A female wood duck stretches her wings. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED
HURON — It’s that time of year again. As members of the Ducks Unlimited Foundation look back on all that has been accomplished in past years, they also look forward to the new conservation projects being taken on this year.
The Ducks Unlimited annual dinner will be held from 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. Sept. 19 at Beade County Sportsman Club.
A limited number of tickets are available at Zells Auto Glass. If sold out, tickets will not be available at the door.
Just a few of the many things that Ducks Unlimited has accomplished in the past in South Dakota are as follows:
• DU has restored 140 acres of cropland to native grasses in the James River Lowlands in Beadle County near Huron.
• DU purchased the 400- acre Swenson property near Woonsocket in 2003. DU still continues to restore the property. In 2012 restoration included leveling spoil piles, seeding native grasses and removing fencing, among other things.
• DU purchased the 640-acre Brown property 20 miles north of Highmore. The area attracts northern pintails that depend on shallow ponds and spacious grasslands for nesting. The project is part of DU’s Pintail Initiative to save the pintail species, as pintails have declined over the past two decades.
A few accomplishments in the South Dakota region for Ducks Unlimited this year include the following:
• The 2013-2014 duck stamps went on sale in June of this year and are valid through June 30, 2014. The duck stamps are purchased by collectors, enthusiasts and waterfowl hunters every year. The income from the stamp sales helps to raise money to purchase and protect wetlands.
• Scheels All Sports is investing in conservation in five of the states where its stores are located. The company has pledged a five-year major gift to Ducks Unlimited to conserve habitat in North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota and Iowa.
• DU is launching a new initiative, Protect Our Prairies, for the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of South Dakota.
Thirty-six conservation projects were completed in 2012 and 22,103 acres were successfully conserved.
As the world’s leader in wetlands and waterfowl conservation, Ducks Unlimited, which began during the Dust Bowl years in 1937,”determined not to sit idly by as the continent’s waterfowl dwindled beyond recovery.” DU’s mission is habitat conservation for waterfowl. Their efforts have helped keep many species of ducks and other waterfowl thriving across the continent.
Following are a few tips to help keep local ducks and other waterfowl healthy.
Ducks are commonly fed bread at parks and public places, but bread is both harmful and unhealthy for ducks. It doesn’t give them the nutrition they need. Other foods considered harmful to ducks include crackers, chips, donuts, popcorn, chocolate, onion, garlic, avocado and some citrus fruits. Suggested healthy snacks to feed ducks include cracked corn, barley, oats, birdseed and other grains, as well as peas and sliced grapes. Worms, small frogs and frog eggs are also very nutritious treats.
To get involved and learn more about conservation and preserving the waterfowl of South Dakota, attend the DU annual dinner on Sept. 19.
For more information, contact Dan Krugman at 461-8007.For the complete article see the 09-11-2013 issue.
Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 09-11-2013 paper.