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Prairie Experience changes lives

DU philanthropists refer to the “Prairie Experience" as a life-changing experience.

Miss. lawmakers tour conservation easements, restoration projects

On May 30, 2014, DU policy staff from both the Southern Regional Office and the Governmental Affairs Office, in conjunction with Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks (MDWFP), hosted a conservation field tour for congressional staffers and others.

DU attends Critical Conservation Area announcement

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow (MI) visited Bay City, Mich. to announce the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) of the 2014 Farm Bill.

USDA Deputy Secretary: Partnerships cornerstone to conservation successes

U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden spoke to the Waterfowl Advocate this month about the importance of agriculture and conservation.

Duck stamp price increase an investment

In its 80th year, the federal duck stamp is at its lowest buying power.

DU recognizes Rep. Dingell’s lifelong commitment to conservation

Ducks Unlimited members gathered in Washington, D.C., last week to honor Rep. John Dingell (MI), the longest-serving member of Congress. During his nearly 60 years in office, Dingell has been an avid champion of conservation.

Sen. Blunt (MO) welcomes DU to Missouri for convention

Sen. Roy Blunt (MO) welcomes Ducks Unlimited to Missouri for the 2014 National Convention and talks about public policies affecting waterfowl.

New report puts an economic value of $3.5 billion to rice lands as waterfowl habitat

Waterfowlers have long known that ducks like working rice lands and a recently release report shows just how important they really are as habitat. The report, authored by Ducks Unlimited scientists for The Rice Foundation, found that if we needed to replace current rice lands with natural wetlands to maintain habitat capacity it would cost more than $3.5 billion.

South Carolina lawmakers tour Santee Delta

Representatives from Ducks Unlimited and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) took South Carolina congressional representatives through the Santee Delta to show them conservation efforts across the region. The tour was organized by Wetland America Trust board member and Annandale Plantation owner Dan Ray and state senator Chip Campsen.

California congressmen introduce bill to increase water storage

This month, the Waterfowl Advocate spoke to Reps. John Garamendi (CA-3) and Doug LaMalfa (CA-1) about the bipartisan Sacramento Valley Water Storage and Restoration Act of 2014 they introduced to help provide more water storage in the midst of California’s drought.

NAWCA co-sponsor donates decoys to Smithsonian

North American Wetlands Conservation Act co-sponsor Rep. Mike Thompson (CA) is a lifelong waterfowler, as well as a decoy carver. In March, he donated two canvasback decoys he carved in the early 1990s to the National Museum of American History, one of the 19 Smithsonian museums. He had used the decoys to hunt in the Klamath Basin and on the North Coast of California.

Duck Stamp 80th Anniversary

The federal duck stamp turns 80 on Sunday, March 16.

Great Lakes (reps) flood D.C.

Great Lakes Day recently took place in Washington D.C., and Ducks Unlimited was well represented by staff and volunteers. The annual event, hosted by the Healing Our Waters Great Lakes Coalition, brings representatives from every Great Lakes state to lobby on behalf of the 30 million people who depend on the lakes for jobs, drinking water and their way of life.

DU joins USA Rice for 2014 Government Affairs Conference

USA Rice held their 2014 Government Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C., the last week of February. Ducks Unlimited participated in several high-level meetings and held a joint luncheon with USA Rice.

Ag, refuges affected by California water shortage

Despite a recent series of storms in early March, California is still faced with a major water crisis thanks to three consecutive years of below-normal rainfall. Nearly 95 percent of the state is currently in drought conditions with 70 percent categorized as extreme or exceptional, while the Sierra snowpack, which acts as a natural water storage unit, is only at 33 percent of its normal conditions.

North Dakota ballot initiative moving ahead

Momentum is building for the North Dakota Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks Amendment. That’s evident with the petition drive running ahead of schedule and the 40 North Dakota groups and businesses that have formally endorsed the measure so far. Ducks Unlimited has been a leader on the coordinating group.

Wisconsin creates public policy tools for volunteers

Ducks Unlimited has some really talented staff when it comes to public policy, but there are only a few of them. That’s why in advocacy, as in everything else, DU depends on informed volunteers to take conservation’s message to state, local and even federal lawmakers.

DU CEO keynotes annual rice meeting

Ducks Unlimited CEO Dale Hall hailed the DU-USA Rice Stewardship Partnership as an “ideal marriage” in his keynote address during the annual Arkansas Rice Council and Arkansas Rice Farmers meeting in Stuttgart.

CPC members met with legislators before final farm bill vote

The Conservation Programs Committee held their February 2014 meeting in Washington, D.C., and the timing ended up being perfect.

Sen. Roger Wicker (MS) supports NAWCA, e-duck stamp

Sen. Roger Wicker is a supporter of many of Ducks Unlimited’s public policy priorities, including the North American Wetlands Conservation Act.

2014 Farm Bill includes top sportsmen’s priorities

Congress decisively passed the 2014 Farm Bill with strong bipartisan votes in the House of Representatives and Senate – and the bill is a big win for wetlands conservation.

Texas water policy ups and downs

After rains forestalled the Lower Colorado River Authority’s request to cut off in-flows to Matagorda Bay in October, a second victory for Texas water came in November 2013 when DU-supported ballot initiative Proposition 6 passed by a large voter margin.

Michigan Congressional Wild Game Dinner

Ducks Unlimited representatives attended the Michigan Congressional Wild Game Dinner in December 2013.

NAWCA council tours Texas projects

In mid-December 2013, the North American Wetlands Conservation Council and staff toured wetland restoration work in coastal Texas.

President Dunklin speaks to rice growers

DU President George Dunklin Jr. was the featured guest speaker at the Producers Rice Mill Inc. annual meeting in November 2013.

New DU public policy directors discuss priorities for coming year

For the January 2014 issue, the Waterfowl Advocate features two new DU regional Public Policy Directors: Carmen Miller in the Great Plains Region and Mark Smith in the Western Region. Both joined DU in late 2013.

DU attends National Assembly of Sportsmen Caucuses

Ashlee Ellis from DU’s Southern Region and Gildo Tori from the Great Lakes/Atlantic Region spent four days at the National Assembly of Sportsmen Caucuses (NASC) in Rend Lake, Ill., last month.

Great Lakes/Atlantic Region promotes economic benefits restoration to Congress

DU Director of Public Policy Gildo Tori brought company to meet with members of Congress on the economic benefits of Great Lakes restoration. In cooperation with and hosted by the Healing Our Waters Coalition, Tori; Jim Nichols of Carry Manufacturing in Caro, Mich.; and Michigan State University master’s student Ryan Boyer met with six Michigan congressional offices in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 4.

‘Million Dollar Duck’ documents duck stamp art competition

Ducks Unlimited members are very familiar with the federal duck stamp, but that isn’t the case with everyone. A new documentary is aiming to tell the stamp’s story and hopefully broaden its fan base.

DU regional director attends sportsmen’s roundtable in Alaska

Sens. Mark Begich (AK) and Jon Tester (MT) hosted a sportsmen’s roundtable in Anchorage last month to discuss upcoming legislation important to the sporting community.

DU participates in conservation conversation in Washington

Farm Foundation hosts panel on future of farm bill conservation programs

Sen. Tester shares why conservation is an important part of the farm bill

Senator Jon Tester of Montana sits down with Ducks Unlimited to discuss this year's farm bill and the advantages it offers to waterfowl.

DU-supported proposition on Texas water funding passes by large margin

Proposition 6, the Texas constitutional amendment on water funding supported by Ducks Unlimited, passed with more than 70 percent of the vote in the Nov. 5 statewide elections. Prop 6 will provide $2 billion in onetime funding for Texas Water Plan projects from the state's Rainy Day Fund.

Wetlands conservation highlighted at FFA National Convention

Ducks Unlimited attended the 2013 FFA National Convention and Expo in Louisville, Ky., during the week of Halloween. The gathering was very large, with 55,000 people from all 50 states and territories pouring into the city to celebrate youth leadership.

