December 18, 2008 by  


Delta Waterfowl’s partnership with Canadian Prairie farmers paying big dividends for ducks

ALUS is an important part of the puzzle to the future of waterfowling

ALUS is an important part of the puzzle to the future of waterfowling

The momentum for Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS), Delta’s flagship waterfowl habitat conservation program, continues with the November 27, 2008 awarding of Manitoba’s prestigious Excellence in Sustainability Award to Delta Waterfowl and our Manitoba farm group partner, Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP). This award, under the Sustainability in Water Stewardship and Natural Area Protection Category, recognizes the significant conservation achievements realized by Delta’s ALUS pilot project in Manitoba’s Rural Municipality of Blanshard. The award was presented by Conservation Minister and Chair of the Manitoba Round Table for Sustainable Development, Hon. Stan Struthers, at a reception at the Delta Hotel in Winnipeg.

Pictured Above; (left to right) Delta Waterfowl Vice President Robert Sopuck, Hon. Stan Struthers, KAP general manager Yvonne Rideout, and KAP President Ian Wishart.

The future of North America’s waterfowling heritage depends on conserving and restoring waterfowl habitats on privately owned agricultural landscapes since that is where most ducks are produced. Furthermore, conservation on a large-scale is the only way to make significant gains in duck populations. Delta Waterfowl’s position is that the only way to achieve large-scale waterfowl conservation goals is through strong partnerships with the farm community, especially in Prairie Canada.

“KAP and Delta Waterfowl have formed a very strong partnership since ALUS is good for farmers and waterfowl conservation, “ said KAP President Ian Wishart. “The record participation levels by Blanshard area farmers in the ALUS pilot project are unprecedented and shows the importance of designing conservation programs that align with the interests of the farm community.”

“Blanshard is in the heart of Canada’s Prairie Pothole region and our pilot project showed that large-scale habitat conservation is possible in active farming regions,” said Robert Sopuck Delta’s Vice-President for Policy for Western Canada. “The results of the Blanshard pilot project are being used to help design other ALUS projects across Canada.”

Delta’s farm partnerships include farm groups in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Ontario, regions that are vital for North America’s waterfowl. Delta’s work with all these groups is expanding as the results of the Blanshard pilot project are becoming more widely known.

“The Manitoba Excellence in Sustainability Award proves that Delta Waterfowl’s strategy of developing strong partnerships with farmers and farm groups is the right one,” said Delta President Rob Olson. “ALUS provides a community driven conservation approach which can both secure existing duck habitat, and generate habitat restoration on the large, landscape levels that ducks require to thrive.”

Olson continued “Waterfowl hunters everywhere should be encouraged that the momentum for ALUS is increasing across Canada, especially given the decline of conservation programming within the current U.S. Farm Bill.”

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