Conservation Programs Celebrate 20-year Success Story

WASHINGTON, Sept. 13, 2006 – Two decades of successful cooperative conservation is being celebrated on Capitol Hill, as Ducks Unlimited and Pheasants Forever join members of Congress and federal officials in an event commemorating the 20th anniversaries of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) and the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). The two programs have improved habitat on more than 24 million acres nationwide.

“The North American Waterfowl Management Plan reinvented the way wildlife management is done,” said DU Executive Vice President Don Young. “It ushered in a new era of big picture, continental habitat conservation.”

DU Executive Vice President Don Young (kneeling, right) and Pheasants Forever President and CEO Howard Vincent (kneeling, left) hosted a 20th anniversary celebration of the N. American Waterfowl Mgt. Plan and the Conservation Reserve Program with landowners, members of Congress and federal resource agency personnel.

Young spoke at a Sept. 13 event, hosted by Ducks Unlimited and Pheasants Forever, recognizing participating landowners and the positive impact on wildlife that both programs have accomplished since 1986.

DU recognized landowners for participating in the Conservation Reserve Program and projects in accordance with NAWMP. CRP is a Farm Bill program that takes marginal land out of agricultural production temporarily. These lands have proven extremely prolific for production of ground nesting birds like ducks and pheasants.

“CRP is an important, nationwide conservation program that pays farmers and ranchers to set aside land for wildlife,” said DU Governmental Affairs Representative Bart James. “CRP is especially important in the Prairie Pothole Region of the Dakotas where most of the ducks in the U.S. are born. DU is working to maintain 8 million acres of CRP in the Prairie Pothole Region in the next Farm Bill congress is now developing.”

Among the landowners recognized for participating in these programs were Ed Moxley of Ohio; Tim and Susan Brown of Virginia; Bill Smithton of Oklahoma; and Scott and Barbara House from Arkansas.

Neil Shader

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