DU pays tribute to great Montana conservationist

Eric Pierce Memoiral Event July 28 in Bozeman

BOZEMAN, Mont. – July 9, 2011 – The dream of a Montana conservation legend to increase duck populations will live on through an event next month in his honor. Ducks Unlimited will celebrate the conservation legacy of Eric Pierce, who died in 2010, on July 28 at the Montana State University Sub Ballroom in Bozeman. DU will also fund a conservation project in Pierce’s memory with dollars raised at the event.

Pierce was an avid waterfowl hunter and passionate conservationist who gave tirelessly of his time and money to conservation. "Some of the things Dad loved most were waterfowl hunting and Ducks Unlimited,” said Marc Pierce, Eric’s son and former member of DU’s board of directors and Ducks Unlimited Television (DU-TV) host. “DU represents things he felt were critical to a healthy future for our country: habitat conservation for healthy wildlife populations and recruitment of the next generation to hunting and the outdoors. Our family couldn't think of a more fitting tribute to the man than a DU project dedicated in his name."

The Pierces founded Big Sky Carvers, a decoy-carving factory in Manhattan, Mont. Eric Pierce was an active DU volunteer for more than 25 years. He believed in getting youth out in the field, teaching them safety and the art of hunting. “Nothing delighted him more than to see young hunters take their first shot,” his son said. Since retiring in 2000, Pierce focused on what his son called the “important things in life”: hunting and more hunting.

The Eric Pierce Memorial Event is being organized by the DU volunteer chapter in Bozeman, with hopes of raising between $500,000 and $1 million for DU’s conservation work.

“I’ve never seen a committee work so hard and with such determination as thisGallatin/Madison (Bozeman) DU chapter has for the Eric Pierce Memorial Event,” said Layne Krumwiede, DU director of development for Montana and Wyoming. “It just goes to show what Eric meant to us and the important role he played. Even when Eric was not feeling well, one of the things always on his mind was the future of this chapter.”

Organizers say the event will feature exclusive raffles and “extraordinary auction adventures,” including a Cajun Outback Texas duck and goose hunt with Marc Pierce and fellow former DU-TV host Jared Brown, an “Old Mexico” whitetail hunt with DU legend Oran Richard, an Arkansas Black River flooded timber mallard hunt and an early teal and alligator hunt in Louisiana. The event will also auction off some items from Pierce’s personal gun library, including a Parker Reproduction BHE – Grade Limited Edition 20-gauge side-by-side, Browning Citori Lighting Grade VI 20 gauge and a Cooper Model 36 Western Classic 22LR with octagon barrel.

Tickets for the Eric Pierce Memorial Event are available online or by mail. Ticket sales end on July 24, and tickets will not be sold at the door. For more information, visit www.ducks.org/montana/events or www.bozemandu.org

Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, DU is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, with special events, projects and promotions across the continent. 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. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org. Connect with us on our Facebook page at facebook.com/ducksunlimited, follow our tweets at twitter.com/ducksunlimited and watch DU videos at youtube.com/ducksunlimitedinc.

 Becky Jones Mahlum
(701) 355-3507
bjonesmahlum@ducks.org