The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission voted at its December meeting to increase its contribution to Ducks Unlimited, supporting waterfowl and wetlands conservation on the Canadian breeding grounds.

The commission agreed unanimously to double its annual contribution to $30,000. Ducks Unlimited will quadruple the amount through matching contributions from its organization and other U.S. and Canadian government and private sources.

The commission’s contribution, which is funded through a $1 impost on nonresident hunting licenses and through the Waterfowl Fund, helps pay for projects to improve waterfowl breeding grounds. Research projects, including banding studies, have shown improving breeding grounds in Canada bolsters populations of waterfowl that winter in or migrate through North Carolina.

The increase will be funded from existing revenue sources and will not increase license fees for North Carolina waterfowl hunters.

“Ducks Unlimited not only is leveraging the state’s contribution, but it’s also putting our dollars where they will do the most good for the continent’s, and North Carolina’s, waterfowl resource,” said John Pechmann the commission chairman. “Waterfowl are a migratory resource that spend only part of their life cycle in North Carolina. It is critical that the Wildlife Commission do its part to conserve waterfowl for future generations, whether it’s on the wintering grounds in North Carolina or the breeding areas in Canada.”

Lloyd Goode, Ducks Unlimited’s state chairman, said the funding increase would benefit not only hunters, but bird watchers and wildlife photographers.

“Most waterfowl hunters, and conservationists in general, endorse spending the money they contribute through license fees and permits on habitat conservation work that will generate long-term benefits for both the resource and those who enjoy them,” Goode said. “Our partnership with the Wildlife Commission through Sound CARE demonstrates a commitment by all parties to habitat conservation on both the wintering and breeding areas.”

Through Sound CARE — the Conservation of Agriculture, Resources and the Environment program — Ducks Unlimited has partnered with the commission, other state agencies and the private sector to protect and restore 64,000 acres of habitat in North Carolina, the Dakotas and Canada in the next five years at a cost of $22 million.

­— N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission

WOMEN’S WORKSHOP: The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has scheduled a three-day workshop for women to help them learn a variety of outdoors skills including fishing, boating, camping, hunting and outdoor survival. The Becoming an Outdoors Woman workshop, or BOW, will be held April 1-3 at the Eastern North Carolina 4-H Center in Tyrrell County.

BOW gives women age 18 and older opportunities to learn hands-on skills from biologists, wildlife enforcement officers and conservation educators. Sessions will include archery, canoeing, fly tying, fly fishing, kayaking, firearms safety, bird watching and nature photography, among others.

“This workshop is for you if you have never tried these activities and want to learn from experts,” said BB Gillen, BOW coordinator for the commission. “There’s no prerequisite for the workshop, but a few sessions require individuals to have previous experience with a particular skill.”

North Carolina BOW is part of an international program that began in Wisconsin in 1991. BOW workshop participants earn credits toward environmental education certification from the Office of Environmental Education.

Registration is limited to 80 participants. The $185 fee covers accommodations, meals, supplies and use of equipment for the three-day workshop.

For information or to register, contact Gillen at (919) 733-7123, ext. 260, or bb.gillen@ncwildlife.org

— N.C. Wildlife Resources CommissionGoudy 42pts head

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