Delivering Conservation in the Great Plains for Continental Waterfowl
Fall 2018
A Note From the Great Plains Region Directors
By Director of the Great Plains Region Steve Adair
Across the Great Plains, the mornings are getting colder, the leaves are changing colors and the sky is filled with the sights and sounds of migrating waterfowl. This is a favorite time of year for Ducks Unlimited staff and supporters as we enjoy the bounty that we work hard throughout the year to sustain.

Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) was an excellent year for the Great Plains Region. Despite a softening agriculture economy, our events were able to slightly exceed budget targets. Member and volunteer numbers continued to grow indicating a strong foundation of support in the future. Major gift cash was slightly ahead of budget, while major gift commitments were slightly behind. Strong teamwork among staff and donors resulted in record attendance at the June 2018 Prairie Experience and other experiences across the region continue to impact supporters in deep and meaningful ways.

Around the Region
Colorado - DU Playas Restoration Recharges Ogallala
The Ogallala Aquifer gets shallower every year, threatening the livelihoods and homes of the people who live in the High Plains for Kansas and Colorado. Ducks Unlimited is working with landowners and the Playas Lakes Joint Venture (PLJV) to restore playa lakes, which provide up to 95 percent of the water flowing into the aquifer through groundwater recharge.
Kansas - McPherson Valley Wetlands Get Use
Hunter success and satisfaction were high during the early teal season this past September at the McPherson Valley Wetlands (MVW) Wildlife Area in Kansas. Ducks Unlimited and its partner, the Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks and Tourism (KDWPT), are celebrating the restoration of 90 acres of wetlands on MVW in McPherson County. Irrigation is now online to bring water to the east wetland unit where this summer the KDWPT planted Japanese millet, a beneficial seed producer for waterfowl. The west unit at MVW was left unplanted and allowed to regenerate with native moist-soil vegetation.
Montana - DU to Auction off Rare License in 2019
Helena event awarding Montana’s only state-wide Shiras
moose permit
Anyone wanting to hunt a Montana Shiras moose state-wide in 2019 will need to participate in a special auction this spring. On March 1, 2019, the Helena Ducks Unlimited chapter, on behalf of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP), will auction a Montana Shiras moose license at its yearly banquet.
Montana - Montana Sponsor Remembered for Service
In August, Ducks Unlimited lost one if its most dedicated and valued members. Jim Daugherty, devoted volunteer, conservationist, and major sponsor, passed away with loving family and friends at his bedside in Lincoln, Montana, following a hard-fought battle with cancer. Jim and his loving wife Linda, began supporting and volunteering for DU in California back in the 1980’s. Jim served DU in many volunteer roles over the last three decades including State Chair, State Campaign Chair, State Policy Chair, and until his passing was the Sealed Bid Auction Chair in Montana. It was Jim's dogged determination to see DU succeed that was his greatest contribution.
Nebraska - DU Supports Audubon's Wildlife Viewing Project
DU donation helps purchase 577 acres for waterfowl, wildlife
and visitors
Ducks Unlimited helped purchase a 577-acre property for wildlife viewing near Kearny Nebraska. The pull-out area at Audubon’s Rowe Sanctuary is just west of the Iain Nicolson Audubon Center, overlooking a wet meadow and portion of the south channel of the Platte River. These meadows are important habitat for cranes, waterfowl, grassland birds, and many more animals and insects. They are rich with diversity and important to a healthy river ecosystem. 
North Dakota - North Dakota Wetlands Campaign Wrap-Up
The Wetlands Campaign in North Dakota ended in mid-October. Overall, the measurable data received from the Campaign indicates the ads were very successful on all digital platforms. The amount of views, clicks, shares, and engagement the ads achieved is excellent. This indicates the ads were relevant to the audience, which made them want to learn more. The wetland ads could be seen on popular publisher pages like,, Huffington Post, USA Today, and similar sites. The main goal of the Campaign was to increase awareness of ND wetlands and generate emotion. The hundreds of thousands of video views as well as the impressions and reach of all ads proved a success. We caste a wide net across the entire state, capturing the eyes of the target audience.

