President Requests $1.6 Billion U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The President’s Fiscal Year 2016 discretionary budget request supports $1.6 billion in programs for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, an increase of $135.7 million over the 2015 enacted level to fund the agency’s high-priority needs. The budget also contains an additional $1.4 billion available under permanent appropriations, most of which will be provided directly to states for fish and wildlife restoration and conservation.

“Investing in the conservation of our wildlife and habitat resources results in myriad health and economic benefits to U.S. communities,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “Investing in the next American generation is also critical, so we are creating new ways to engage young audiences in outdoor experiences, both on wildlife refuges and partner lands. With 80 percent of the U.S. population currently residing in urban communities, helping urban dwellers to rediscover the outdoors is a priority for the Service.” Continue reading

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Kaumeyer Named Delta Waterfowl Board Chairman

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BISMARCK, N.D. — Larry Kaumeyer has been named chairman of the board for Delta Waterfowl.

Kaumeyer, 52, a life-long waterfowl hunter from Edmonton, Alberta, has served on Delta’s Board of Directors since 2007.

Kaumeyer credits his father, Gerry, for igniting his passion for waterfowling as a young man.

“I absolutely love hunting ducks,” he said. “If I have a choice of doing anything in the outdoors, I will hunt ducks. I enjoy every aspect of being out there.”

The chief executive officer of Infracon Energy Services said he joined the board because he respected Delta’s long history of excellent waterfowl research and involvement in protecting hunters’ rights. Continue reading

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Wild Rice from Habitat Now

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Wild Rice – © USFWS

We are getting our wild rice harvest in and it looks really good but it is going to be in very limited supply. Due to high water and other weather issues, wild rice seed production is about 1\3 of what it usually is. If you are interested in wild rice seed, we highly recommend to place an order soon to lock it in.

We are taking orders now and will start coordinating shipping with you in a week or two as we process the harvested wild rice.

“FALL ORDERS” will be available to ship in a week or two. Only people that have ponds that freeze over should order “fall” rice as it requires cold stratification to germinate. We will contact you to coordinate a shipping time…we will not ship without first confirming a date with you.

“SPRING ORDERS” will be shipped in the spring, but you can place your order now to secure your wild rice seed. People in southern warmer climates (ponds don’t freeze over) need to order SPRING rice…unless you want to order fall rice and try to cold stratify it yourself. If you do not secure your spring rice, we can not assure that we will have any left on inventory when spring comes. If you lock it in now, then we will store it over winter and cold stratify it for you so it is ready in the spring. Continue reading

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Service Proposes Liberal Waterfowl Hunting Season Frameworks

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) proposes liberal hunting season lengths and bag limits for the upcoming 2014-15 late waterfowl seasons. States will select their individual seasons from within the federal frameworks that establish the earliest beginning and latest ending dates and the maximum season length and bag limits. According to the Service’s 2014 Waterfowl Population Status Report, population estimates for most species of ducks remained strong for this breeding season.

The waterfowl hunting frameworks are set using annual results of cooperative population surveys, banding programs and harvest surveys that produce the largest data set on any wildlife species group in the world. They guide the Service’s waterfowl conservation programs and provide hunting opportunities while ensuring the long-term health of waterfowl populations. Continue reading

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Record Breeding Duck Count, Good Water Sets Stage for Strong Fall Flight

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BISMARCK, N.D. — North America’s spring duck population is at a record level, and the birds returned to find a high number of ponds on the breeding grounds, according to the 2014 Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey released today.

The annual spring survey, which has been conducted jointly by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Canadian Wildlife Service since 1955, puts the breeding duck population at 49.2 million, surpassing the previous high set in 2012 and 8 percent ahead of the 2013 estimate. Continue reading

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DU pleased NRCS providing innovative ways to conserve grasslands

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Photo Credit – © USFWS

BISMARCK, N.D. – Feb. 15, 2014 – Ducks Unlimited applauds USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) increasing its efforts to work with landowners in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) to conserve grasslands and wetlands. Agriculture Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Robert Bonnie announced today that NRCS is committing up to $35 million over the next three years for prairie conservation in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa.

“We are pleased to see NRCS renewing its commitment to grassland and wetland conservation in the PPR, which is so critical to waterfowl production,” said DU CEO Dale Hall. “We’re seeing unprecedented pressures to convert native prairie and drain wetlands. We need to look for new ways to make conservation programs more economically competitive and attractive to landowners.”    Continue reading

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Senate bill introduced to raise price of Federal Duck Stamp

The price of the federal duck stamp has been raised only seven times in the program's history.

The price of the federal duck stamp has been raised only seven times in the program’s history.

WASHINGTON – Dec. 19, 2013 – A bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate today to increase the price of the federal duck stampto $25. The current price of $15 was set more than 20 years ago, in 1991.

“We appreciate the introduction of a federal duck stamp increase bill by Senators Begich, Baucus, Coons and Tester to meet very real on-the-ground wetland habitat conservation needs. We are committed to seeing this legislation signed into law and look forward to working with Senators on both sides of the aisle to enact this,” said DU CEO Dale Hall.
Since its enactment in 1934, the federal duck stamp program has protected more than 6 million acres of wetlands – an area the size of Vermont – through expenditures of more than $750 million. This has contributed to the conservation of more than 2.5 million acres in the Prairie Pothole Region, including the protection of 7,000 waterfowl production areas totaling 675,000 acres. Continue reading
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Major Milestone for Families Afield—1 Million New Hunters!

NEWTOWN, Conn. — The future of hunting is brighter today than it was nearly a decade ago thanks to the extraordinary success of Families Afield, an innovative program that has introduced 1 million newcomers to hunting.

This impressive number demonstrates that interest in hunting remains high and that what’s needed to spark a lifelong passion for hunting is a proper introduction enabled by state regulations. With success in hand, Families Afield’s call to action is this: If your state offers an apprentice hunting license, make it a point to bring a newcomer along this hunting season; or if you’ve never gone hunting before, seek out a mentor and give it a try. Continue reading

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