Hello Iowa DU Team
Our newsletter is back, and I want to say that I am honored to be your State Chairman and share with you three basic goals for the next two years.
These goals can be summed up by remembering ACE:
- Appreciation. I want to thank each of you for every minute and every dollar spent and raised for Wetland Conservation.
- Communication. This newsletter is a great first step to share the Iowa DU story. But I look forward to speaking with you soon. Also find current events, news, and raffles on our Facebook page Iowa Ducks Unlimited.
- Education. Knowledge is power and the more you know about everything DU is doing the stronger our organization will be.
See you at an event very soon,
Iowa Ducks Unlimited State Chair
Eastern Iowa Regional Report
Event season in eastern Iowa is in full swing. FY22 was nothing short of spectacular and we are excited for the upcoming year. The region has several new fundraising events in the works including the Lucky Duck Bonanza. This raffle will be sold by multiple chapters in the I380 corridor between Waterloo and Iowa City, and will pay out over $40,000 in cash and prizes! First and second place receive $15,000 and $7,500 respectively! The tentative plan is to start selling tickets by late August. We are still finalizing details so stay tuned for more information.
Please keep sharing conservation and event-fundraising information with your contacts whether it is from social media or email. Sharing these communications is key to getting our conservation message out to people and driving them towards our various forms of fundraising.
Last, but not least, let’s make sure to keep our focus on the recruitment of new volunteers. This is a constant objective that must remain our focus no matter what else is going on around us. Thanks for all you do for the Ducks!
Eastern Iowa Regional Director
Iowa Deer Specialty Tag
Iowa Ducks Unlimited is fortunate to partner with the Iowa DNR, and have the opportunity to auction off an Iowa Deer Specialty Tag each year. The Specialty Deer Tag allows a non-resident to hunt deer in the state of Iowa without going through the license draw process. The proceeds raised are then split between Iowa DU and Iowa DNR. We are happy to report the Specialty Tag sold for a record amount this past April for $25,000. There were seven bidders from six different states.
IA DU State Policy Notes
A big thanks to Marc Beltrame for the work he did to get online raffles legalized permanently. We are seeing the results already! We got closer than we have previously to getting Iowa’s Water and Land Legacy (IWILL) funded this last session of the legislature. Senator Dawson included it in the tax cut bill, but it was removed before the bill was passed. Senator Dawson remains committed to getting it done. Stay tuned as the next session of the legislature approaches.
I encourage all of you to vote in the November election. Network with your local candidates prior to the election and then be a duck voter. If you need any help, please contact me or Kyle Rorah. In the image shown, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) Secretary Mike Naig received an award at the recent Iowa DU State Convention for his leadership and support for DU from his post at IDLAS.
IA DU Policy Chairman
Need For Recruitment
As we transition back to a “now normal” way of life, we have found that our local DU committees were affected by the pandemic. We now need to bolster our committees with new volunteers. If you are not already a volunteer, click here to join your local committee. If you are already a DU volunteer, the best way to recruit a new committee member is to ask. A new volunteer does not have to hunt waterfowl. We have a lot of volunteers who do not hunt at all. If the ask is not made, the answer is always no. Make the ask!
DU State Projects
The DU conservation staff is getting ready to start construction on two projects in northern Iowa. The Garlock Slough project near West Okoboji and West Swan Lake, southeast of Estherville, are both expected to go to construction after Labor Day. Both of these Living Lakes Initiative projects will result in major improvements to habitat and recreation on large shallow lakes in northern Iowa. DU staff have also been busy developing wetland restoration designs on seven wetlands in partnership with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS). These projects, along with three more that are currently under construction, will result in over 80 acres of wetlands that help improve Iowa water quality, increase breeding habitat for waterfowl and offer hunting opportunities.
Regional Biologist - Iowa
Greenwing Legacy Dedication
The Green Island Greenwing Legacy dedication will take place the Spring/Summer of 2023. The goal is to have 200 names on the dedication plaques. All Legacy’s bought prior to 12/31/2022 will be included on this dedication. A Legacy membership cost $200 outright or $300 minimum attached to an auction item at an Iowa Ducks Unlimited event. This is a picture of the previous Legacy dedication and the kids that attended at Union Hills
Iowa DU Art
As of July 1, the new art for FY22-23 is ready, and your regional director has included the order forms with your fall merchandise packets. In this campaign we welcome back local Iowa artist Brian Murillo with his painting “Our Little Family”. This beautiful rendition of a Mallard family in a wetland will look great in any home or office! Be sure to get your order in quickly for your event! You will notice that Iowa DU cannot escape the rising cost of inflation and supply-chain issues. There is a slight price increase in this year’s Print of the Year and sponsor prints. We have done our best to keep the increase to a minimum and this is the first increase in several years. Remember, your purchasing of the Iowa DU art puts the dollars right back into Iowa DU!
State Chair Elect
Ducks Unlimited Team Resource Assistance Program, or TRAP, supplies teams with discounted merchandise and professionally designed marketing materials for use in team fundraising efforts, with no up-front costs. Once complete, 100% of net proceeds are retained by the participating team for immediate use. Each package will include up to 50 promotional posters and 500 raffle tickets. DU also includes the shipping of prizes to winners, if desired.
Region 5 Vice President
What Is an Iowa Ducks Unlimited Major Donor?
When attending your local DU event, you most likely buy a $35/year membership which is included in your dinner ticket price. These members are the bread and butter of Ducks Unlimited and make up about 80% of our members. You will also see sponsors at your local event. These people and businesses are especially important and allow the committee to do extra things for the dinner and auction. Sponsor members donate a minimum of $250 and make up about 10% of DU memberships. It is estimated that each $250 donation will save one acre of habitat.
The third category of membership is major donors. They make up the remaining 10% of membership and are referred to as life sponsors and above. Their donations can be directed to DU initiatives, whether it be the Living Lakes in central and northern Iowa, the Big Rivers initiative along Iowa’s eastern and western borders, or any other desired DU initiative.
Major Donor status starts at the $10,000 level, and many of our local members and sponsors are getting close to this amount because of their cumulative giving over the years. DU keeps track of all the memberships you have bought whether you go to one event or 10 every year. The amount it would now take (to become a Major Donor) is probably a lot less than you might think. If you have any interest in becoming a major donor for Iowa Ducks Unlimited, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I can let you know where your current cumulative giving stands and what it would take to become a Life Sponsor.
Iowa DU State Campaign Chairman
A Note of Thanks
I would like to thank all of you for these past 2+ years. We have had fundraising numbers that we have not seen in 20+ years. This is not one person’s accomplishments, but the work of all volunteers in the state. Looking into the future, we need to grow our volunteers and membership, while also watching our costs. I will keep you informed on when the State Council meeting will be. We are looking at a new timeframe for the State Convention and meetings will depend on that date. Stay tuned.
State Council Chair