schmidt, DU's chief conservation officer, were instrumental in drafting the revision and stood up with Secretary Salazar at the convention to provide additional information.

Also involved in the planning process were Dr. Mike Anderson, senior conservation advisor for DU Canada; Ken Babcock, senior director of conservation for DU Inc.; and Dale Humburg, DU Inc. chief scientist.

NAWMP is implemented largely by public-private partnerships known as Migratory Bird Joint Ventures. As of 2011, the joint ventures in the United States and Canada had collectively conserved more than 15.7 million acres of habitat. Over the course of their history, 18 U.S. joint venture partnerships have leveraged every dollar of allocated Congressional funds into an average of $35 in matching funds.

Available at www.nawmprevision.org, the 2012 NAWMP Revision sets forth three overarching goals for waterfowl conservation: 1) abundant and resilient waterfowl populations to support hunting and other recreational uses without imperiling habitat; 2) sufficient wetlands and related habitats to sustain waterfowl populations at desired levels, while providing places to recreate and ecological services that benefit society; and 3) growing numbers of waterfowl hunters, other conservationists and citizens who enjoy and actively support waterfowl and wetlands conservation.

The signing of the 2012 NAWMP Revision highlights the commitment of each of Mexico, Canada and the United States to developing common objectives that reflect the interrelated nature of waterfowl management and aligning and coordinating efforts to reach those objectives.

Ducks Unlimited is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, DU is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, with special events, projects and promotions across the continent. Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 12 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.

Emily Havens (DU)
(901) 828-8675

Adam Fletcher (DOI)
(202) 208-6416

Rachel Levin (FWS)
(703) 358-2405

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