Ducks Unlimited Receives Highest Honor from USDA-NRCS

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 10, 2011 – Ducks Unlimited has been awarded the Natural Resources Conservation Service's highest conservation honor for its exceptional work with the Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative. The initiative was created after last year's oil spill as a means to provide alternative habitat and foraging areas for waterfowl and other wetland-dependent wildlife. 

The award serves as a way for NRCS to honor organizations or individuals whose partnership efforts significantly contribute to America's enduring legacy of conservation.

NRCS Chief Dave White presented the award to DU First Vice President John Newman during the organization’s annual Capitol Hill dinner, a fundraising event widely attended by members of Congress, congressional staffs and local DU supporters.

"Ducks Unlimited has dedicated countless hours and hard work to ensure our nation's wetlands and waterfowl habitats are protected," White said. "Their involvement with conservation efforts, such as the MBHI, have not only helped waterfowl and other wildlife thrive, but also ensure our nation's lands and natural resources will be able to be enjoyed by future generations." 

The Legacy of Conservation Award medal includes the image of Hugh Hammond Bennett, considered the father of conservation for leading the soil conservation movement in the United States in the 1920s and 1930s. Bennett urged the country to address soil erosion. He was the catalyst for the creation of the Soil Conservation Service and served as its first chief. SCS became NRCS in 1994.

"Ducks Unlimited is honored to receive this award and we appreciate the opportunity to work with the NRCS," Newman said. "Ducks Unlimited has been privileged to work with the NRCS on the MBHI and looks forward to expanding this partnership in the years to come."
Ducks Unlimited is the world's largest non-profit 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