Financial relief for Ducks Unlimited during the pandemic is coming from the generosity of its most stalwart members and donors, most notably The ALSAM Foundation. The foundation gave swift approval to redirect $1 million of ALSAM funds previously awarded for conservation work in Idaho to offset the loss of income resulting from stay-at-home mandates across the country. This thoughtful act by The ALSAM Foundation helped DU maintain a strong financial position during one of the worst economic crises in a generation.
Founded by L.S. and Aline W. Skaggs, ALSAM’s legacy of giving is truly exceptional. For nearly four decades, foundation support has allowed universities to construct state-of-the-art facilities and expand important programs, especially in the field of medical research. ALSAM grants have supported community food banks, Catholic education, and Boys and Girls Clubs, among others.
The partnership between DU and ALSAM began more than 15 years ago with a grant to restore wetland habitat at the Chester Wetlands segment of the Sand Creek Wildlife Management Area near St. Anthony, Idaho. Thanks in large part to The ALSAM Foundation, this area that was once destined to be a subdivision now provides hundreds of acres of restored wetland habitat for waterfowl, songbirds, grouse, elk, and moose, and it’s a mecca for outdoor recreation, including fishing, waterfowl hunting, camping, and hiking.
Today, the foundation is working with DU to protect and restore famous Market Lake near Roberts, Idaho. The ALSAM Foundation’s support of Market Lake conservation has been steadfast and essential to the progress made to date, allowing DU to acquire, enhance, and manage over 1,400 acres and open nearly all these lands to the public for waterfowl and upland bird hunting.
“The generous and unwavering support provided by The ALSAM Foundation has been a game changer for DU’s conservation efforts at Market Lake and across the entire state of Idaho,” said Chris Bonsignore, DU manager of conservation programs. “And for ALSAM, these dollars are a way to support natural resource conservation and increase opportunities for outdoor recreation.”
Thanks to The ALSAM Foundation’s unparalleled grant in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, DU will be able to continue its conservation mission.