Million dollar grant to protect key Prairie Pothole grasslands and wetlands
Ducks Unlimited and U.S Fish and Wildlife Service to work with South Dakota landowners
BISMARCK, ND, April 19, 2007 – Thanks to a North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant, Ducks Unlimited and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will continue conserving habitat with ranchers and other landowners in South Dakota. This grant will help protect grasslands and wetlands in some of the highest density waterfowl breeding areas in the Prairie Pothole Region.
DU will combine more than $1 million in matching funds with $1 million in North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant funds to purchase permanent easements on 6,081 acres of habitat throughout the James River Lowlands/Missouri Coteau Project Area in South Dakota.
“This project is critical to waterfowl and other wetland and grassland bird species, because it permanently protects vital habitats in the James River Lowlands and Missouri Coteau regions of South Dakota that are rapidly disappearing,” said Randy Renner, DU manager of conservation programs. “This grant will also help preserve the traditional ranching lifestyle so valuable to South Dakota citizens. There are currently 729 landowners in South Dakota waiting in line for funding of easements.”
Ducks Unlimited has a long-standing partnership with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, working toward the common goal of protecting some of the best remaining waterfowl and migratory bird habitat in North America.
"This is a key conservation program across the county and especially for South Dakota's critical waterfowl habit,” said U.S. Representative Stephanie Herseth Sandlin. “I've been pleased to help lead efforts to secure North American Wetlands Conservation Act funding in the U.S. House and look forward to watching this grant work across the James River Lowlands and Missouri Coteau Project Area."
In Washington, D.C., DU’s Governmental Affairs staff works with Congress to ensure annual funding for the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, and continue the act’s waterfowl conservation success. DU attributes much of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act’s continued success to the support of Rep. Herseth Sandlin.
For more information on the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, go to http://www.ducks.org/nawca
Contact: Randy Renner
Becky Jones Mahlum
With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization with almost 12 million acres conserved. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands − nature’s most productive ecosystem − and continues to lose more than 80,000 wetland acres each year.
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