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Wildlife Commission Increases Support For Waterfowl Conservation
Raleigh, North Carolina, December 2, 2004 - The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission voted at its December meeting to increase its contribution to Ducks Unlimited (DU), supporting waterfowl and wetlands conservation on the Canadian breeding grounds.

The Commission agreed unanimously to increase its contribution to $30,000 - doubling its annual contribution. DU will quadruple the amount through matching contributions from its organization and other U.S. and Canadian government and private sources.The Commission's contribution, which is funded through a one dollar impost on non-resident hunting licenses and the Waterfowl Fund, helps pay for projects to improve waterfowl breeding grounds. Research projects, including banding studies, have shown improving breeding grounds in Canada bolsters populations of waterfowl that winter in or migrate through North Carolina.

This increase will be funded from existing revenue sources and will not mean an increase in license fees for North Carolina waterfowl hunters.

Wildlife Commission Chairman John Pechmann said the Commission's investment will continue returning dividends to North Carolina many times over.

"Ducks Unlimited not only is leveraging the state's contribution, but it's also putting our dollars where they will do the most good for the continent's, and North Carolina's, waterfowl resource," Pechmann said. "Waterfowl are a migratory resource that spend only part of their life cycle in North Carolina. It is critical that the Wildlife Commission do its part to conserve waterfowl for future generations, whether it's on the wintering grounds in North Carolina or the breeding areas in Canada."

The Wildlife Commission's support of wetland and waterfowl habitat protection and restoration efforts in Canada dates back to 1969. Over the past 35 years, more than $340,000 of the Commission's funds have been directed toward Canadian projects in Manitoba, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

"Ducks Unlimited has proven over the last 67 years that it is the world leader in waterfowl and wetlands conservation," Pechmann said.

The Wildlife Commission's vote to increase habitat conservation activities on Canadian breeding grounds brings its financial support in line with annual contributions from neighboring states. Each year more than 30 state fish and wildlife agencies contribute more than $2.5 million to Ducks Unlimited's habitat conservation work on the Canadian breeding grounds as part of their commitment to the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. The plan is an international waterfowl and wetlands conservation blueprint recently reaffirmed by Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.

Lloyd Goode, DU state chairman, said the funding increase will benefit not only hunters, but bird watchers and wildlife photographers.

"Most waterfowl hunters, and conservationists in general, endorse spending the money they contribute through license fees and permits on habitat conservation work that will generate long-term benefits for both the resource and those that enjoy them," Goode said. "Our partnership with the Wildlife Commission through Sound CARE demonstrates a commitment by all parties to habitat conservation on both the wintering and breeding areas."

Through Sound CARE - the Conservation of Agriculture, Resources and the Environment program - DU has partnered with the Commission, other state agencies and the private sector to protect and restore 64,000 acres of habitat in North Carolina, the Dakotas and Canada over the next five years at a cost of $22 million.

With more than a million supporters, DU is the world's largest wetlands and waterfowl conservation organization. The U.S. alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands - nature's most productive ecosystems - and continues to lose more than 100,000 wetland acres each year.

Look for DU on the World Wide Web at Tune in to The World of Ducks Unlimited Radio Network, and watch Ducks Unlimited Television on the Outdoor Life Network (OLN).

For more information, please contact:

Ross Melinchuk
(601) 956-1936
[email protected]

David Cobb
(919) 733-7291
[email protected]

Way to go NC. We need more of this interaction to benefit us all. :thumbsup: :hammering:
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