WYALUSING, Penn. – Oct. 16, 2020 – Ducks Unlimited (DU) and Cargill Corp. are covering new ground in their innovative, hands-on conservation partnership in the north Atlantic Region.
Ducks Unlimited is using Cargill funding to enhance Shepherds Pond Waterfowl Management Area, a 110-acre site part of State Games Land (SGL) 250 in Bradford County. The enhancement will improve waterfowl nesting, brood-rearing and migratory habitat.
Shepherds Pond has been overrun with invasive species. The Cargill funding enables DU to help the Pennsylvania Game Commission plant aquatic native vegetation, construct and install several floating islands and plant hard mast-producing trees.
SGL 250 consists of 444 acres in the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Northeast Region. The property is popular for sportsmen and women and is an important public access location. The site has several parking areas and a boat launch, with 98% of SGL 250 one mile or less from a public access point. The land is popular for hunters seeking deer, turkey, ruffed grouse and other game. Waterfowling opportunities exist for wood ducks, mallards and Canada geese.
The long-term goal for the wetland management area on SGL 250 is to provide habitat for nesting and brood-rearing waterfowl and to provide a migratory stopover site for any waterfowl moving through the Susquehanna River corridor. The partnership project will also help the eastern population of sandhill cranes, which have expanded across Pennsylvania in recent years.
“Cargill’s support allows Ducks Unlimited to reach into corners of the Atlantic Flyway that directly impact waterfowl throughout their lifecycle, while providing new recreation space for residents and outdoors enthusiasts,” said Sarah Fleming, Ducks Unlimited Completing the Cycle Initiative conservation director.
In 2019, Cargill committed $248,000 to Ducks Unlimited, continuing a longstanding corporate commitment to conservation. These donations have enabled Ducks Unlimited to conserve critical wetland ecosystems in and around the Lake Ontario watershed, which has lost about 70% of its wetlands to agriculture and urbanization. The partnership will conserve more than 900 acres in New York and Pennsylvania by fall 2021.
“Cargill is pleased to see that our longstanding partnership with Ducks Unlimited in New York was able to grow to include impactful conservation efforts in Pennsylvania as well. We look forward to continuing to grow this partnership further in the Atlantic Flyway,” said Keith Klug, Cargill Salt facility manager.
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 nearly 15 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.