MEMPHIS, Tennessee – During the Thursday, August 21 meeting, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission voted unanimously to partially reinstate funding for Ducks Unlimited’s habitat conservation activities on the Canadian breeding grounds. The program was cut from the budget in June, but the final decision came at yesterday’s meeting.
“We are delighted to see the Commission reinstate a portion of the funding cuts proposed for this cooperative program, especially in light of this year’s tight budget,” said Ross Melinchuk, Director of Public Policy for DU’s Southern Regional Office. “Ducks Unlimited will leverage TWRA’s funds at least five-fold and direct them toward habitat conservation activities in Saskatchewan where roughly one-third of Tennessee’s ducks are raised.Tennessee duck hunters have enjoyed liberal seasons and bag limits for the past decade and good to excellent numbers of ducks for each of the last couple of seasons. These funds are an investment that will pay dividends for Tennesseans well into the future.”
“Over the last two months, DU members, volunteers and duck hunters from across the state voiced their concern over the lack of funding to TWRA Commissioners and staff. Today’s Commission action confirms they were listening,” Melinchuk said. “I know they did all they could to keep this program alive. Their action demonstrates a strong commitment to their constituents and reaffirms TWRA’s leadership role in the waterfowl and wetlands arena.”
TWRA Commissioner Boyce Magli made the motion to reinstate the $40,000 which was passed unanimously by the rest of the Commission with little debate.
“The fact Ducks Unlimited is able to leverage our contribution so effectively in an area that produces ducks that eventually end up in Tennessee was motivation enough for me to offer up this motion,” said Magli. “Obviously my fellow Commissioners shared that view.”
With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization with more than 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.