Rain finally made its way to the West Coast around Thanksgiving and continued into December, providing much-needed water for drought-stricken California. Although major spring rainstorms will be required to bring the state out of its current drought status, this rain provided some relief for waterfowl wintering in the region. With more water available in the Central Valley than was anticipated before the hunting season began, some water restrictions have been rescinded, meaning many duck clubs, farms, and other water users were able to draw runoff from drainage ditches.

California Voters Pass Key Conservation Legislation

In a significant victory for waterfowl conservation, California voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 1 during last November's general election. This legislation will eventually provide $7.5 billion for habitat restoration, water-storage improvements, and other vital water needs across the drought-ravaged state. Ducks Unlimited was one of several conservation organizations to provide policy analysis and political support crucial to the proposition's passage.

"Proposition 1 will provide important funding to address several key Ducks Unlimited objectives," says Mark Smith, director of public policy for DU's Western Region. "This includes habitat restoration both in the Delta and throughout the state, money for storage projects and infrastructure investments to California's water-delivery system, and important benefits to flood and ecosystem management."

This legislation will allow Ducks Unlimited to conserve wetlands and promote waterfowl-friendly agriculture so that future generations can enjoy healthy duck and goose populations and robust hunting opportunities for years to come.

Because of the unwavering support of DU members in California, legislative measures such as Proposition 1 are making waterfowl a priority in the Golden State.

California State Convention to Honor Incoming DU President

Nestled within the mountains and trees that dot the northern shore of beautiful Lake Tahoe, the Granlibakken resort will play host to the 2015 Ducks Unlimited California State Convention on April 17-19. This event is an exciting opportunity for DU members, volunteers, and supporters to gather and reconnect while learning more about the organization's conservation efforts in the Golden State.

The highlight of this year's convention will be Saturday night's dinner and silent auction celebrating incoming DU president and California native Paul Bonderson Jr., who will take the reins of the organization in May. Convention attendees will also enjoy a meet-and-greet event on Friday night, followed by a day of training and guest-speaker appearances.

The convention is far from all business, however, thanks to the efforts of its organizers, who have set aside more than four hours on Saturday afternoon for attendees to enjoy all the amenities that the Granlibakken resort has to offer, including swimming, skiing, snowboarding, hiking, bicycling, and golf.

For more information and to register online for the convention, visit ducks.org/california/events.