The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) began contributing to the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ (AFWA) state contributions to habitat conservation in Canada program in 2012. Contributions to Ducks Unlimited Canada to date total $125,000. This funding has leveraged approximately $6.4 million resulting in the conservation and restoration of more than 13,704 acres of critical waterfowl habitat.
Having completed their first 5-year agreement, Bob Duncan, VDGIF Executive Director, recently announced at the Virginia DU State Convention that the VDGIF is committing to an annual increase in funds of $16,500 per year until they reach their AFWA goal of $116,000 by 2023. They see the benefit of investing in conserving the breeding grounds in Canada to both game and nongame species that migrate through Virginia, and are the first state to commit nongame funds as well as game funds to the state grants program.
DU matches these contributions dollar for dollar and leverages them with NAWCA and other funding sources to maximize each state’s conservation impact.