Conservation Programs Committee chair sees value in public policy

Bill D’Alonzo has been a Ducks Unlimited volunteer for more than 20 years. He was the 2012 Budweiser Conservationist of the Year, and is the new chairman of the DU Conservation Programs Committee (CPC). Watch the full interview on the DU YouTube Channel.

Conservation funding vital to U.S. economy

As part of the compromise to reopen the federal government, a conference committee of House and Senate lawmakers is attempting to reconcile each house’s passed budget by Dec. 13. A budget for Fiscal Year 2014 would ensure there won’t be another government funding crisis in the middle of January – but these negotiations also affect conservation work.

DU supports Texas constitutional amendment on water funding

Ducks Unlimited is supporting Proposition 6, the Texas constitutional amendment overwhelmingly passed by the both the Texas House and Senate providing onetime water funding out of the state’s Rainy Day Fund.

Rice Stewardship Program making progress for ducks in Louisiana

Ducks Unlimited’s Rice Stewardship Program (RSP) is designed to work with rice producers in southwest Louisiana to reduce input costs, thereby sustaining rice production on this landscape and providing critical waterfowl resources on these managed wetlands.

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).

2014-2015 federal duck stamp art chosen

The 2013 Federal Duck Stamp Art Competition took place in Ohio on the shores of western Lake Erie during the last weekend of September.

Greenwing chair a Hero of Conservation

Ducks Unlimited volunteer Jeff Gorr was a finalist in the Field & Stream 2013 Heroes of Conservation contest. Jeff is the chair of the Greenwing program in Sheboygan, Wis., and works to get more kids outdoors and involved in duck hunting.

DU, congressional ag staff golf for a cause

Ducks Unlimited Government Affairs Office staff joined 200 golfers and congressional agriculture staffers to play in the 2013 Ag Open on Sept. 3 in Queenstown, Md.

Dedication ceremony held for newly restored Michigan habitat

The 66-acre Dusseau Tract of newly restored wetland and prairie grassland habitat was dedicated during a ceremony in mid-August. The tract is an incorporated part of the Erie State Game Area in Monroe County.

Kildee staffer tours Great Lakes Restoration Initiative projects

Ducks Unlimited staff in the Great Lakes/Atlantic Region took advantage of Congress’ August recess and gave a staffer of Rep. Dan Kildee (MI) a tour of Michigan restoration projects.

North Dakota amendment to dedicate statewide funding for conservation

A diverse coalition of conservation and outdoors leaders, including Ducks Unlimited, has filed an initiated constitutional measure petition with the North Dakota secretary of state that would establish permanent funding for water and land conservation and parks development in the state.

Arkansas members of Congress tour conservation projects

Conservation partners Ducks Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Army Corps of Engineers took several members of Congress and their staffers on a tour of conservation sites in Arkansas during the August recess.

DU, NFWF meet to discuss Gulf Coast restoration

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) met with Ducks Unlimited staff in Port Arthur, Texas, in late July to discuss DU’s Gulf Coast Initiative.

USFWS director talks about sportsmen priorities, duck stamp

More legislators sign on to NAWCA reauthorization

Since the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) reauthorization bill (H.R. 2208) was introduced in May, five more representatives have joined the original co-sponsors to support it.

Bipartisan bill encourages protection of privately owned lands

Lead co-sponsors Reps. Jim Gerlach (PA) and Mike Thompson (CA) introduced a bipartisan bill in July to provide permanent tax incentives for conservation easements (H.R. 2807).

Your DU game plan for August recess

Every August, lawmakers escape the Washington, D.C., humidity to visit constituents at home. The month-long recess is an opportunity to schedule a meeting with members of Congress and their staffs to discuss important issues affecting sportsmen, waterfowl and other wildlife.

DU Farm Bill Team lead gives bill update

In July 2013, the Waterfowl Advocate asked Becky Humphries, Ducks Unlimited’s Great Lakes Director and lead of the farm bill team, to update us on the status of the 2013 Farm Bill.

Michigan passes sportsmen-friendly legislation

In the weeks leading up to the 2013 summer break, the Michigan state legislature was hard at work passing bills that will benefit sportsmen and Ducks Unlimited.

Senators tour WRP sites in Mississippi

Ducks Unlimited, along with partners Wildlife Mississippi and The Nature Conservancy (TNC), hosted a Farm Bill Conservation Tour in May. The tour of a property in the Mississippi Delta highlighted the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) and North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant project sites.

Hold your legislators accountable

Congress is notoriously unpopular; a 2013 poll found that Congress ranks lower than cockroaches and NFL replacement refs. With recent disappointments like the House failure to pass a 2013 Farm Bill, or last year’s Sportsmen’s Act calamity, it’s easy to feel frustrated.

Living Lakes receive record funding through Iowa appropriation

Ducks Unlimited focuses its Living Lakes Initiative on conserving the shallow-lake habitats of Minnesota and Iowa. This high priority landscape got a big boost recently when both houses of the Iowa legislature approved $8.6 million for the Lake Restoration Fund.

House passes bill to make e-duck stamp permanent

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Permanent Electronic Duck Stamp Act in early June 2013. Co-sponsored by Reps. Rob Wittman (VA) and Ron Kind (WI), the bipartisan bill will make duck stamps permanently available for purchase online. Physical stamps will still be mailed to buyers, but the online proof of purchase provides new convenience to sportsmen and women by immediately fulfilling the requirement of possessing a stamp to hunt waterfowl. After 45 days, the proof of purchase will expire and purchasers must have the traditional paper stamp to receive its full benefits.

Interior secretary speaks at DU convention

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell spoke at the 2013 Ducks Unlimited National Convention in Portland, Ore., last month on the importance of wetlands conservation and educating and involving our youth to ensure not only a strong future for waterfowl, but also a healthy planet.

U.S. leaders meet with DU and partners to discuss Salton Sea solutions

Ducks Unlimited Regional Biologist Chris Hildebrandt recently took part in a prestigious panel discussion focused on the plight of the Salton Sea.

Legislators sign on to letters asking for NAWCA funding

Members of Congress came out in force in 2013 to ask the House and Senate appropriations committees to appropriately fund the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA).

Both houses of Congress introduce electronic duck stamp bills

The Senate and House of Representatives are both considering bills in the 113th Congress that would permanently make federal duck stamps available for purchase online.

Nation’s leaders celebrate DU policy work

Ducks Unlimited was founded in the nation's capital in 1937 and has been a voice for conservation ever since. In April, DU welcomed more than 550 supporters to celebrate our conservation policy work at the Capitol Hill dinner and auction. The event attracted more than 50 members of Congress and representatives of the Obama administration.

Lead Senate co-sponsor of NAWCA reauthorization talk about bill

Sens. Barbara Boxer (CA) and David Vitter (LA) worked together as lead co-sponsors of the bipartisan bill to reauthorize the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA). Below is an excerpt of the video interview with Sen. Vitter on the bill. You can watch the full video at youtube.com/DucksUnlimitedInc.

Farm bill’s conservation programs of particular importance to DU’s Southern Region

The majority of lands in the United States are privately owned, and this is especially true for Ducks Unlimited’s Southern Region, which encompasses 13 states from Florida to New Mexico and Virginia to Oklahoma. DU and our partners work closely with farmers, ranchers and other private landowners across the region to promote working lands and achieve our conservation mission.

DU engages in RESTORE process

Through the RESTORE Act, as much as $15-20 billion may be channeled to the Gulf Coast for a variety of economic and ecological restoration projects. Ducks Unlimited is engaging in stakeholder meetings, public hearings and partnership-building efforts to best represent the interests of waterfowl and coastal wetlands restoration through the planning process.

