MEMPHIS, Tenn. – April 1, 2013 – Ducks Unlimited announced today the winners of the 2013 Wetland Conservation Achievement Awards during the 78th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference held
in Arlington, Va., at the Crystal Gateway Hyatt. This year's recipient for the Conservation/Private Citizen award is Robert "Bob" Zorb.
At 82 years old, Zorb is still actively farming his land and improving it through conservation practices he learned in his youth.
"Bob's commitment to changing the look and landscape of his property is monumental," said DU Chief Conservation Officer Paul Schmidt. "He started his wildlife management practices in the 1960s, and has continued his very successful conservation farming practices to this day."
Born to a farming family near St. John, Wash., Zorb hunted and fished throughout his childhood. Years later, when presented with the chance to buy some land he hunted as a child, Zorb jumped at it. The land didn't hold the same wildlife he remembered as a child, however. It was then he decided to make a difference and – using his own money – started improving the landscape for the benefit of waterfowl and other wildlife.
"Bob worked with the Washington Department of Wildlife, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and other organizations to help develop a long-term plan to improve his land," said Bernard F. Brown, who nominated Zorb for the award. "To date he's added about 150,000 plants and trees to his land and has a success rate of about 90 percent. Outside of the riparian and wetland areas, his land is still farmed using 'no-till' farming practices, and helps support 12 farm families."
Zorb's land-management practices include enrolling as much land as possible in the Conservation Reserve Program
and planting native trees, shrubs and grasses to thwart erosion. He also vigorously controls non-native vegetation and has installed drip irrigation to give plants and trees the moisture they need to survive. Zorb is also a highly respected member of the agricultural community and has shared his expertise with farmers in the Palouse region of the northwestern United States.
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.