Wetlands America Trust board member David McLean was well aware of the size and beauty of North America's boreal forest. After all, the forest covers 1.4 billion acres in his native country of Canada. But he didn't realize the full importance of this vast landscape to waterfowl and other bird populations until he heard about DU and The Pew Charitable Trusts' partnership to conserve 1 billion acres of this region by 2022.

Once McLean learned the specifics of DU and Pew's 50:50 plan, which has a goal of permanently protecting up to 500 million acres of the boreal forest while also allowing sustainable development on the remaining acres, he became an advocate of this unprecedented conservation effort. McLean is the chairman of CN, a rail company that operates in both Canada and the United States. Under McLean's leadership, CN pledged $1 million to support the boreal forest conservation partnership. The International Boreal Conservation Campaign has already secured more than 500 million acres under this 50:50 framework by working with aboriginal peoples, provincial leaders, industry, and other stakeholders. CN's gift will help DU and its partners continue this important conservation work.

This is CN's second $1 million gift to Ducks Unlimited under McLean's leadership. The first grant was dedicated to the Canadian Prairie Pothole Region and the Mississippi River corridor-two of DU's other priority landscapes.