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Easements Explained

The conservation easement program is one way Ducks Unlimited (DU) partners with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to keep wetlands and grasslands intact for breeding ducks. The two common types of easements the FWS offers are wetland easements and grassland easements.

Diane & Doug Oberhelman: Philanthropic Leaders Help Shape Conservation as Part of WAT and DU Boards

Diane and Doug Oberhelman of Edwards, Illinois, serve on the boards of Ducks Unlimited and Wetlands America Trust, DU's land-holding arm. They support DU's conservation efforts across the board and are heavily involved in many ways within the organization. Their story appeared in the 2013 Ducks Unlimited Annual Report.

Grant Brees: Turning a Lifelong Love of the Land into an Everlasting Gift

Grant Brees of Benedicta, Maine, is a Feather Society planned gift member and was the first person in his state to set up a conservation easement with Ducks Unlimited on his property. He holds a Life Estate Reserve with DU, which allows Grant lifetime use of his farm and a charitable tax deduction. At Grant's passing, DU will receive his property. Grant's story appeared in the 2013 Ducks Unlimited Annual Report.

Al Montna: Plentiful Ducks for Rice and People

Al Montna of Yuba City, California, and his wife, Gail, are members of DU's President's Council and Benefactor Sponsors supporting DU's California Wetlands Initiative. This initiative aims to conserve the best waterfowl habitat in California, particularly in the critical wintering areas of the Central Valley and San Francisco Bay Area. Al's story appeared in the 2013 DU Annual Report.

North Platte River Wetlands Grant Approved

Ducks Unlimited and the Platte River Basin Environments Inc. (PRBE) received approval last September from the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission on a $1 million North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant to restore and protect important wetland along the North Platte River.

DU Helps Landowners Protect Playa Wetlands on Nebraska Property

With the help of Ducks Unlimited, landowners Ralph and Beverly Holzfaster are protecting important playa wetlands on their 320-acre property near Paxton, Nebraska.

Conservation Q&A

With Gary Taylor, DU's Director of Governmental Affairs; on a variety of topics, including the RESTORE Act, NAWCA and DU's top legislative priorities.

Conservation: The Easement Advantage

Conservation easements are a powerful tool for protecting threatened waterfowl habitat on private lands

Fiscal Cliff included important conservation extensions

At the eleventh hour before its final adjournment, Congress passed a bill to avoid the “fiscal cliff” and the president signed it into law on Jan. 2, 2013.

Sportsmen’s legislative priorities in 2013

This month, the Waterfowl Advocate interviewed Ducks Unlimited’s Director of Government Affairs Gary Taylor about legislative priorities affecting sportsmen in the coming year.

Senate staffers tour Idaho conservation easement

On Aug. 7, Ducks Unlimited met with two of Sen. Mike Crapo's (ID) key staff members; representatives of the Southern Idaho Land Trust (SILT); and John Shaw, owner of Hagerman Wings Farm (HWF), in Hagerman, Idaho, to discuss the merits of tax incentives associated with donated conservation easements.

DU applauds 2012 Farm Bill committee passage

WASHINGTON - April 26, 2012 - Ducks Unlimited announced its support and appreciation of the Senate Agricultural Committee today as it passed the 2012 Farm Bill out of committee.

Historic Partnership Formed to Protect the Guadalupe River System

Conservation organizations operating in and around the Guadalupe River Basin of Texas recently formed a historic partnership to conserve wetlands and wildlife in the Guadalupe River system.

Expiration of enhanced tax incentives could mean less conservation easement activity in 2012 after banner year in DU's Southern Region

With the looming expiration of enhanced easement tax incentives on Dec. 31, Ducks Unlimited's Southern Region experienced a banner year for donated conservation easements.

Walton Family Foundation Supports New Approach to Conservation Easements

An innovative pilot program funded by the Walton Family Foundation, a DU Platinum Legacy Sponsor, is helping to secure donated conservation easements in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley (LMAV) of Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Dakota Grassland Conservation Area now a national conservation priority

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has released his final 50-State America's Great Outdoors Report, which highlights the Dakota Grassland Conservation Area as one of the country's 100 most promising outdoor projects.

DU Chairman Joins U.S. Secretary of the Interior and USFWS Director to Commemorate New National Wildlife Refuges

DU Chairman of the Board John Pope joined U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and USFWS Director Dan Ashe last week to install four new planks on the boardwalk at Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge.

Sportsmen must speak up to make the Dakota Grassland Conservation Area a reality

DU strongly supports the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's decision to formally establish the Dakota Grassland Conservation Area. However, if this jewel for America's wildlife is to be protected, sportsmen will need to tell Congress of its significance.