LCRA again decides to restrict water to rice growers

The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) has again decided to restrict the water supply to rice growers for the upcoming growing season. Ducks Unlimited is once again disappointed in the decision.

Protect Our Prairies Act

Partner Interview with Reps. Tim Walz (MN) and Kristi Noem (SD) in the March 2013 issue of the Waterfowl Advocate, DU's public policy newsletter.

LWCF legislation introduced in Senate

Sens. Max Baucus (MT) and Richard Burr (NC) recently introduced a bipartisan bill, S. 338, to reauthorize and fully dedicate funding to the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

Congress & Social Media 102

The Internet is now the primary source for learning about legislation and contacting members of Congress.

Texas’ increased lake level requirements not good for ducks

The Lower Colorado River Authority’s (LCRA) Board has reacted to significant political pressure from the lakes communities and the City of Austin and raised the level requirement of Lakes Buchanan and Travis. This change means that unless it rains (and forecasts are not good for that), there will not be water for rice in the LCRA system for another year. This will have a huge negative impact on ducks.

MBCC has opened 4 million acres of waterfowl habitat to sportsmen

This month, the Waterfowl Advocate interviewed members of the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission Sen. Mark Pryor (AR) and Rep. Rob Wittman (VA).

Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council convenes for first time

The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council held its first public meeting in Mobile, Ala., in December to update residents on the progress of implementing a portion of the RESTORE Act. Southern Region Manager of Mitigation Programs Eric Held represented Ducks Unlimited at the meeting.

2013 congressional schedule

Senators are expected to stick to a similar schedule as in 2012, which includes four consecutive weeks in session between recesses.

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.

Congress & Social Media 101

The new class of federal legislators took their seats in Washington, D.C., this month and it is crucial for them to hear from their constituents on important issues.

More to be done in remaining lame duck session

The 112th Congress has as little as two weeks to close out business and pass legislation. If priorities remain unfinished by the end of December, legislators will have to start from scratch in January when the 113th Congress begins their two-year tenure.

DU volunteers discuss conservation with Sen. Collins

Bangor Ducks Unlimited Chapter Chairman David Poll and DU Regional Biologist Kurt Anderson met with Sen. Susan Collins (ME) via video conference in November to discuss the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA), Farm Bill and Sportsmen’s Act of 2012.

Sportsmen, legislators discuss priorities at summit

Ducks Unlimited joined state legislators and other leaders on sportsmen’s issues at the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation’s 9th annual National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC) Annual Sportsman-Legislator Summit in late November.

Newly elected lawmakers talk sportsmen’s issues

This month, the Waterfowl Advocate interviewed three newly elected lawmakers about the legislative issues they see affecting sportsmen in the upcoming Congress.

The next phase of the Napa Marsh

A newly signed agreement between the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is paving the way for the final phase of a 20-year restoration effort on the Napa Marsh.

Hunting rights claim victory in state races

States across the nation voted to support hunting rights in the 2012 election in a resounding victory of sportsmen.

New Senate chairman visits Louisiana to see coastal concerns

The new chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources visited the state of Louisiana to learn more about coastal restoration issues.

NRA-ILA executive director supports Sportsmen’s Act

Chris Cox is the executive director of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA). He spoke with Ducks Unlimited about the effect of the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 (S.3525) on hunters.

The 2012 election is over, but what do the results mean for conservation?

The votes were counted, the president was re-elected, Democrats kept control of the U.S. Senate and Republicans still run the House of Representatives. Though the status quo remains in many cases, the election did usher in some changes that will affect Ducks Unlimited and our public policy priorities.

Sen. Lindsey Graham honored for conservation legacy

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham was honored by a coalition of conservation groups with the 2012 Conservation Excellence Award in September, honoring his role in protecting thousands of acres of critical wildlife habitat over the past two decades.

Ducks Unlimited projects displayed in California state capitol

Four of DU's premier California projects were on prominent display in the state capitol in September, in full view of state legislators, capitol staffers, lobbyists and the general public.

VDGIF to support Canadian habitat projects

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Ducks Unlimited in September to join the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies State Grants Program.

Longtime Ducks Unlimited member knows importance of Farm Bill conservation programs firsthand

Ronny Graham has been a member of DU for more than 30 years, serving on various committees including the Conservation Programs Committee. He is also currently a Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries commissioner. He spoke with Ducks Unlimited about the importance of the conservation programs in the Farm Bill.

DU supports Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation 23rd Annual Banquet & Auction

Ducks Unlimited is a proud co-sponsor of the 23rd Annual Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation (CSF) Banquet & Auction Gala on Sept. 19 in Washington, D.C.

United States and Canada sign Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa P. Jackson and Canada's Minister of the Environment Peter Kent signed an updated Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement as a cooperative effort to protect the Great Lakes.

DU will continue to advocate for land conservation after North Dakota ballot initiative

The Clean Water, Lands & Outdoor Heritage Amendment will not be on the November 6, 2012 ballot in North Dakota. The initiated measure would have dedicated a small portion of the state’s oil and gas taxes for conservation.

Corps issues general permit, supports South Carolina wetland management

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Charleston District, along with various state agencies and stakeholders, held an event in mid-August at Nemours Plantation to announce the recently issued Managed Tidal Impoundment General Permit. The result of a multi-year combined effort among state, federal and private entities along with the USACE, the general permit will speed the process of getting waterfowl-focused wetland enhancements accomplished through the Charleston District of the USACE.

Tell your representatives to make wetlands and waterfowl a priority

Senators and congressmen will be holding townhalls and meeting with voters while they're home to take the pulse of their constituents. August recess provides you the best opportunities to talk to representatives one-on-one and tell them the issues most important to you.

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.

Support for Lower Klamath NWR geothermal project builds steam following meeting with California senator

A proposed geothermal energy project on California's Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) was the topic of the day when Western Region Public Policy Director Chris Unkel and a team of energy experts met recently with key allies who have been promoting the project.

DU fights for full five-year farm bill, with conservation funding intact

In an attempt to put off farm bill consideration until the next Congress convenes, the House Republican leadership prepared a one-year extension of farm bill programs, but failed to include continued authorization for key conservation provisions such as the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP).

Six-month budget extension puts appropriations efforts on hold

Appropriations budget planning for several key conservation programs may be put on hold soon as Congress works on finalizing a six-month extension (also known as a continuing resolution, or CR) after they reconvene in September.

DU seeks Senate support to pass NAWCA reauthorization measure this year

Following committee action on the Senate's version of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) reauthorization bill, S. 2282, Ducks Unlimited is consulting with staff of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY), along with staff of Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (CA) and Ranking Republican Jim Inhofe (OK), to discuss the potential and methods for moving the Senate's NAWCA reauthorization bill forward for floor consideration.

California legislators weigh in on recently proposed water plan

California Gov. Jerry Brown's recent announcement of his proposed Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) is being met with skepticism from more than one California legislator.

DU leaders push for NAWCA reauthorization in Washington

Senior DU board leaders were in Washington, D.C., this week to meet with top figures in the U.S. House of Representatives to support pending legislation that would reauthorize the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) through 2017.

Key conservation legislation passes Senate panel

WASHINGTON - July 25, 2012 - The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee unanimously reported to the Senate floor today three bills important to conservation and of priority interest to Ducks Unlimited: S. 2282, reauthorizing the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) through 2017; S. 2156, increasing the price of the federal duck stamp; and S. 2071, making online purchase of duck stamps a permanent option. The bills were reported without objection to the full Senate for consideration.

As the House farm bill moves toward a vote, the future and nature of Sodsaver hang in the balance

On July 11, the House Agriculture Committee marked up their 2012 Farm Bill using as the foundation the bill language that was agreed to by Committee Chairman Lucas (OK) and Ranking Democrat Peterson (MN). Among the countless amendments that were offered was one introduced by Reps. Tim Walz (MN), Kristi Noem (SD) and Jeff Fortenberry (NE).

