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North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission Increases Support for Waterfowl Conservation

Raleigh, NC- December 1, 2004-The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) voted today to increase their contribution to Ducks Unlimited (DU) supporting waterfowl and wetlands conservation on the Canadian breeding grounds.

The Commission agreed unanimously to increase its annual contribution to $30,000, which Ducks Unlimited will quadruple through matching contributions from their 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, targets breeding grounds projects, which have been shown through banding studies to produce 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.

John Pechmann, Chairman of the Commission, fully supports today's action and is convinced the Commission's investment will continue returning dividends to the state many times over. "Ducks Unlimited has proven over the last 67 years that it truly is the world leader in waterfowl and wetlands conservation," said Pechmann. "Not only is it leveraging the state's contribution many times over, but it is putting our dollars where they will do the most good for the continent's, and North Carolina's, waterfowl resource. Waterfowl are a migratory resource that spend only part of their life cycle in North Carolina. It is critical that this Commission do our part to conserve this resource for future generations, whether it's here on the wintering grounds or on the breeding areas in Canada."

The Commission has a long and stalwart tradition of supporting wetland and waterfowl habitat protection and restoration efforts in Canada dating back to 1969. Over the past 35 years, more than $340,000 of NCWRC funds have been directed toward Canadian projects from Manitoba to the Maritimes (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island). Until today, the Commission's contribution ranged between $14,000-$15,000 annually. Today's action brings the NCWRC in line with the annual contributions of surrounding states such as South Carolina, Delaware, and Tennessee toward habitat conservation activities on the Canadian breeding grounds. Each year more than 30 state fish and wildlife agencies contribute more than $2.5 million to Ducks Unlimited supporting habitat conservation on the Canadian breeding grounds as part of their commitment to the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP). NAWMP isthe international waterfowl and wetlands conservation blueprint recently reaffirmed by the federal governments of Canada, the United States and Mexico.

In thanking the Commission for their support, Lloyd Goode, DU State Chairman, remarked that "Most waterfowl hunters, and conservationists in general, wholeheartedly 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, whether it's through hunting, bird-watching or photography. Our partnership with the Commission through Sound CARE demonstrates a commitment by all parties to habitat conservation on both the wintering and breeding areas."

Through Sound CARE (Conservation of Agriculture, Resources and the Environment), DU has embarked on an ambitious partnership with the NCWRC, other state agencies and the private sector to protect and restore 64,000 acres of habitat here in North Carolina, the Dakotas and Canada over the next five years at a cost of $22 million.
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