Sixty-Year DU Member Makes Lasting Commitment to Conservation

Allan Reishus decided to include Ducks Unlimited in his estate plan, thus earning him a spot in the organization’s Feather Society

© Craig Press

Growing up in southwestern Minnesota, Allan Reishus enjoyed the prime waterfowl hunting that the state’s many wetlands provided. Unfortunately, by the time he had reached high school, many of those habitats had disappeared.

“I would go to the places I hunted as a kid and think, ‘What happened to that slough?’” Allan recalls. “Over my boyhood, I saw the wetlands disappear one by one in that corner of Minnesota.”

Allan says he felt like there wasn’t much he could do as a child, but then he read about Ducks Unlimited. “I had a lawn-mowing empire and earned the $5 it took to become a DU Greenwing,” he says. “I joined for self-interest; I wanted to go hunting.”

When he moved to Craig, Colorado, in 1975, Allan started the community’s first DU chapter with the help of a friend. “Allan has given decades of service to the ducks in Colorado and still remains in the active volunteer ranks,” says Kirk Davidson, DU director of development for Colorado and Kansas. “From serving on a committee to leading it and later becoming a district chair, he is always there. In addition, he is a President’s Council member, which means he gives more than $10,000 to Ducks Unlimited each year, and he serves on DU’s Conservation Programs Committee. There is none better.

Recently, Allan decided to include Ducks Unlimited in his estate plan, thus earning him a spot in the organization’s Feather Society. With careful planning, Feather Society members can enjoy tax advantages while supporting DU’s conservation mission.

“With my children doing well, and DU being my favorite conservation organization, it seemed a logical place to put a major part of my funds when I expire,” Allan says. “Ducks Unlimited is a premier organization that is protecting wetlands, and those wetlands are so important for many reasons. We need to do everything we can now and in the future.”

Allan says he named Ducks Unlimited in his will because DU’s conservation work benefits multiple wildlife species and people. “I’ve been on properties protected by DU, and there are all kinds of wildlife there,” he explains. “I know water is being protected, which is so dear in Colorado. Some of DU’s projects are holding water, are beneficial for clean water, and protect the land from erosion. We need to see lots more of this type of work.”

Retired from active service as an emergency-room doctor, Allan now volunteers for medical and wildlife conservation activities in his community. He builds osprey nesting towers for his local osprey conservation program and takes children on field trips to see these impressive birds on their nests. He also mentors young hunters.