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Fall Flights Presidential Task Force renews commitment to support wetlands
Ducks Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited Canada continue to match funding for successful cross-border program
The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) recently announced a continued commitment to fund critical waterfowl habitat work across the Canadian breeding grounds through the Fall Flights program.
The Fall Flights Presidential Task Force was established to review the progress made toward implementing AFWA’s Fall Flights program and provide recommendations to the AFWA President.
“Thanks to the continued support of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, the Fall Flights program will continue to deliver pivotal habitat work in Canada,” said Ducks Unlimited Chief Conservation Officer Karen Waldrop. “We appreciate the leadership of past AFWA President Sara Parker Pauley and task force Co-chairs J.D. Strong and Chuck Sykes. Because of organizations like AFWA and their leadership team, waterfowl, wildlife and people will continue to benefit.”
In support of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP), and in recognition of the need for non-federal match funds for North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grants, AFWA established the Fall Flights Program in 1991 for state wildlife agencies to support projects in the Canadian breeding grounds.
In response, Ducks Unlimited and Ducks Unlimited Canada committed to match every dollar contributed by the state agencies with one dollar from their fundraising efforts. In FY21 alone, 43 states contributed a record $4.6 million to Canadian projects, which then gets matched, and then multiplied by NAWCA funding. In the 30-year history of Fall Flights, state wildlife agencies have contributed more than $88 million to help conserve over 4.2 million acres of habitat across Canada.
While all habitat is important to the lifecycles of waterfowl, science shows that breeding landscapes in Canada are critical to ensuring continental populations remain healthy and sustainable. The Fall Flights program has demonstrated the strength and success that comes from leveraging resources across borders.
“Fish and wildlife agencies in the United States are champions for the kind of collaborative conservation work that’s needed to effectively steward the wildlife resources we share,” says Dave Howerter, Chief Conservation Officer for Ducks Unlimited Canada. “We’re grateful to AFWA and all the contributing states—whose dollars are the first step in leveraging important matching funds—for supporting Canadian habitat conservation.”
The continued commitment to the Fall Flights program announced recently included an interim goal of $5 million in annual contributions and 100% participation by 2026 to increase investment in the Canadian breeding grounds that provide a significant portion of North America’s waterfowl and other migratory birds. In addition, AFWA will create a standing Fall Flights Advisory Committee to oversee implementation of the Fall Flights program and provide guidance to the AFWA President and Executive Director for the future direction of the Fall Flights program.
For more information about the Fall Flights program, visit www.fishwildlife.org.
About Ducks Unlimited
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America’s continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 15 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org.
About Ducks Unlimited Canada
Ducks Unlimited Canada is proud to lead a growing movement that’s conserving and restoring millions of acres of some of the most important and at-risk habitat on the planet. Active in every province and territory, Ducks Unlimited Canada’s team of conservation experts partners with government, industry, Indigenous peoples, other nonprofit organizations and landowners to conserve wetlands that are critical to waterfowl, wildlife and the environment. Learn more at www.ducks.ca.
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