U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (Wis.) praises DU's conservation efforts within the state

Ducks Unlimited was recently awarded a second North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant to conserve wetland habitat at Meadow Valley Wildlife Area, directly adjacent to Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in central Wisconsin. This match-based wetlands conservation grant will help enhance 655 acres of wetlands associated with the 3,000 acre Meadow Valley Flowage.

Wisconsin has lost more than 50 percent of its wetlands. In order to offset the dramatic habitat loss, it is extremely important to maintain the productivity of remaining wetland habitat. NAWCA has played a pivotal role this effort. Since its inception in 1989, NAWCA has helped to conserve and enhance over 119,890 acres of wildlife habitat in Wisconsin.

These conservation efforts have not gone unnoticed by the state's top legislators, including U.S. Rep. Ron Kind. "One of the great things about a NAWCA grant is that it builds partnerships," said Rep. Kind. "By joining forces with local, state and federal governments, non-profits like Ducks Unlimited are making important investments in our state's great outdoors - creating hunting and fishing opportunities and driving economic activity across the state."

Ducks Unlimited and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources raised approximately $80,700 in matching funds to match the $75,000 in NAWCA grant funds. These funds will go towards enhancing wetlands critical to waterfowl in central Wisconsin, where habitat conditions have been in decline for decades.

Proper habitat management is no longer possible for the Valley Flowage-Southeast Pool and Northeast and Southeast Refuge Pools due to aging and inadequate water management infrastructure. The purpose of this project is to restore habitat management capability to these two marshes.

"NAWCA grants are a crucial funding source for conservation partnerships such as this one," said Jason Hill, Ducks Unlimited regional biologist. "As a result of this funding opportunity, we will be able to cooperatively restore and enhance hundreds of acres of critical shallow wetland and grassland habitat for the benefit of waterfowl and other migratory birds."

The Wisconsin DNR and Ducks Unlimited cooperatively initiated this effort in 2007 to improve waterfowl and wildlife habitat at Meadow Valley Flowage, a key area for waterfowl migration and brood-rearing, and one of the most heavily used public use areas in Juneau County. Work related to this project is expected to take place over the next two years.