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Banding Together for Waterfowl



Rusty Schultz finds alternatives when CRP contract expires

Farmers and ranchers who understand the benefits of grasslands to the North Dakota landscape are invaluable. Landowners like Rusty Schultz from Lamoure County, North Dakota, who participate in conservation programs, are an integral part of Ducks Unlimited’s effort to conserve grasslands and wildlife. Rusty recently enrolled in the Natural Resources Conservation Service Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) when his Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contract expired.

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.

Understanding Waterfowl: A Matter of Productivity

Biologists have known for decades that native prairie with a high wetland density is the gold standard for producing ducks. Large expanses of unbroken grassland offer secure upland cover for ground-nesting hens, and numerous small, shallow wetlands provide the invertebrate food resources female ducks need to produce eggs and successfully raise their broods. While both grass and water are important to breeding waterfowl, wetlands often prove to be the most unpredictable resources on the landscape.

DU can help landowners apply for new CRP sign-up

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has opened a general enrollment period for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) for the first time in two years in North Dakota. Ducks Unlimited has conservation program biologists in the state who can help landowners decide whether CRP works for their operation, as well as help them navigate the application process.

Chevrolet invests in Ducks Unlimited carbon offsets to protect grasslands

Ducks Unlimited and its partners in a unique project aimed at preserving grasslands and reducing carbon releases are celebrating Chevrolet’s decision to purchase the first-ever verified carbon offsets from the avoided conversion of at-risk grasslands to cultivation. The innovative project will secure nearly 40,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases.

New research from DU’s Great Plains Region guides future grassland easement priorities

Johann Walker, DU director of conservation planning for the Great Plains Region (GPR), is the lead author of a research paper that introduces a new adaptive strategy for securing conservation easements in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR).

Ducks Unlimited receives $50,000 Wells Fargo grant

BISMARCK, N.D. – June 6, 2013 – Ducks Unlimited received a grant from Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) today as part of a $3 million Wells Fargo Environmental Solutions for Communities grant program involving community-based nonprofits nationwide and helping support land and water conservation, energy efficiency, infrastructure and educational outreach.

U.S. House leaders urge colleague support of Sodsaver legislation

WASHINGTON – March 20, 2013 – The full House leadership of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) sent a “Dear Colleague” letter to the full caucus today asking for support of the Protect Our Prairies Act, H.R. 686, to help protect vital waterfowl and wildlife habitats that have never been farmed.

DU supports bipartisan Sodsaver legislation introduced in the House

WASHINGTON – Feb. 14, 2013 – The growing risk of native grasslands being converted to cropland was recognized in the U.S. House of Representatives today. Lead co-sponsors Reps. Kristi Noem (SD) and Tim Walz (MN) introduced the Protect Our Prairies Act, H.R. 686, to help protect vital waterfowl and wildlife habitats that have never been farmed.

New Hunter Check Station Opens in California Grasslands

This fall, the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) formally dedicated its new Salt Slough-San Luis Hunter Check Station in Los Banos, California.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ducks Unlimited focus funding to protect vital waterfowl habitat in Prairie Pothole Region

WASHINGTON - March 2, 2012 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Ducks Unlimited announced today they will work with the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission to focus resources on wildlife habitat in the Prairie Pothole Region of the northern plains, breeding grounds for a majority of the continent's ducks.

Photo Essay: Nesting Habitat

Experience the images waterfowl face when they arrive on the prairies this year

Sodsaver: Saving America's Prairies

A new wave of grassland conversion has occurred in the last decade, causing significant ecological and sociological impacts to the region. Current farm policy is fueling the destruction of this rare and important habitat. Congress must implement a policy in the 2012 Farm Bill to reverse this trend. Ducks Unlimited suggests calling this the "Sodsaver" provision.

Grassland Reserve Program (GRP)

The GRP is a voluntary conservation program administered by the USDA's NRCS that helps landowners protect grazing uses and related conservation values by conserving grassland, including rangeland, pastureland, shrub land, and other landscapes.

North American Grasslands Conservation Initiative

Rescue the Duck Factory passes 100,000-acre milestone

Northwestern Great Plains

An overview of Ducks Unlimited's habitat conservation work in the Northwestern Great Plains priority area.

Americas New Farm Bill

Changes to Farm Bill programs mean your support for DU’s habitat conservation work is more vital than ever.

Natural Assets

Wetlands and other waterfowl habitats provide many vital economic benefits.

New CRP Practice Emphasizes Ducks

New enrollment guidelines will provide valuable nesting habitat, but significant challenges remain.

The Cover Connection

Large areas of protected grasslands are essential for waterfowl populations nesting in the Prairie Pothole Region and across the Great Plains.

Waterfowl Habitat

Benefits of wetlands and grasslands for waterfowl, other wildlife and people.

Biodiversity in the Grassland Biome

Learn about biodiversity, biomes, grasslands and related ecosystems in this article about the declining diversity of grasslands habitats and the impact on waterfowl.

Grazing and Fire

Grassland habitat has been honed into a diverse, hearty ecosystem by centuries of controlled burning and grazing on the prairies.

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