Court Rules in Favor of Ducks Unlimited's Efforts to Protect Hunting on Public Lands

Waterfowl hunting can proceed on national wildlife refuges
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 13, 2011 − Ducks Unlimited and waterfowl hunters across the nation are celebrating today's federal district court ruling that supports the opening of waterfowl hunting on a number of public lands. Today's ruling from the Northern Federal Court District of Ohio will help ensure that our country's waterfowl hunting heritage will be protected. DU joined with Safari Club International and others to intervene in this action on behalf of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service as they attempted to open waterfowl hunting on almost 70 national wildlife refuges around the country. The action was opposed by anti-hunting interests in a lawsuit.

After the ruling, Ducks Unlimited CEO Dale Hall said he supported the decision and reaffirmed DU's support of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "Ducks Unlimited and its members have always been strong supporters of the National Wildlife Refuge System, whether it is through participating in the purchase of duck stamps or through directly partnering with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service," Hall said. "I'm pleased this ruling will allow the USFWS to continue its mission of managing and conserving waterfowl and other wildlife along with offering quality wildlife-related recreation opportunities to the American public."

The lawsuit, which was originally filed in 2003 by organizations philosophically opposed to hunting, attempted to end hunting activities on multiple public lands in the National Wildlife Refuge System by alleging that the refuges had not gone through the proper environmental review process. 

Due to the serious implications this lawsuit could have on the ability of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to manage waterfowl and hunting on refuge lands, Ducks Unlimited joined efforts to defend the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's position. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages lands in the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Ducks Unlimited 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 12 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.

Emily Tyner