Sportsmen must speak up to make the Dakota Grassland Conservation Area a reality

DU is pleased with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's recent decision to formally establish the Dakota Grassland Conservation Area. However, if this jewel for America's wildlife is to be protected, sportsmen will need to tell Congress of its significance.

Virginia Conservation Easement Protects Critical Habitat

A conservation easement on the Westchester Plantation in Cumberland County, Virginia, was donated to Ducks Unlimited by WTL Properties LLC.

Ducks Unlimited Recognized for Role in Acquisition, Donation

The Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission recently recognized Ducks Unlimited for its commitment to protect natural resources in Oakland County. The recognition took place during a commission meeting at Springfield Oaks County Park in Davisburg.

DU Sits Down With Secretary of Interior Salazar in South Dakota

Ducks Unlimited says Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar’s visit to South Dakota this week brings new light to America’s disappearing native prairie. Salazar met with DU and other conservation partners today to talk about the Dakota Grassland Conservation Area that would bring more dollars to retaining grassland through conservation easements on private land.

Stewards of the Prairie

Cattle ranchers manage much of this continent's most important waterfowl breeding habitat

DU Member Conservation Efforts Recognized

South Carolina’s ACE Basin is one of many areas that have been successfully protected through different land protection programs. Recently, a DU member’s land protection plan was highlighted in the local media. The article brings to light the importance of protecting and conserving natural habitats for future generations.

DU Acquires First Conservation Easement in Eastern Washington

DU recently acquired a 317-acre conservation easement on the Rosenau property in Spokane County, Washington, that will protect wetlands and surrounding upland habitat from development.

Policy News 3-7

DU voices strong opposition to massive federal conservation spending cuts; President announces plan for America's Great Outdoors Initiative; DU supports Senate bill that would make tax relief permanent for conservation donations; Coalition of conservation groups urges Congress to maintain funding for successful Great Lakes programs; DU joins NWF in urging USFWS to make restoration priority at NWR in Montana; DU co-hosts reception for Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation in Washington, D.C.; Change to wetlands law in Wisconsin sets dangerous precedent throughout state; DU regional director urges Nebraska legislators to keep valuable state conservation grant program intact

Policy News 3-6

Arkansas senator newest member of federal board managing duck habitat

Landowner Profile: Brad Magness

Stewardship comes naturally to this South Dakota rancher.

Forever Wild

Conservation easements are a powerful tool for protecting vital waterfowl habitat on private lands. Ducks Unlimited's land protection program helps landowners conserve their habitat for wildlife and future generations.

Landowner Profile: Mo Buder of Missouri

Ducks Unlimited has not conserved a single acre of wetland habitat alone. Every detail of our work relies on a web of partners.

Will Primos: Rivers Run Easement

Willl Primos is a DU Corporate Sponsor, and has helped DU in numerous other ways, especially in the pursuit of major sponsors and foundation support for the cause of wetlands conservation.

Protecting Habitat, Water & Waterfowling Heritage

Ducks Unlimited has not conserved a single acre of wetland habitat alone. Every detail of our work relies on a web of partners like you.

New Wetlands America Trust Committee Focus

With the goal of bringing a more strategic approach to the Trust's fundraising efforts, President Childs recently appointed several trustees to serve on a Development Committee to undertake highly individualized and directed fundraising for DU.

DU Seeking Land Trust Accreditation

Ducks Unlimited Inc. and Wetlands America Trust, a supporting organization of DU, have begun an application process with the accrediting arm of the Land Trust Alliance.

Floods, Ducks, and Development

Urban sprawl in historic river floodplains threatens waterfowl, people, and the environment.

Land Protection

Land protection is a critical tool by which Ducks Unlimited conserves waterfowl habitat throughout North America. DU protects land through several means including acquisitions, conservation easements and revolving lands strategy.

Ducks Unlimited's Conservation Easement Program

Conservation easements can meet the needs of interested owners of working farms, ranches, timberlands, sporting properties and recreational lands, who wish to protect valuable natural resources while retaining ownership of the property.

Conservation - Forever Wild

DU conservation easements help landowners permanently protect wildlife habitats.

Conserving the Future

More and more landowners are using conservation easements to permanently protect wildlife habitat on their property.

Conservation Easement FAQs

If you're interested in land protection, take a look at these Frequently Asked Questions to see if donating an easement is right for you.

Conservation Easements: How it Works

A brief overview of how DU's conservation easement program works and what landowners should do if they are interested.

Lowcountry Initiative - Conservation Easements

Conservation easements

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