DU National Convention marks 80 years

More than 1,000 DU volunteers and supporters gathered in San Antonio to celebrate 80 years of conservation.

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Incoming DU President Rogers Hoyt addressed the crowd in San Antonio.

Photo © Lalo Garcia

MEMPHIS, Tennessee – June 9, 2017 – More than 1,000 volunteers and conservationists from across the United States, Canada and Mexico attended Ducks Unlimited’s national convention May 31 – June 4 in San Antonio, Texas, at the Marriott Rivercenter.

"Ducks Unlimited’s National Convention is always like a family reunion. This year was no exception," said Ducks Unlimited CEO Dale Hall. "Our annual event gives our volunteers, supporters and partners the chance to get together and celebrate what DU has accomplished, take care of business and look toward the future. This year we celebrated conserving more than 14 million acres of habitat over our 80-year history, and we continue working toward DU’s vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever."  

Nels Swenson of Oregon, Wisconsin; Rusty Legg of Galveston, Texas; Linda Daugherty of Lincoln, Montana; Larry Jensen of Memphis, Tennessee; Edward May of Banks, Oregon; Michael Scuse of Smyrna, Delaware; Kathy Christian of Colstrip, Montana; Doug Frey of Austin, Texas; Tom Enos of Washoe City, Nevada and Joe Stough of Lake Charles, Louisiana were elected to Ducks Unlimited’s national board of directors during the national convention.  

In addition to new board member elections, this year’s convention featured opportunities for conservation-related education, special tours, entertainment and presentations by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Executive Director Carter Smith, ConocoPhillips CEO Ryan Lance and Axalta Coating Systems Chairman and CEO Charlie Shaver, who delivered the keynote address.

In a videotaped message to the audience, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Purdue expressed his gratitude to Ducks Unlimited for their long-time partnership with USDA putting conservation on working ag lands and said he is looking forward to working together on the upcoming farm bill.

Live and silent auctions featuring everything from diamonds and international trips to boats, unique firearms and fine art generated more than $300,000 for wetlands habitat conservation. Items were generously donated by many individuals, companies and organizations, including the Battleship TEXAS Foundation, Argo, Leupold and Stevens, Weatherby and Bass Pro Shops.

Special thanks to First National Bank of Omaha, provider of the official Ducks Unlimited Visa® card, Purina Pro Plan®, Argo, ConocoPhillips, Sweet Water Brewing Company, Holland & Knight and United Country Real Estate for sponsoring this year’s convention.


Next year’s Ducks Unlimited National Convention will be held May 30 – June 2 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 14 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.

Media Contact:
Andi Cooper
(601) 956-1936
acooper@ducks.org