January 2020
Trail explores Illinois River waterfowling, conservation heritage
Hop in your truck - or on your mobile device - and tour the new Ducks Unlimited Miles C. Hauter Trail to appreciate the rich history of waterfowling and conservation in the Illinois River Valley. The new vehicular interpretive trail features informational panels at 10 historical waypoints.

New public lands acquired, to be restored for waterfowl
Ducks Unlimited and several partners are helping rewind the clock in northwest Pennsylvania by restoring health and public access to a critical wetland area upended by human development in the 1970s.

License plate sales drive broad conservation across state
License plate funding allows Ducks Unlmited to spread its resources across a larger footprint. In 2019, license plate funds helped Michigan conservation staff deliver 2,100 acres.

Projects reshaping state's iconic Prairie Pothole Region
Prior to human settlement, thousands of migrating waterfowl could rely on a dense supply of wetlands in southwest Minnesota’s Murray County. DU is helping restore some of that prime habitat.

Congress passed, and the President signed, a large spending bill on Dec. 20 that contained robust funding levels for several of DU’s priority federal programs. Our volunteers and members played an integral part in securing these funding levels from Congress:
  • NAWCA funding - $46 million, an increase of $4 million over last year’s enacted funding level.
  • Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) - $320 million, a $20 million increase over last year.
  • Delaware River Basin Act - $9.7 million, a $3.7 million increase over last year.
  • Chesapeake Bay Program - $85 million, a $12 million increase over last year.
Pennsylvania legislature passed a law to open three Sundays per month to hunting. While generally supportive of expanding hunting access and days in the field, DU was wary of this because it could result in lost waterfowl hunting days. This issue arises because of the “compensatory days” given by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to states that do not allow Sunday hunting. This is done to make whole the waterfowl and migratory bird seasons of these states. However, the USFWS has determined if a state that previously prohibited Sunday hunting opened even one Sunday to hunting, then all Sundays must be open, resulting in the loss of all compensatory days. Many decisionmakers who were pushing the bill were unaware of this situation. Through targeted volunteer meetings with legislators, and a close partnership with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Ducks Unlimited and its members were able to encourage the PGC to close migratory bird hunting on the newly opened Sundays. This ensures no loss of waterfowl hunting days.
New Jersey
Through strong advocacy by DU volunteers, a diverse group of organizations is leading the charge to increase the state duck stamp fee. Scott Patterson, a DU senior volunteer and member of the waterfowl stamp advisory committee, along with State Chairman John McMahon, have garnered support for a stamp fee increase among legislators and other conservation groups. DU staff toured state legislators and U.S. Senate staffers around a recently completed DU project at the Tuckahoe Wildlife Management Area and demonstrated the efficacy of the duck stamp money. In 2020, John and Scott will continue to work with stakeholders to get legislation introduced and passed to increase the duck stamp fee by $5.
4,000 anglers expected at DU ice fishing contest Feb. 15

The event is the largest attended Ducks Unlimited event in the nation. Last year about 4,000 people enjoyed fishing, food, prizes and music on the frozen lake and raised $200,000 for wetlands conservation.

Axalta, DU use color to teach kids about conservation

Ducks Unlimited joined Axalta and Six Rivers Land Conservancy at the Michigan Science Center on Jan. 11 for "Conserve This Colorful Planet," which inspired guests to learn about water conservation in a colorful and engaging way.

Ducks Unlimited transforms Kent County Park
"And it’s often people and organizations like Ducks Unlimited, that help restore the land, and improve its value to wildlife."

Iowa ice fishing contest nets awareness, support
Inaugural Frozen Feathers Ice Fishing Contest on Iowa's Clear Lake draws anglers to support wetlands conservation.

To save wildlife, healthy habitats need hunters
"Conservation groups such as Ducks Unlimited play an important role in preserving and protecting land for wildlife and people."

Donated prints benefit conservation
"In November BMO Harris Bank donated 900 Owen Gromme wildlife prints to Ducks Unlimited. The prints ... will be offered for sale to the pubic in 2020." The prints are valued at $500,000.

Great Lakes Ducks Unlimited hails Ohio projects
"The Partnership Hunt is designed to show what can be accomplished when federal and state agencies, local parks, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and private landowners unite to support wetland restoration, enhancement and protection."

New staff
Jordan Lillemon
Regional Engineer
Waite Park, Minn.
(218) 731-1985
April McCandless
Project Coordinator - Completing the Cycle Initiative
Dexter, Mich.
(734) 794 - 1028