For more information contact Becky Jones Mahlum.
South Dakota - South Dakota DU Nominated for Award
DU one of the three finalists for NRCS Excellence in
Cooperative Conservation
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced DU is one of three finalists for its 2018 Excellence in Cooperative Conservation award. According to a national news release, the award winner is being recognized for working with the NRCS to augment the value of the agency’s technical assistance and support implementation of Farm Bill conservation programs.
Wyoming - Partners Leverage Strengths for
Wyoming Wetlands
By Laurel Anders, Intermountain West Joint Venture, and Noelle Smith, Ducks Unlimited
Water is scarce in Wyoming. The state has lost more than a third of its wetlands. The loss has brought a decrease in water storage, streamflow and quality that has reduced habitat for most of Wyoming’s birds and other wildlife.

Looking to increase wetland conservation, wildlife agencies and organizations saw a need for more capacity and technical expertise. That’s where creative collaborations like the Wyoming Bird Habitat Conservation Partnership (WBHCP) come in to advance voluntary wetland conservation projects. This partnership consists of a diverse group of private citizens, natural resource agencies and conservation organizations, like Ducks Unlimited, Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) and the Intermountain West Joint Venture.
North Dakota-Based Bank and Owners Recognized for Prairie Conservation Leadership
Craig and Shelley Larson and Starion Bank were honored recently by Ducks Unlimited for being strong community leaders and champions of prairie conservation. The North Dakota couple and community bank were acknowledged for their strong commitment to DU’s prairie conservation efforts at a special dinner event and with two recognition plaques at DU’s Coteau Ranch, northeast of Bismarck.  
Ducks Unlimited Takes Future Biologists on First Hunt
A new professional development program gave University of North Dakota (UND) fisheries and wildlife biology students their first exposure to waterfowl hunting. The program, developed by Ducks Unlimited (DU), UND and North Dakota Game and Fish Department (NDGF), teaches students about hunting, which is a critical component of the North American Model of Conservation and North Dakota’s economy.
The Policy Team is busy analyzing the midterm election results, with emphasis on how the pending Farm Bill may be impacted. Staff and volunteers have been in regular contact with congressional staff for the Farm Bill conferees, and it is still possible that something may be passed during the Lame Duck session. We are also analyzing the results of state level elections and preparing for upcoming legislative sessions in all seven states in the Great Plains Region.

In October, the 4th Annual North Dakota Sportsmen's Caucus Legislative Fun Shoot was held at Capitol City Sporting Clays in Bismarck. Despite chilly temperatures, we had great Legislator participation and sponsorships from several conservation partners. This annual event continues to be critical in developing relationships with legislators in one of DU's priority landscapes.

For more information contact Carmen Miller.
Check This Out!
The importance of the Great Plains to North America's waterfowl is featured on a new Ducks Unlimited interactive website. Check it out and see Director of Conservation Programs Johann Walker introduce you to the Prairie Experience. Be sure to turn on the audio to listen to the sounds of the prairies.
Regional Events
Doug Lipetzky Retirement Celebration - November 29, 2018 at the Great Plains Office in Bismarck. To RSVP contact Cris Matzke.

Upcoming State Events -
Wyoming State Gathering, January 11, 2019, Thermopolis, WY - Contact Robert Hathaway

North Dakota State Convention, January 25, 2019, Jamestown, ND - Contact Terry Lassiter

South Dakota State Convention, January 25, 2019, Pierre, SD - Contact Don Thorp

Colorado State Convention, February 2, 2019, Englewood, CO - Contact Erik Wettersten

Montana Volunteer Celebration Day, February 2, 2019, Bozeman, MT - Contact Barry Allen

Nebraska State Convention, February 22, 2019, Grand Island, NE - Contact Steve Wilson or Pat Baughman

Kansas State Convention, February 23, 2019, Kansas City, KS - Contact Chris Young
Other Regions
See what is going on around the country in the other Ducks Unlimited regions. Check out their e-newsletters.
Western Region Blog
Ducks Unlimited Great Plains Office
2525 River Road
Bismarck, North Dakota USA 58503