MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Aug. 20, 2020 – Ducks Unlimited released the latest film in its online series.
In Southern Great Plains, DU Conserve Films travels Nebraska’s Platte River, exploring the region and its importance to wetlands conservation and migrating and wintering waterfowl.
The Great Plains cover500 miles from east to west and 2000 miles north to south. All of the states of Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota are included, along with parts of eight other states and three Canadian provinces.
This film focuses on the Platte River area of Nebraska, migration corridor for most of North America’s sandhill crane population. Over one million cranes pass through here on their way back to northern breeding grounds.
It’s also home to part of the Ogallala Aquifer, a vast groundwater source covering 174,000 square miles and is the source for 30 percent of the irrigation groundwater in the U.S.
Terry Kostinec is Ducks Unlimited’s director of development for Nebraska and South Dakota.
“The Platte River is an important recharge point for the Ogallala Aquifer,” Kostinec said. “It’s important that all of us work together in Nebraska to conserve this water resource.”
DU is heavily involved in private wetlands restoration around the Platte River as DU Regional Biologist Tom Petersen explained.
“Ducks Unlimited has extensive programs here on the Platte River,” said Petersen. “The land is primarily privately owned, so in order to conserve those habitats, we work with those landowners.”
One of the ways private lands can be maintained for wetlands and waterfowl conservation is use of the conservation easement. This allows landowners to keep exclusive use of their land, but the land remains undeveloped in perpetuity.
Private landowner AJ Conklin decided that such an easement was the right thing to do.
“My family and I decided to place a conservation easement on our land with Ducks Unlimited,” Conklin explained. “We sat down as a family and discussed what the easement meant so everyone could understand that the land would not be open to the public, it would still belong to the family. Now the grounds will be preserved for water and wildlife forever.”
Longtime DU supporter Hod Kosman is president of the Platte River Basin Environments in Western Nebraska. He knows the importance of DU’s work stretches far beyond this area.
“You look at the vision of Ducks Unlimited and it’s all about water,” Kosman said. “Having water where you need it and where you need it, it’s a continental approach to water resources. Organizations like DU are extremely valuable to conservation and to people’s lives.”
August is DU Conserve month. The 2020 season includes four films released each week in August.
Follow DU’s newest Twitter feed-@DUNews1937-to get the most up-to-date news from Ducks Unlimited.
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 almost 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.