MEMPHIS, Tenn. March 10, 2017 Ducks Unlimited announced the winners of the 2017 Wetland Conservation Achievement Awards today during the 82nd North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference held in Spokane, Washington.


DUs 2017 Wetland Conservation Achievement Awards were presented in six categories and recognized individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the conservation and restoration of North Americas wetlands and waterfowl. DU Chief Conservation Officer Paul Schmidt and DU CEO Dale Hall presented the awards.

This year's winners:

Federal Agency employee: Kevin Norton, Louisiana state conservationist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

State/Provincial Agency: Dr. Jim Gammonley, avian research leader and chief waterfowl biologist for the Colorado Division of Wildlife and Parks.

Research /Technical: Dr. Douglas Johnson, senior scientist for the United States Geological Survey.

Conservation/Private Citizen: Judge Jeff Branick of Jefferson County, Texas.

Communications: The late Wade Bourne, editor-at-large for Ducks Unlimited magazine, co-host of Ducks Unlimited Television.

In addition, a special award was given to 43 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officers who enforce wetland and grassland easements in the Prairie Pothole Regions of North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana.

There were many worthy conservationists nominated for awards this year. These winners represent how people from various walks of life who have a shared passion can achieve great things for wetlands and waterfowl conservation, Schmidt said. Ducks Unlimited is honored to recognize their work and we hope their achievements inspire others to follow suit. After all, conservation is a team sport. We have to work together to rescue our wetlands.

To read more about the individual winners, visit

Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 13.8 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit

Media Contact:
Gregg Powers