DU joins U.S. senator for Louisiana Gulf tour celebrating RESTORE Act passage

Hot on the heels of President Obama's signing the Transportation Package and passing the precedent-setting RESTORE Act, Ducks Unlimited officials joined U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu (LA) for a coastal parish tour to celebrate the promise RESTORE Act funding holds for coastal restoration.

LWCF dropped from transportation bill

While Ducks Unlimited and its partners celebrate congressional passage of the RESTORE Act this week as part of the transportation bill, another key conservation program, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), did not fare as well.

Ducks Unlimited celebrates victory for Gulf Coast restoration

Ducks Unlimited is pleased that key elements of the RESTORE Act were included in the Surface Transportation Extension Act reported out of conference committee today.

Taylor takes DU reins in D.C.

In his first week as the new director of DU's Governmental Affairs Office in Washington, D.C., Gary Taylor has already been busy tackling some of the country's biggest waterfowl-related public policy issues, including the 2012 Farm Bill and future funding for the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA).

Ducks Unlimited voices support for water plan in Great Lakes

Ducks Unlimited Inc. and Ducks Unlimited Canada recently submitted a joint letter to the International Joint Commission, expressing support for what is known as "Plan 2014," a water-level-management plan designed to more closely replicate natural hydrology on the St. Lawrence River and in Lake Ontario.

Upcoming recess is the time to let your congressmen know about your interests

On July 2-6, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives will be on recess. Many elected officials will be returning to their home states and districts to meet with their constituents and discuss current events and issues important to them.

Texas water organization and DU meeting to discuss rice agriculture, importance to waterfowl

The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) has invited Ducks Unlimited to their June 19 Water Operations Committee meeting in Austin, Texas. The LCRA denied water for rice agriculture uses in the Texas Mid-Coast this year, essentially eliminating 60,000 acres of important habitat for wintering waterfowl in one of DU’s highest-priority conservation regions.

Hall, Dunklin represent ducks in Mississippi River working group

Hall, Dunklin represent ducks in Mississippi River working group

Ducks Unlimited appreciates introduction of sportsmen's legislation

WASHINGTON - June 8, 2012 - Ducks Unlimited appreciates the recent introduction to the Senate of a package of bills on behalf of sportsmen and women. The Sportsmen's Act of 2012 was offered by Sens. Jon Tester (Montana) and John Thune (South Dakota), proposing improved public access, sustainable habitat for fish and wildlife and increased funding for natural resource conservation. The collection of bills is being presented as an amendment to the 2012 Farm Bill.

Groendyke confirmed to sixth term on Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission

The Senate Tourism and Wildlife Committee voted May 15 to confirm longtime Wildlife Commissioner John D. Groendyke of Enid, Okla., to serve a sixth term as a member of the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Interior Secretary renews commitment to waterfowl conservation at 75th DU National Convention

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - June 1, 2012 - Yesterday at the 75th Anniversary Ducks Unlimited National Convention, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar signed the 2012 Revision of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP), reaffirming the country's commitment to one of the largest and most successful continent-wide conservation initiatives ever undertaken.

DU backs Sodsaver legislation

Ducks Unlimited supports newly introduced bipartisan legislation aimed at protecting native grasslands at high risk of being converted to cropland.

Louisiana legislators approve 2012 Coastal Master Plan

On May 22, the Louisiana legislature unanimously approved the updated, $50 billion, 50-year Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast, aimed at stopping coastal land loss in Louisiana, the last step in an approval process that began in January.

South Carolina DU volunteers meet with Rep. Duncan, highlight importance of NAWCA

Ducks Unlimited's South Carolina Public Policy Chair Bill Short, along with State Chairman Andy Stevenson and State Chairman Elect John Leaphart, had an excellent meeting recently with U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan (SC).

Interior Secretary Salazar to sign waterfowl management plan revision, hold Town Hall meeting during DU National Convention next week

On Thursday, May 31, beginning at 10:30 a.m., Ducks Unlimited will welcome Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to its 75th National Convention in Nashville for two important events - a signing ceremony for the 2012 revision of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) and a Town Hall meeting to discuss conservation in the current economic climate.

With support, waterfowl benefits may survive in federal highway bill

Efforts by Ducks Unlimited and allies are underway to support provisions added to the federal highway bill that would provide significant benefits for waterfowl. One provision of the bill - commonly known as the RESTORE Act - calls for 80 percent of the fines paid by those responsible for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to be committed to restoring the area most affected - the U.S. Gulf Coast.

DU pursues additional cosponsors for NAWCA legislation in Senate, House

Ducks Unlimited submitted testimony recently in support of S. 2282, the Senate bill to reauthorize the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) through 2017, as part of a hearing held by the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Ducks Unlimited joins other conservation, sportsmen's groups in support of Sodsaver

In a letter submitted this week, hunting and fishing and conservation groups urged House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (OK) and ranking member Collin Peterson (MN) to adopt the Farm Bill's Sodsaver provision to promote "responsible stewardship of agricultural land and direct program benefits to acreage that is most suited for crop production."

Longtime California DU volunteer earns top honors for conservation

California Ducks Unlimited volunteer Dennis Campini was recently presented a national award for his commitment to conservation by U.S. Rep. Dennis Cardoza (CA). The North American Migratory Bird Joint Ventures Conservation Champion Award was given to Campini in early April at a ceremony at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C.

Utah governor signs resolution honoring DU's 75th

Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert had high praise for Ducks Unlimited on May 2 as he signed a state resolution honoring DU for its 75th anniversary. Herbert applauded the organization for the milestone achievement and for its on-the-ground conservation work in Utah and throughout North America.

Ducks Unlimited supporting several measures considered in U.S. Senate Water and Wildlife hearing

Washington, DC. – April 27, 2012 – Ducks Unlimited today voiced approval for the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works subcommittee on Water and Wildlife meeting held April 24, 2012.

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.

Capitol Hill gala marks historic anniversary, highlights need for strong relationships with legislators

Ducks Unlimited celebrated its 75th anniversary in our nation's capital this week. A crowd of more than 450 came together in the ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill.

Ducks Unlimited, partners host NAWCA breakfast

The North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) was the focus of an early-morning briefing held in Washington this week. Ducks Unlimited and the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation hosted the breakfast briefing to highlight the history and impact of NAWCA and the need for its reauthorization and correct appropriations.

USDA secretary salutes efforts, accomplishments of Ducks Unlimited

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack joined conservation stakeholders at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington, D.C., on April 16 to recognize Ducks Unlimited's 75th anniversary.

New report says addressing Louisiana coastal loss is worth national investment

A recent report by the Mississippi River Delta Science and Engineering Special Team addressed 10 fundamental questions about saving the Mississippi River Delta, including how to reverse coastal marsh loss, what impacts could result from restoration efforts and the economic blow to Louisiana and the nation if this important coastal ecosystem is lost.

Cyndi Perry named new FWS chief for Division of Bird Habitat Conservation

Cynthia (Cyndi) Perry was selected recently as the new chief for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Division of Bird Habitat Conservation.

DU discusses waterfowl issues with state house speaker

Ducks Unlimited volunteers and staff recently visited Minnesota Speaker of the House Kurt Zellers to discuss DU's conservation initiatives and related public policy goals.

Twelve DU conservation projects receive NAWCA grant approval from MBCC, six more from NAWCC

The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission (MBCC) met last week and approved more than $24.5 million in federal grants under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) for partnership-based conservation projects that will protect, restore and enhance more than 146,000 acres of wetlands and associated habitats across the United States and Mexico.

Georgia governor recognizes DU's 75th anniversary

As part of Ducks Unlimited's 75th anniversary celebrations, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal invited a group of DU staff and volunteers to the capitol to receive a formal proclamation recognizing the importance of DU's work in Georgia.

