MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Oct. 3, 2019 – Ducks Unlimited (DU) today announced that Wrangler®, a global icon in jeanswear and casual apparel, will donate $100,000 over five years for conservation and land acquisition in North Carolina, home of the global headquarters for the Wrangler® brand and its parent company, Kontoor Brands, Inc. (NYSE:KTB).
This collaboration supports the Alcoa Land Project, which has brought diverse supporters together to purchase and permanently protect a significant stretch of the Yadkin-Pee Dee River in North Carolina’s Davie, Davidson, and Rowan counties, helping to maintain and improve the river’s water quality, safeguard wildlife habitat, and provide public recreational opportunities.
“Wrangler has always had a deep connection to the land, which is why it is important for us to expand our collaboration with Ducks Unlimited,” said Tom Waldron, Vice President and Global Brand President, Wrangler®. “We’re proud to help permanently protect the land and waters associated with the Alcoa Land Project and to provide habitat for wildlife and recreational opportunities for the people of North Carolina.”
Led by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and Three Rivers Land Trust, the Alcoa Land Project will ultimately preserve more than 4,700 acres and roughly 76 miles of shoreline on the Yadkin-Pee Dee River. One of the longest rivers in North Carolina, the Yadkin-Pee Dee River is the principal source of water for the central Carolina region and contains habitats for several piedmont bird species, including the Acadian flycatcher, wood thrush, American redstart, wild turkey and bald eagles. The Project will preserve rolling and steep terrain covered with hardwood dominated forest and a riparian habitat along the waterlines, providing clean drinking water and maintaining access for the public.
“We are proud to continue working with Wrangler to conserve, restore and manage critical lands,” said DU’s Acting Chief Conservation Officer Craig LeSchack. “Working together on the preservation and dedication of the Alcoa Land Project is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to protect habitat and preserve public access on an enormous scale.”
Diverse partners supported the initial preservation phase to protect 2,310 acres, which counts 45 miles of shoreline along the Yadkin and South Yadkin Rivers. In addition to DU and Wrangler®, project supporters include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife Restoration Program, N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund (CWMTF), N.C. Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Nancy Stanback, Fred and Alice Stanback, Eddie Smith Jr., and The Cannon Foundation. A future phase will protect the remaining 2,420 acres and 31 miles of frontage along the eastern shore of the Tuckertown Reservoir.
“With a sincere interest in respecting the environment in which we live and acting on a desire to explore new ways to care for the land that feeds and clothes us, Wrangler has chosen to support DU,” said DU’s Director of Development Will Johnson. “We commend and appreciate the commitment to conservation that Wrangler has offered and as an organization, we look forward to a lengthy relationship benefiting North America’s wetlands.”
Last year, Wrangler® helped DU restore a wetland to the Petersen Bend Farm in northeast Colorado. The project included the reconstruction of 3 wetland cells, totaling 40 acres, with the recharge capacity of roughly 1,000 ac-ft per year. Additionally, 55 acres were planted back to historic native grassland with a pollinator mix.
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Wrangler® has been an icon in authentic American style around the world for more than 70 years. With a rich legacy rooted in the American west, Wrangler commits to offering unmatched quality and timeless design. Its collections for men, women and children look and feel great, inspiring those who wear them to be strong and ready for life, every day. Wrangler is available in retail stores worldwide, including brand flagship stores in Denver and Dallas, department stores, mass-market retailers, specialty shops, western outfitters, and online. For more information, visit Wrangler.com.
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 14.5 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 www.ducks.org.