MEMPHIS, Tenn. – March 10, 2017 – The Pennsylvania Game Commission was recognized today for 50 years of contributions supporting wetlands protection and restoration on the Canadian Boreal Forest breeding grounds, which are important to Pennsylvania’s waterfowl populations. The ceremony took place at the 82nd North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Spokane, Washington.
"The Pennsylvania Game Commission has been a leader in advancing conservation partnerships for 50 years," said Paul Schmidt, DU chief conservation officer. "We are proud to honor them and their support of improving habitat important crucial to migrating birds."
The support helped fund restoration and protection of breeding habitat in the Boreal Forests of Canada through the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies' (AFWA) State Contributions to Canada program.
"The Pennsylvania Game Commission recognizes that maintaining healthy populations of waterfowl for current and future generations requires healthy habitat in all stages of their life cycles, including their breeding and staging areas in Canada. That’s why we have financially supported Ducks Unlimited and Ducks Unlimited Canada in their delivery of effective habitat conservation in Quebec for over 50 years," said Ian Gregg, game management division chief in the game commission’s Bureau of Wildlife Management.
The AFWA program, which funds North American Waterfowl Management Plan habitat projects in Canada, started in 1965 as one of the first international public/private partnerships to support migratory bird conservation and is funded primarily by hunting license sales. Through this program, states help fund long-term partnerships that conserve and restore breeding habitat for waterfowl that migrate through, and winter in, their own states.
As with all states that contribute to the program through Ducks Unlimited, Pennsylvania’s contribution will be matched by DU and funds from the North American Wetlands Conservation Act. Habitat conservation efforts focus on habitats important to waterfowl migrating through Pennsylvania, and the Atlantic Flyway each spring and fall.
"Whether migrating through or wintering in Pennsylvania, species like black ducks, teal, snow geese, and Atlantic population Canada geese provide tremendous benefits to the Commonwealth’s waterfowl hunters and viewers," Gregg said.
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 13.8 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.