California state legislature honors DU's 75th anniversary

California Senator Lois Wolk presents the DU western region's director with a joint resolution honoring DU for its 75th Anniversary on February 23rd, 2012.

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.

Georgia Sportsmen's and Coastal Day at the Capitol

Things got a little wild at the Georgia capitol during the 10th annual Sportsmen's and Coastal Day at the Capitol on Feb. 8. Sportsmen's and coastal conservation groups from around the state gathered for a chance to meet with and thank legislators who have supported hunting, fishing and conservation issues, and to educate lawmakers about the contributions outdoor recreation makes to Georgia's economy and culture.

DU comments on Louisiana coast master plan

The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) has issued a draft of Louisiana's 2012 Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast. After public input, the final plan will go to the legislature March 26 for approval.

S.C. Gov. Haley proclaims Jan. 29 Ducks Unlimited Day

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley proclaimed Jan. 29, 2012, as Ducks Unlimited 75th Anniversary Day throughout the Palmetto State.

Oil and water in a vanishing paradise

Gulf Coast press briefing to be held in Washington next week.

CPC members meet with 67 congressional offices on important conservation policy

Members of Ducks Unlimited's Conservation Programs Committee met in Washington, D.C., last week and arranged meetings with 67 congressional offices to discuss reauthorization of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) and other DU priorities. Many meetings included members of Congress; others were with key congressional staff.

Iowa governor attends state convention, recognizes 75th anniversary

Gov. Terry Branstad recognized Ducks Unlimited for its 75th anniversary by signing a proclamation at DU's Iowa state convention on Feb. 11. In his proclamation, Gov. Branstad commended DU for its conservation success.

Media Advisory: Oil and water in a vanishing paradise

MEDIA ADVISORY: Please join us at a briefing event next week to learn about ongoing conservation efforts and Congress's role in them, and have your questions answered by experts from the Gulf Coast region.

President's FY13 budget requests include $39.4M for NAWCA

The president released his FY13 budget request on Monday with recommendations for funding levels of all federal programs. This request now goes to the Congress for consideration as they develop their FY13 budgets, which are scheduled to be released in late March.

NAWCA is hot topic at DU meetings on Capitol Hill

Members of Ducks Unlimited's Conservation Programs Committee (CPC) and DU staff led a charge up Capitol Hill this week to meet with members of Congress and their staff about topics of concern to DU's conservation mission.

DU opposes funding diversion

On Thursday, Feb. 9, Ducks Unlimited signed on to a national letter produced by the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Coalition opposing a shift in funds from the LWCF to highways and other national infrastructure.

e-Duck Stamp program reaches Senate

U.S. Sens. Roger Wicker (Miss.) and Mark Pryor (Ark.) introduced the Permanent Electronic Duck Stamp Act, S. 2071, in the Senate yesterday. This bill would make permanent the sale of federal duck stamps online—commonly referred to as the "e-Duck Stamp program."

State convention attracts congressional interest

Attendees of the 2012 Ducks Unlimited Wisconsin State Convention in Green Bay last week were pleased to welcome Rep. Reid Ribble of Wisconsin's 8th district as he joined them for lunch. Ribble accepted the invitation sent to all members of the Wisconsin congressional delegation to attend this year's event marking the 75th anniversary of DU.

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.

Two new wildlife management lakes for Minnesota, funding pending for conservation work

At the end of 2011, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources designated two new lakes for wildlife management. Teal Lake in Jackson County and Bolstad Slough in Cottonwood County are the 46th and 47th lakes of this type in the state. Ducks Unlimited has partnered with the DNR to complete conservation work on both lakes.

Coalition aims to direct oil, gas revenue toward conserving North Dakota's natural resources

DU has joined forces with other conservation organizations, business leaders and concerned citizens to seek dedicated funding for water, land and wildlife conservation in North Dakota.

DU hosts EPA, House Appropriations Committee staffer for coastal Louisiana tour

DU staff guided two Environmental Protection Agency employees and a House Appropriations Committee staff member on a tour of Louisiana coastal wetlands on Jan. 13.

DU protects sportsmen's tax dollars to restore habitat in New York

DU signed a letter to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo requesting the governor take steps to ensure New York remains eligible to receive federal Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson Restoration Funds.

New Wisconsin wetlands legislation needs modification to protect habitat, state economy

New legislation aims to improve and streamline the wetland permitting process in Wisconsin, but with the positive changes come certain aspects DU is asking Wisconsin legislators to address.

DU, conservation partners oppose changes to successful conservation system in Missouri

While Ducks Unlimited looks forward to its 75th anniversary later this month, another organization with 75 years of conservation success is facing some major structural changes that could negatively influence its effectiveness: the Missouri Conservation Commission.

DU seeks Senate sponsor, House co-sponsors to reauthorize NAWCA

With an expiration date of Sept. 30 looming for NAWCA, DU is seeking additional House of Representatives co-sponsors to back H.R. 1960, a bill to reauthorize NAWCA through 2017.

DU recognizes strong partner in Colorado Water Conservation Board

Ducks Unlimited staff in Colorado recently recognized the Colorado Water Conservation Board for its exceptional partnership.

Holiday recess: The best chance to ask your elected officials to support the ducks!

We need you to reach out to your members of Congress over the recess and ask them to support the ducks and their habitat by supporting conservation programs in 2012.

DU urges Congress to protect vital waterfowl habitat in Great Lakes region

DU released a letter recently urging Congress—particularly members of the Great Lakes states delegation—to take immediate action to prevent invasive Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes.

Gulf Coast Task Force releases final strategy for restoration efforts

The Environmental Protection Agency recently unveiled a final comprehensive strategic plan that addresses the long-standing issues contributing to the deterioration of Gulf ecosystems.

USA Rice Federation presents DU with 2011 Distinguished Conservation Achievement Award

The USA Rice Federation recently presented Ducks Unlimited with its second annual Distinguished Conservation Achievement Award.

Tennessee commissioners see benefits of international conservation efforts during tour

Since 1992, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) has been contributing to waterfowl conservation on the Canadian prairies. Ducks Unlimited is committed to conserving North American waterfowl habitat, regardless of the flyway or country, and TWRA's partnership with DU emphasizes how important Canadian waterfowl production is to the Tennessee hunter.

California wetlands and waterways receive support from key legislators

California State Senator Lois Wolk and Assemblyman Bill Berryhill recently met with Western Regional Office Director Mark Biddlecomb and Public Policy Director Chris Unkel to exchange views on conservation and waterfowl issues in Northern California.

Visit the New Gulf Coast Public Policy Page

In order to raise awareness about this critical region, Ducks Unlimited has launched a new Gulf Coast Public Policy section on its website.

North American Wetlands Conservation Council to Meet Despite Funding Uncertainty

On December 6, the North American Wetlands Conservation Council (NAWCC) will meet to review grant proposals that aim to protect vital waterfowl habitat across the nation.

Super Committee fails; future remains uncertain for conservation funding

The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, which has been working since August to develop budget recommendations that will reduce our nation's deficit, has officially announced they will be unable to reach an agreement by the November 23 deadline.

Marathon Petroleum Company named 2011 Wings Over Wetlands winner

Ducks Unlimited and the Wildlife Habitat Council recognized Marathon Petroleum Company LP as the winner of the 2011 Wings Over Wetlands award.

Ducks Unlimited and Ohio Division of Wildlife host 10th annual hunt

Ducks Unlimited and the Ohio Division of Wildlife teamed up once again to celebrate the 10th anniversary Ohio Partnership Hunt in Port Clinton, Ohio.

Congressman Mike Simpson meets with constituents to discuss Idaho conservation accomplishments

Congressman Mike Simpson of Idaho got a firsthand look last week at how a partnership of private and federal funding benefits wetlands conservation during a guided tour of the Chester Wetlands Wildlife Management Area (WMA) near St. Anthony, Idaho.

