Phillips County, a focus for conservation

Through word-of-mouth, attractive conservation programs and hard work by ranchers over the last couple of years, Ducks Unlimited and partners created a complex south of Dodson that includes more than 11,000 acres of protected wetlands and grasslands. At the same time, the protected acres are still in agriculture and the majority are in private ownership.

"DU and our partners are in the business of keeping ranchers in business," Bob Sanders, DU manager of conservation programs for Montana said. "Helping Phillips County landowners find conservation programs that fit them and their families has helped keep grass and water on the landscape. That’s good for cattle and wildlife."

Ducks Unlimited and its partners have invested more than $2 million in these efforts which include assistance with fencing, water and protecting and improving grassland. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks offer a variety programs tailored to fit landowners’ specific needs.