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Ducks Unlimited Honored by B&C Club
Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ducks Unlimited is being honored with the Boone and Crockett Club's Theodore Roosevelt Legacy Award, which recognizes and celebrates cooperative partnerships in conservation.

DU Chief Executive Officer Dale Hall received the award and recognition during the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference, March 14, in Atlanta.

Boone and Crockett created the award in 2008 to honor the collaborative spirit of America’s greatest conservationist, Theodore Roosevelt. Previous recipients include the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Wildlife Management Institute.

"This award is a way for us to highlight and encourage people and organizations working together to achieve great things," said Club President Ben Wallace. "Cooperative partnerships have proven crucial throughout the history of conservation--and they’re going to be even more important in the future."

"Ducks Unlimited has always felt very closely aligned with the Boone and Crockett Club and its philosophy of cooperative conservation," said Hall. "As the founder of the modern conservation movement, Theodore Roosevelt realized things get done when you work together to achieve a common goal. DU is very pleased and honored to receive this prestigious award from our friends and partners at the Boone and Crockett Club."

In 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed two B&C members, Jay "Ding" Darling and Aldo Leopold, to a committee with Thomas Beck to assess the dismal state of migratory birds and to recommend actions. Together they proposed the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Act, which soon became law. The act provided that funds from sales of federal duck stamps would be used to acquire land for the National Wildlife Refuge System, established earlier by B&C founder Theodore Roosevelt.

In 1935, the eventual founders of DU, through an entity they created in 1930 called More Game Birds in America Foundation, sponsored the International Wild Duck Census, the first comprehensive aerial survey of North America’s most important waterfowl breeding grounds. This survey confirmed the importance of duck habitat conservation in Canada. However, federal duck stamp monies couldn't be used outside of U.S. borders.

So, in 1937, DU was launched for the purpose of raising funds in the U.S. to secure lands in Canada. A second entity, DU Canada, was established to actually deliver that mission.

Today, DU is the world's largest and most effective non-governmental organization for waterfowl and wetlands conservation. Supported by legions of dedicated partners and volunteers, DU has raised over $3.3 billion to conserve more than 12.4 million acres.

DU is celebrating its 75th Anniversary in 2012.

Hall added, "Though we have had many accomplishments in the past 75 years, DU's work will continue."

UPDATE! We wanted to share these kind words we received from Dale Hall at DU...


On Wednesday, March 14th, at the North American Wildlife Conference in Atlanta, Ducks Unlimited was honored with the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Award by Boone and Crockett, a truly humbling recognition. President Ben Wallace spoke about the rich 75 year history of DU and the partnership that has withstood the test of time. But more important is the family relationship that Boone and Crockett has with Ducks Unlimited, beginning even before DU was created.

In 1927, an offshoot of the Boone and Crockett Club was created specifically for sport bird management and operated until 1930 as the American Wild Fowlers. This group had such familiar names as Arthur Bartley and Nash Buckingham, who would later be very instrumental in the conservation movement. In 1930, Joseph Knapp, a publishing tycoon who successfully obtained such notable publications as The Associated Sunday Magazine, Crowell Publishing Company, Collier’s Weekly, Farm and Fireside and the book publisher P.F. Collier & Sons, founded More Game Birds in America and American Wild Fowlers was quickly absorbed into the new organization. Then in 1937, Knapp and a small group of conservation philanthropists decided it was time to focus on the decreasing waterfowl populations, and the habitat necessary to sustain them in Canada, and formed Ducks Unlimited, Inc. As had happened before, More Game Birds in America was absorbed by the new waterfowl organization and, as they say, the rest is history.

As I stood on the stage at the B&C dinner and received this prestigious award, I was thoughtful of how lucky I was to be representing an organization with such a rich conservation history, and all the tremendous leaders over the past 75 years that refused to surrender to any thoughts of “it can’t be done”. When Theodore Roosevelt helped form the Boone and Crockett Club 125 years ago this year, he and his compatriots had the foresight, and bullheadedness, to assume they could, and would, make a difference. I can’t imagine that in their wildest dreams they could have predicted the tsunami they were creating in the world of conservation.

Since its formation, the Boone and Crockett Club has spawned numerous conservation organizations and groups who follow the North American Model for Conservation. Ducks Unlimited is extremely proud to say we are one of those, and we’re proud of the 12.7 million acres of waterfowl habitat we have been able to conserve. We in conservation are truly a family. And we are committed to carry on the family tradition. Thank you Boone and Crockett for all you have done.



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