First Great Lakes Restoration Initiative project completed at Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge

Stakeholders in the Saginaw Bay watershed are seeing positive environmental impacts this fall thanks to work completed by Ducks Unlimited and others.

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 and Missouri Department of Conservation celebrate $5 million milestone as partners

DU is proud to celebrate its partnership with the MDC, which has led to the restoration of 235,059 acres of prime breeding habitat and the positive influence of an additional 1.2 million acres on the Canadian prairies.

$1.2 Million Coastal Restoration Project Dedicated to Louisiana Conservationists

Representatives of Ducks Unlimited and several partner organizations gathered today at Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area to celebrate the completion of a $1.2 million coastal restoration project in southeast Louisiana and to dedicate it to Ron and Jackie Bartels of Schriever.

DU CEO Dale Hall discusses economic benefits during media forum

Ducks Unlimited CEO Dale Hall participated in a media forum at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., to discuss the major impact conservation has on America's legacy, economy and people.

2011 Federal Duck Stamp Contest Winner Selected

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Joseph Hautman of Plymouth, Minnesota, as the winner of the 2011 Federal Duck Stamp Contest. This marks the fourth time he has won the Federal Duck Stamp Contest.

Conservation in Action: DU helps restore wetlands in Oregon

The tide was rising when the Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge was officially dedicated on October 1 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Ducks Unlimited.

Effort underway to restore Open Fields program

Senator Jon Tester of Montana, Senate co-chair of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, offered an amendment to restore the popular Open Fields initiative and foster public hunting access on private land. Sen. Tester introduced this amendment after the initiative failed to receive funding in a recent Senate appropriations bill.

Department of Interior Announces Four New Conservation Areas

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar visited both Capitol Hill and the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge in Florida last week to celebrate the establishment of four new conservation areas and wildlife refuges.

DU testifies before Congress in support of a more efficient federal duck stamp

Ducks Unlimited voiced its support of legislation that would make the federal duck stamp more readily available to the general public during testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs.

Great Lakes Week a success for DU GLARO Outreach

During this year's Great Lakes Week in Detroit, Michigan, a variety of governments, agencies and organizations came together to work on the continued improvement of the Great Lakes region. Ducks Unlimited was well represented at the conference.

Senate Appropriations Committee unveils funding proposals for NAWCA and other key conservation programs

The Senate Committee on Appropriations recently announced its fiscal year 2012 funding recommendations for the U.S. Department of the Interior. The committee has recommended a $35.5 million funding level for the North American Wetlands Conservation Act.

Efforts to restore Gulf Coast continue to gain momentum

After years of urging top national policymakers to prioritize restoring the U.S. Gulf Coast, Ducks Unlimited is pleased to see the effort to use Clean Water Act penalties paid by the parties responsible for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is gaining momentum in Congress.

Ducks Unlimited Commends Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Connor

During an October 6 meeting with the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) Commissioner Mike Connor and other senior staff, Ducks Unlimited Director of Public Policy Barton James commended the agency for recent actions that will help the National Wildlife Refuge System maintain critical wetland habitat.

DU to highlight key conservation initiatives during Great Lakes Week

Ducks Unlimited's Great Lakes/Atlantic Regional Office will participate in Great Lakes Week to discuss the conservation issues and challenges the region is facing. This year's event will take place in Detroit, Michigan, where representatives of the U.S. and Canadian governments meet with a broad coalition of public and private groups to discuss efforts to implement solutions for the lakes' most pressing problems.

DU joins Delaware senator in celebrating National Wildlife Refuge Week

In honor of National Wildlife Refuge Week, Ducks Unlimited recently joined U.S. Senator Chris Coons of Delaware at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge to celebrate the important role federal refuges play in conserving wildlife and expanding hunting access.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces support for "Double Up for the Ducks"

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is commending Ducks Unlimited's "Double Up for the Ducks" campaign, which encourages waterfowl enthusiasts to purchase two federal duck stamps this hunting season.

DU touts benefits of proposed habitat project in Minnesota

Last week, Ducks Unlimited Director of Public Policy Barton James testified in support of a Minnesota project that aims to enhance 5,000 acres of habitat and expand sportsmen's access. After DU highlighted to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works Review Board the positive impact that enhancing Marsh Lake will have on waterfowl populations, sportsmen and the local economy, the project was approved and will now advance to the next stage of the review process.

DU meets with the Chairwoman of the Council on Environmental Quality

For decades, Ducks Unlimited has been working with federal agencies to restore and conserve prime waterfowl habitat in coastal areas that border the country. However, budget reductions are currently threatening to reduce and possibly eliminate many of the programs that help conserve our nation's coastal areas, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association's (NOAA) coastal habitat and restoration programs.

Turning the Tide: San Francisco Bay benefits from historic levee breach

The San Francisco Bay added substantial square footage on September 13, as the California Department of Fish and Game breached a levee that had held the sea back for more than a hundred years.

Senate Committee considers proposal that impacts waterfowl habitat along Gulf Coast

Since the Gulf Coast oil spill occurred in 2010, Ducks Unlimited has been urging Congress to support legislation that ensures penalties paid by the parties responsible for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill under the Clean Water Act are directed back to the Gulf Coast region.

Ducks Unlimited Director Receives National Award

Rebecca Humphries, Ducks Unlimited's Director of Operations for the Great Lakes and Atlantic region, is the 2011 recipient of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies' Seth Gordon Award.

DU encourages waterfowl enthusiasts to "Double Up" for the ducks

Ducks Unlimited is asking duck hunters and other waterfowl enthusiasts to "double up for the ducks" by purchasing two federal duck stamps this year.

Latest NAWCA grants awarded

The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission of the USFWS recently awarded 21 grants to conservation projects that will help conserve vital waterfowl habitat across the nation. The grants are being awarded through NAWCA, a cost-effective, bipartisan, match-based program that raises an average of 3.2 non-federal dollars for every federal dollar invested.

DU looks forward to working with newly formed Senate Oceans Caucus

In an effort to educate members of Congress on the complex issues surrounding our oceans, the caucus plans to host a variety of briefings and lectures regarding the latest in ocean research and policy.

DU Finds Common Ground with Congressman Garamendi

Congressman John Garamendi of California knows a great deal more about the mission of Ducks Unlimited now, after recently sitting down for a working lunch with Western Regional Office Director Mark Biddlecomb and WRO Public Policy Director Chris Unkel.

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.

Senate committee votes to cut funding for farm conservation programs

During a recent hearing, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted to cut farm conservation programs by $726 million for the 2012 fiscal year, which represents a 12 percent reduction from the FY 2011 funding level. Funding reductions of this magnitude will greatly inhibit our nation's ability to preserve native grasslands and other prime waterfowl habitat.

New survey reveals sportsmen passing on America's hunting legacy to the next generation

A recent survey reveals that America's hunting heritage continues to be passed down by sportsmen to children across the country. The data shows that a large portion of the outdoor community has taken time to introduce a child to hunting and fishing.

Michigan DU volunteers speak up for conservation during August recess

Ducks Unlimited volunteers in Michigan used August recess as an opportunity to highlight the importance of conservation programs with some of our nation's top leaders and policymakers.

Congress returns from August recess

Congress returns from its month-long recess to resume work on a variety of issues, including finalizing the fiscal year 2012 budget. What does this mean for the future funding of conservation programs?

Sportsmen's community gathers at AWCP Annual Summit

DU and partners discuss America's hunting heritage

DU Education Efforts Applauded by California Member of Congress

Ducks Unlimited earned high praise from Congresswoman Doris Matsui of California recently, when she saluted Ducks Unlimited for its role as a founding partner in funding the Powerhouse Science Center in Sacramento, Calif.

Pelican Lake Shoreline Protected with Legacy Amendment Acquisition

Senator Klobuchar and Congresswoman Bachmann praise DU's conservation efforts

DU Talks Shop with Nation's Policy Leaders

On August 15, DU Director of Conservation Programs Ray Whittemore and past DU Vermont State Chairman Dennis Havey attended a meeting with U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont.

