Ducks Unlimited held a special project kick-off event at South Park Wildlife Habitat Management Area (WHMA) for Jackson Hole DU supporters. The goal of the event was to increase awareness and funding for the Peaks to Prairies Initiative, which includes the Rocky Mountain range in Wyoming, Montana and Colorado.
DU supporter Tony Aquila hosted the morning portion of the event at the Split Creek Ranch. The group traveled to South Park WHMA where Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) Biologist Susan Patla discussed the importance of the WHMA in providing vital habitat for migratory waterfowl, shorebirds, breeding trumpeter swans and Rocky Mountain elk.
Martin Grenier, DU manager of conservation programs, and Tom Peterson, DU biologist for Wyoming, gave an overview of the proposed wetland restoration activities they developed with WGFD. The field experience gave guests a look at the data and information used to design wetland restoration projects and how it translates to habitat on the ground. The group learned the importance of the private match funding needed to deliver conservation projects from start to completion.
The event wrapped up back at the Split Creek Ranch with final words from DU’s conservation and fundraising staff encouraging the group to consider making a major sponsor commitment to support the South Park project through the Peaks to Prairies Initiative. This effort has raised nearly $100,000, and additional fundraising events will help bring a successful closure to DU’s Rescue Our Wetlands campaign that will conclude at the end of 2018. Since 2012, DU has raised more than $1.93 billion towards the $2 billion campaign goal.