When Ducks Unlimited committed to helping the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission conserve over 4,800 acres of habitat and 76 miles of shoreline along the YadkinPee Dee River, Wrangler, which is part of Kontoor Brands, was one of the new corporate partners that stepped in to help.

Wrangler fans are united by their love for the outdoors, whether its at the rodeo, on the ranch, or into the wilderness for a weekend hike or fishing trip, said Jeff Frye, vice president of global product development, procurement, innovation, and sustainability at Kontoor Brands. As a brand that cares about the planet and people who call it home, we understand how critically important it is to care for natures resources to enjoy them for years to come. Partnering with organizations like Ducks Unlimited is a great way to support our WeCare Wrangler sustainability platform, which is centered around being thoughtful about the planet, responsible with our product, and respectful towards people.

In a three-year, phased acquisition effort, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission purchased what was formerly known as the ALCOA Lands to ensure public access and permanent protection of the important conservation corridor along High Rock Lake and Tuckertown Reservoir. The purchase was imperative to protecting the water quality in one of North Carolinas longest rivers, which provides water to 1.7 million people every day. Approximately 80 percent of the states population lives within 100 miles of the ALCOA Lands, and this property is the closest public-access wilderness to Charlotte. Going forward, the area will be known as the Yadkin River Game Land.

Ducks Unlimited appreciates the support of the many companies, foundations, and individuals who made our role in this important land protection project possible, said Will Johnson, DU director of development for the Carolinas. Wrangler stepped up during our first phase of the project with a significant commitment, and they stuck with us through the entire project.

This year, as Ducks Unlimited celebrates its 85th anniversary, Wrangler celebrates its 75th. Both organizations began with innovative thinking from people with a pioneering spirit and a dedication to stewardship of our natural resources. Both continue to explore ways to care for the planet.

In addition to Wrangler, the acquisition project was supported by the Dickson Foundation, Williams, the Hillsdale Fund, the Top Family Foundation, Vulcan Materials Company, TrialCard, Covia, the US Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, North Carolina Land and Water Fund, Duke Energy, the North Carolina chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Foundation for the Carolinas, The Conservation Fund, Three Rivers Land Trust, The Cannon Foundation, and individual donors.