Minnesota Congressional Representatives Meet with National Ducks Unlimited Leaders

Ducks Unlimited recently held its Conservation Programs Committee meeting in Bloomington, Minn., to discuss DU's conservation projects and initiatives. As a portion of the meeting, DU invited CPC members, along with members of the Minnesota congressional delegation and their staff, to attend breakfast meetings last Friday.

DU Western Director Named to Wildlife Advisory Group

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife's Strategic Vision Committee recently confirmed the appointment of DU's Director of the Western Regional Office Mark Biddlecomb to its Stakeholders Advisory Group.

Ducks Unlimited Receives Great Lakes Habitat Funding

Grants will go towards restoration efforts in Michigan and Pennsylvania

Leaders from California Waterfowl Association visit DU's Governmental Affairs Office in D.C.

California Waterfowl Association President John Carlson and others stopped by the Ducks Unlimited Governmental Affairs Office on August 8 to discuss the latest public policy work regarding budget cuts affecting key waterfowl conservation programs.

Gov. Mike Beebe Names DU Volunteer Steve Cook to Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Governor Mike Beebe has named DU volunteer Steve Cook of Malvern, Akansas as the newest commissioner of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

Tell Your Elected Officials to Support the Ducks

August recess is a great opportunity to reach out to your members of Congress and ask them to support the ducks by supporting conservation programs in FY 2012.

Gulf Coast Public Policy

If actions are not taken now to conserve and restore these vital marshes and wetlands, the continent’s most critical wintering habitat for waterfowl will be lost forever.

Why sportsmen must support NAWCA and LWCF

The following excerpt is from an article written by Kevin C. Paulson that originally appeared on HuntingLife.com.

Ohio governor stands with sportsmen

Gubernatorial action will prevent harm of resources for hunters, anglers

House delays vote on Interior Appropriations bill

Final vote pushed back indefinitely

U.S. House of Representatives debating the future of NAWCA funding this week

Tell your members of Congress to support NAWCA funding in FY 2012!

DU joins Interior Secretary Salazar and Rep. Dingell to mark refuge progress

Ducks Unlimited Great Lakes/Atlantic Regional Director Becky Humphries joined U.S Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar, Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe and Congressman John Dingell recently to announce the acquisition of 28-acres for the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge.

Proposed legislation could affect Migratory Bird Treaty Act

While the goal of the bill is to strengthen national security, experts testified it could have much broader implications on the ability to manage federal lands for wildlife and for water quality due to legislative provisions that would affect the ability of the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to carry out environmental laws and policies.


With the start of FY 2012 fiscal year less than three months away, Congress is ramping up efforts to pass a budget. The U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee considered legislation last week that includes serious budget cuts to the North American Wetlands Conservation Act.

DU Attends USFWS Vision Conference

To guide refuge management for the next decade, FWS is hosting a Vision Conference from July 11 to July 15, 2011 in Madison, Wis., to create a new strategic vision plan for conservation.

NAWCA Support Results In Moderate Progress; Final Outcome Uncertain

In the face of the U.S. House of Representatives threatening to eliminate funding for the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, Ducks Unlimited members responded by telling Congress about NAWCA’s positive impacts on conservation and America’s economy. Your actions helped partially restore NAWCA funding in the current year to $37.5 million.

DU Applauds Senate Confirmation of Dan Ashe as Director of the USFWS

Ducks Unlimited applauds the U.S. Senate's June 30 vote to confirm Daniel Ashe as the 16th Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Ashe, a career employee of the agency, will assume his duties immediately.

Appropriations subcommittee meets this week; NAWCA’s future remains uncertain

On July 7, the U.S. House of Representatives Interior, Environment and Related Agencies subcommittee on appropriations is scheduled to vote on the future of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, a cost-effective, match-based conservation grant that raises an average of 3.2 non-federal dollars for every federal dollar invested. After being threatened with total elimination during the FY 2011 House budget negotiations, NAWCA is once again on the chopping block. However, NAWCA supporters across the nation are contacting their members of Congress to urge them to continue funding for the program.

U.S. Senate Agricultural Leader Stresses the Importance of DU Members' Efforts to Educate Congress

While this year’s Michigan Ducks Unlimited State Convention in Muskegon provided an array of workshops, forums and events, one of the weekend’s highlights occurred when U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow addressed a crowd of 200 with some of the ideas, plans and challenges surrounding the upcoming 2012 Farm Bill. Sen. Stabenow is the Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, which impacts many significant conservation programs of interest to DU. Michigan DU members gather annually to celebrate conservation successes and to plan for the coming year.

As Budget Talks Continue, the Future Remains Uncertain for Waterfowl

Two upcoming meetings will be key to the impact of the future of NAWCA

DU CEO joins America's WETLAND Foundation Board of Directors

DU is pleased with the America's WETLAND Foundation's decision to name DU CEO Dale Hall to the AWF Board of Directors.

DU tells Congress: Conservation Cuts are a Loss Americans Cannot Afford To Take

Ducks Unlimited is working to educate national leaders and policymakers on how important conservation programs are to our people, our economy and our future.

DU and NWF take Sportsmen to Meet with Nation's Leaders

Sportsmen have been calling for coastal marshlands and wetlands to be restored since last year's oil spill, and to pay for the restoration efforts properly funded by ensuring penalties paid by BP under the Clean Water Act be directed back to the Gulf Coast region. However, these calls so far have gone unanswered.

DU license plate approved in Indiana

Need 500 sales to start producing plates; Proceeds go towards Indiana waterfowl habitat

DU and NRCS partnership continues to expand with latest grant venture

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief Dave White recently announced that Ducks Unlimited received funding through the USDA's Conservation Innovation Grants for a large scale project in the Prairie Potholes Region of North Dakota and South Dakota that will initially help conserve 5,000 acres of ranchland in both states.

Rep. Ron Kind (WI) helps DU celebrate conserving its 100,000th acre in Wisconsin

In order to celebrate DU's 100,000th acre conserved in Wisconsin, supporters of wetland conservation recently gathered at the 600-acre Meadow Valley Flowage wetland enhancement project in Juneau County

Rep. King (IA) praises DU's NAWCA partnership

Rep. Steve King (IA) praised both Ducks Unlimited and NAWCA for the pivotal role this partnership plays in conserving precious waterfowl habitat. The praise came after last week's announcement that DU received a $1 million NAWCA grant for conservation projects in Iowa.

House introduces legislation to defund Clean Water Act guidance

In April, the Administration initiated steps to restore Clean Water Act protections to many wetlands and other waterways. While sportsmen across the country support efforts to establish Clean Water Act guidance that will clarify how to sustain wetlands and conserve the prairie potholes, the nation's most important breeding habitat, recent actions in the U.S. House of Representatives are threatening to stop this important effort.

Policy News 3-21

Passage of NAWCA reauthorization bill critical to program's future; Shell Oil contributes half-million dollars to Gulf Coast restoration; Conservation Easement Incentive Act introduced in House with strong support

Policy News 3-20

SUPPORT THE DUCKS: Reach out to your members of Congress during recess; Make Your Voice Heard! Take Action Today!; DU lauds federal legislation to protect North Fork Habitat in Montana; 2011 National Wetlands Award Winners Announced

CIB 2011 Newsletter Archive

View archived issues from DU's weekly Conservation Issues Briefing newsletter.

