Central Valley wetlands, hunting areas threatened by power lines

DU encourages sportsmen, -women to take action against proposed routes

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – April 30, 2009 – Ducks Unlimited and the California Waterfowl Association have alerted members to call or write letters to the Transmission Agency of Northern California Transmission Project to choose a more wildlife- and wetland-safe route with proposed power line construction. The three proposed routes will cut a swath through District 10, Sutter National Wildlife Refuge, Butte Sink, Yolo Wildlife Area, Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge and many more public and private wetlands.

Power lines"California's Central Valley winters or provides migration habitat for 60 percent of the Pacific Flyway's waterfowl and 20 percent of North America's waterfowl population," said Dr. Rudy Rosen, director of DU's Western Regional Office. "This is not only a California issue, but also should be addressed by everyone in the United States, especially the Pacific Flyway."

The proposed routes will put a dent in the 250,000 wetland acres left of what used to be 3 to 5 million acres that provided wintering habitat for more than 50 million water birds. DU recommends the routes be thought out with wildlife impact at the forefront of the planning.

"Ducks Unlimited and waterfowl hunters are not opposing the new energy in the region; we would just like to see wetlands and other wildlife habitat protected from the placement of power lines in these proposed routes," Rosen explained. "Many of these lands were purchased with millions of taxpayer dollars and we don't want to see them degraded in any way."

Waterfowl hunters and conservationists worried about losing crucial habitat in the Central Valley should write a letter to:

Mr. David Young
Western Area Power Admin
114 Parkshore Dr.
Folsom, CA 95630

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 acres of wetlands important to waterfowl each year.

Dr. Rudy Rosen