Ducks Unlimited recently recognized the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) for 50 years of supporting waterfowl habitat conservation on the Canadian breeding grounds. LWFC has contributed more than $10 million through the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) State Contributions Program to enhance and protect habitat where many of Louisiana's ducks are produced. Louisiana has been participating in the program since its inception in 1965.

"Ducks Unlimited commends the commission's long and storied history of making wise investments in habitat important to the birds that wing their way to Louisiana each year," said DU Manager of Conservation Programs Mike Carloss. "As approximately 35 percent of the ducks harvested in Louisiana come from Saskatchewan, investing Louisiana's dollars in this region provides a great return for the state's waterfowl hunters."

The AFWA State Contributions Program is funded by 37 states that understand that investments in the breeding grounds pay dividends during the fall flight. Individual state contributions are combined with those from other states, matched dollar for dollar by DU Inc. and DU Canada, and then used as matching funds for North American Wetlands Conservation Act grants.

"The importance of state contributions to Canadian habitat conservation and restoration projects cannot be overstated," says Pat Kehoe, director of international partnerships for DU Canada. "Breeding ground habitat work is crucial for the health of continental populations of waterfowl, and Louisiana's waterfowl hunters understand that."