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Banding Together for Waterfowl

OWEGO WILDLIFE AREA PROJECT CELEBRATES DU LEGACY GREENWINGS

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa, Sep 24, 2008 – Ducks Unlimited recently celebrated its more than 300 Legacy Greenwing members in Iowa by dedicating a Woodbury County wildlife area project in their honor. More than 50 Ducks Unlimited Greenwing youth joined members of the Woodbury County Conservation Board and DU volunteers and staff to place two cairns at the Owego Wildlife Area.

“Greenwings are the future of DU and wetland conservation in Iowa,” said Phil Hubbard, Iowa DU state Greenwing chairman. “The Legacy Greenwing youth members we recognized on this project today are the wetland conservation leaders of tomorrow.”

The 1330-acre complex, located ten miles southeast of Sioux City, was acquired and restored by the conservation board at a cost of over $678,000. DU provided cost-share funding for both the acquisition of parcels and the restoration of wetlands. Funding was also provided by the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and other partners.

“DU’s help to restore this important prairie wetland complex was critical,” said Rick Schneider, executive director for the Woodbury County Conservation Board. “Without DU and partner funding, the ducks would not have such productive marsh habitat for breeding and migration.”

The Owego wetland complex was one of the largest natural resource projects undertaken by the Woodbury County board and has been immensely successful. There are over 190 acres of natural and excavated wetland areas and up to 900 acres can be shallowly flooded via wells, dikes and water control structures. In addition to large flocks of waterfowl, over 200 bird species have been documented using the complex.

“By periodically managing water levels on the area, the conservation board will be able to optimize wetland habitat for waterfowl and a wide range of other wetland dependent wildlife species,” said Roger Pederson, DU’s manager of conservation programs in Iowa. “Funding support from our Greenwing Legacy members was combined with state and county matching dollars, which then secured federal NAWCA grant funding for the project.”

With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization with more than 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.

Media contact:
Becky Jones Mahlum, 701-355-3507, bjonesmahlum@ducks.orgJennifer Kross, 701-355-3515, jkross@ducks.org

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