For more than 30 years, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, based in Chicago, has partnered with Ducks Unlimited to restore imperiled waterfowl habitats and preserve the rural heritage of South Carolina. As a Waterfowl Patron, the foundation has supported nearly 200,000 acres of conservation in the state, with a strong focus on the perpetual protection of these lands.
Most recently the Donnelley Foundation provided DU with an additional $200,000 grant that focused on the organization’s advocacy work on the national level. With support from the foundation, DU worked diligently to promote the benefits of two key federal conservation programs, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) and the Farm Bill.
“While support for place-based acquisition in our two regions is important, promoting the importance of federal, state, and local funding programs ultimately provides even more conservation bang for the buck,” explains David Farren, executive director of the Donnelley Foundation.
NAWCA is an incentive-based, voluntary wildlife conservation program that has helped conserve nearly 30 million acres of habitat since its inception in 1989, while the conservation provisions of the Farm Bill represent the largest and most important investment in private lands conservation in the country. Together, these two programs are the backbone for delivering conservation across the continent. DU hosted “fly-ins” in Washington, DC, and in-district meetings with volunteers and landowners to share the importance of these two programs to continued investments in soil and water health across the United States.
And, with an eye to its two mission geographies, the Donnelley Foundation also supported DU’s efforts to showcase the impact of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the South Carolina Conservation Bank. These efforts ensure that DU maintains financial backing for crucial conservation needs at the regional and state levels.