Ducks Unlimited


MEMPHIS, Tenn., March 19, 2024 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service is funding the largest climate investment in history to connect forest landowners with emerging climate markets as part of the Investing in America agenda.

This investment includes $10 million awarded to Ducks Unlimited’s (DU) Flyway Forests program, which seeks to restore bottomland hardwood forests and wildlife habitat on private lands in the lower Mississippi River valley, tributaries and adjacent counties. The award will support the program’s dual objectives of increasing biodiversity and carbon sequestration across the region. This funding also enables novel approaches to biodiversity crediting schemes while reaching and assisting underserved landowners.

“DU’s reforestation programs are built on a solid foundation of vast experience and science,” said DU CEO Adam Putnam. “The Flyway Forests program provides an array of ecological benefits in addition to carbon reductions, including supporting biodiversity and improving water quality. The practices supported by this grant will significantly improve the landscapes and wildlife along the Mississippi Flyway.”

Of the $145 million investment, $116 million from the funds being announced is for 20 Forest Landowner Support projects to provide equitable access to these emerging markets. Under the Landscape Scale Restoration Program, support from the USDA Forest Service’s Forest Landowner Assistance will improve access to emerging private carbon and biodiversity markets for underserved and small-acreage landowners, helping them access economic opportunity and improving climate resilience on private forests.

Reforestation and wetland restoration are crucial to protecting clean air and water and supporting rural communities. DU is partnering with Land and Water Corp, an agriculture and land investment firm, and Pachama, a technology company harnessing satellite imagery, remote sensing, and artificial intelligence to restore nature and solve climate change.

“Grants like these can help unlock the myriad benefits of extremely high-quality reforestation programs,” said Diego Saez Gil, co-founder and CEO at Pachama. “Thanks to this funding, we can more deeply engage historically underserved landowners and harness innovative technology to monitor wildlife and biodiversity, all while capturing the critical value of restoring forests as a climate solution.”

In addition to DU’s Flyway Forests partners, DU will work with Trust In Food, Farm Journal’s sustainability division specializing in climate-based agriculture, and Landoption, a data company specializing in landowner recruitment, to support equitable outreach and landowner enrollment.

To view the full press release, visit the USDA Forest Service website here. To learn more about the Flyway Forests program, visit the website here.

About Ducks Unlimited

Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America’s continually disappearing wetlands, grasslands and other waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has restored or protected more than 18 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science, DU’s projects benefit waterfowl, wildlife and people in all 50 states. DU is growing its mission through a historic $3 billion Conservation For A Continent capital campaign, North America’s most extensive campaign dedicated to landscape conservation.

For more information, contact:

KayLeigh Mitchell

Sustainability Communications Coordinator, DU