Policy News 3-19

Minnesota public lands acquisition effort under attack; Sportsmen must speak up or waterfowl will suffer; May 20 marks last day for House members to sign letter in support of FY 2012 NAWCA funding

Policy News 3-18

Ducks Unlimited Receives Highest Honor from USDA-NRCS; DU Leaders Visit Capitol Hill, Discuss Waterfowl Initiatives with Nation's Top Policymakers; DU explains importance of Clean Water Act draft guidance during media briefing

Policy News 3-17

DU lauds process to restore wetlands protections critical to waterfowl; Secretary of Interior Salazar Meets with DU in Pothole Country; DU's work in Wisconsin praised by Congressman Tom Petri

Policy News 3-16

DU to sportsmen: Ask Congress to direct oil spill fines back to Gulf Coast restoration; DU helps protect Miss. land grants funding from massive budget cuts; Natural Resources Trustees announce $1 billion down payment for Gulf Coast restoration efforts

Policy News 3-15

One year later: DU joins NWF to update sportsmen on Gulf spill restoration efforts, Teleconference set for April 20 at 8 p.m. EDT; DU and SCI victorious in effort to protect hunting on public lands, court rules waterfowl hunting can proceed on national wildlife refuges

Policy News 3-14

Congress Poised to Restore Partial Funding to NAWCA; NAWCA in Action: Helping Restore Waterfowl Habitats in Louisiana; DU Advocates for Conservation Investment in Wisconsin Capitol

Policy News 3-13

Waterfowl Need Your Help! DU members urge Congress to support NAWCA funding; Ducks Unlimited hails the importance of NAWCA during press conference call; DU urges the continued funding of key conservation programs in written testimony to House Committee on Appropriations

Policy News 3-12

Congress returns from recess to address FY2011 budget issues; DU Western Region staff discuss impact of water shortages with with Commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner; Nebraska Senator Addresses Ducks Unlimited state convention

Policy News 3-11

Congress passes another short-term spending resolution, no cuts made to NAWCA funding; U.S. Interior Secretary Salazar visits Nebraska's Rainwater Basin to see conservation efforts in action; DU announces 2011 Wetland Conservation Achievement Awards; recipients include Illinois Sen. Durbin

Policy News 3-10

Senate majority proposes amendment to H.R.1, supports funding crucial conservation programs; DU GAO hosts reception in Washington, D.C., highlights importance of NAWCA program

Policy News 3-9

Great Lakes staff meets with Congress to express concerns; DU's Southern Region stresses importance of public policy efforts at LA Coastal Experience; Virginia congressman praises DU's efforts to restore NAWCA funding

Policy News 3-8

Conservation Pays (an op-ed piece by DU CEO Dale Hall); DU biologist attends meeting of coalition aimed at creating a source of state funding for MS conservation

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

Policy News 3-5

DU supports strengthening hunting tradition with additional funding for Open Fields; DU volunteers, staff attend South Carolina Sportsmen's Caucus luncheon; DU thanks state of Louisiana for $2 million support of marsh restoration project; USDA to hold general CRP sign-up for second consecutive year; DU uses Farm Bill easement program to protect critical rice land habitat in California; DU and partners ask state of California, DOI to consider wetlands, waterfowl during water crisis

Policy News 3-4

Texas DU staff focusing policy concerns on water availability

Policy News 3-3

DU conservation staff discuss common ground issues with Farm Bureau; Conservation hero makes surprise visit to GLARO office, discusses issues affecting Great Lakes region; Sen. Stabenow, DU present at Farm Bill Forum; DU's Conservation Programs Committee meets to discuss 2012 Farm Bill, Clean Water and other policy issues

Policy News 3-2

Former DU director of conservation programs named new director of MN DNR; Assistant Secretary of the Interior, active player in national conservation programs, to step down; DU weighs in to support hunting on Forest Service lands

Policy News 3-1

Newly appointed chairman to lead House Natural Resources Committee on decisions integral to NAWCA, duck stamp program; DU to work with 112th Congress to gain support for conservation-driven programs

Policy News 2-52

DU recognizes 25th anniversary of Conservation Reserve Program

Policy News 2-51

Minnesota DNR aims for more ducks in sky, celebrates signing of shallow lakes plan with DU; President signs bill outlawing importation of Asian carp; Bill to reinstate enhanced easement incentive goes to President for signature

Policy News 2-50

Bill outlawing importation of Asian carp into U.S. one step closer to becoming law; DU public policy director touts Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative at USA Rice Outlook Conference; Newly appointed chairmen to lead committees integral to Farm Bill programs, clean water policy

Policy News 2-49

DU applauds Ashe nomination as director of Fish and Wildlife Service; DU senior volunteer encourages adults to take kids hunting, fishing at "Let's Move!" briefing; DU acquires Minnesota lake habitat thanks to Outdoor Heritage Fund grant

Policy News 2-48

Lame duck Congress could make enhanced easement incentive permanent (IRA Charitable Rollover provision)

Policy News 2-47

Top public policy stories for Nov. 23, 2010 - DU applauds selection of Stabenow as chair of Senate Agriculture Committee, NRCS announces record enrollment in Wetlands Reserve Program, DU continues work on sustained funding for land conservation

Policy News 2-46

Kansas plant named 2010 Wings over Wetlands award winner, DU urges Congress to use majority of spill fines on Gulf Coast restoration

Policy News 2-45

Will Lame Duck Congress act on conservation priorities, DU supports waterfowling heritage on national historic trail in Chesapeake Bay area, Conservation policy interns needed

Policy News 2-18

Another Minnesota lake benefits from DU enhancement; Members of Congress on hand as DU receives grant to restore Great Lakes; NAWCA enables DU, Nebraska landowners to team up for critical habitat conservation

Policy News 1-10

House committee bolsters historic conservation program; Ducks Unlimited helps clean up Wisconsin waters; Bill to encourage conservation gaining steam; Ducks Unlimited welcomes Missouri habitat expansion; U.S. Senate confirms Hamilton as new head of Fish and Wildlife; Liberal seasons recommended nationwide

Policy News 1-9

What duck hunters stand to gain - or lose - from clean water; "Protect native prairies," say Congressional agriculture leaders; DU volunteers are speaking out for conservation - you can, too!; From the Capitol steps to your town hall steps - Congress is home for summer

Policy News 1-8

Be an advocate for clean water in your hometown; Waterfowl havens enhanced by North American Wetlands Conservation Act; Western wetlands saved; Leaders of congressional sportsmen renew call for conservation; House unanimously endorses conservation bill

Policy News 1-7

Make your voice heard by Congress; Congressional sportsmen stand up for conservation; Conservation programs restored; Invasive species no longer welcome, thanks to DU, Minnesotans

Policy News 1-6

Ducks and the climate bill; Duck populations up in 2009; Marsh makeover in motion in Iowa; Ducks Unlimited leading restoration of iconic San Francisco Bay watershed

Policy News 1-5

Leading conservation initiative going strong after 75 years; Congress introduces new bill to protect hunting access; Outdoor writers flock to DU event; State wildlife commission putting hunters' money to good use; House approves big bucks for ducks

Policy News 1-4

Senate takes action to protect clean water; DU improving California wildlife areas; Reversal of fortunes for farm conservation programs; Northern Conservation Farms Project revitalizes Washington wetlands; Conservation on ballot in Iowa; San Joaquin River restoration

Policy News 1-3

Louisiana governor dedicates $300 million to coastal restoration; Minnesota Farmers Union supports Clean Water Restoration Act; North Dakota governor denies DU land buy; Record funding for North American Wetlands Conservation Act, refuges

Policy News 1-2

Farm, conservation groups support agriculture conservation; Support strengthens for Clean Water Restoration Act; Interior secretary names Upper Mississippi "Wetland of International Importance"; Great Lakes "czar," increased funding announced

Policy News 1-1

National magazine identifies Clean Water Restoration Act as top issue for sportsmen; Winter wheat: sustainability in action for farmers, waterfowlers; Minnesota governor signs historic conservation act

Public Policy

Each year Congress makes important decisions about wildlife habitat conservation programs that directly impact the long-term health of waterfowl populations. DU's office in Washington, D.C., exists to promote these programs and other wildlife-friendly legislation.

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