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									h o l i d a y g i f t i d e a s : c h e c k o u t s i x pa g e s o f g r e at m e r c h a n d i s e i n s i d e !

        volume 29 number 4, 2008

                                                                           special report:
                                                                           the impacts of
      looking back
      on 70 years
                                                                           wetland loss
      of conservation

     IN THE                                                                school’s out!
BEGINNING                                                                  duc connects kids
                                                                           to wetlands

                                                                           manliest man
                                                                           is a ducks fan
bill leitch, who served as duc chief biologist
for parts of three decades, reflects on his
many years of service to the organization,
now celebrating its 70th year of operation.
                                                                                                        by j a k E m ac D o n a l D

                 WETlaNds arE oNE of THE mosT crITIcal parTs of THE ENvIroNmENT.
                 WITH aN aNNual BudGET of $84 mIllIoN, acTIvE parTNErsHIps WITH
                 ovEr 18,000 laNdoWNErs, 4.6 mIllIoN acrEs sEcurEd aNd 33 mIl-
                 lIoN acrEs of HaBITaT posITIvEly INfluENcEd THrouGH polIcy aNd
Ian McCausland

                 oTHEr coNsErvaTIoN mEasurEs, ducks uNlImITEd caNada (duc) Is
                 THE lEadING WETlaNds coNsErvaTIoN orGaNIzaTIoN IN caNada.

                 all of WHIcH Is prETTy rEmarkaBlE, WHEN
                 you coNsIdEr duc Has BEEN IN BusINEss
                 for oNly sEvEN dEcadEs, aNd THaT ITs fIrsT
                                                                           s      o, Ducks Unlimited it was.
                                                                                     The American founders of Ducks Unlimited
                                                                                  theorized since most of North America’s water-
                                                                           fowl species breed in Canada, the new organization
                 offIcE IN WINNIpEG Was locaTEd IN THE sorT                would need a Canadian presence. They reached out
                                                                           to a prominent Canadian of their acquaintance, an
                 of aGEd doWNToWN offIcE BuIldING WHErE                    affluent Winnipegger named James A. Richardson,
                 sam spadE mIGHT HavE HuNG up HIs sHINGlE.                 and he called a well-known Winnipeg lawyer named

                                                                           Edward Pitblado, who made a few calls of his own,
                                                                           and in the spring of 1937, the Canadian Ducks Unlim-
                            hat little office owed its existence to        ited set up its “headquarters” in that little one-room
                            a spirited conversation that took place on a   rental space in downtown Winnipeg.
                            weekend in 1936, when a group of wealthy          One of the early employees to work out of that
                            American sportsmen gathered at a fly-fishing   office was William G. Leitch, who had developed an
                            lodge on the Beaverkill River in New York.     enthusiasm for wetlands and waterfowl during boy-
                 Over drinks and dinner, the businessmen bemoaned          hood hunts with his father on Lake Manitoba. Leitch,
                 the steady decline of waterfowl across North America,     who is now a spry and clear-eyed 94-year-old, says
                 and proposed their own solution – a continent-wide        those boyhood hunts made a big impression on him.
                 organization that would produce ducks in the same            “I started hunting with my dad when I was eight
                 methodical, organized way that the agriculture indus-     years old,” he says. “The laws were more relaxed then
                 try produces corn. “Let’s call it Ducks Limited,” sug-    and you could pretty much start hunting whenever
                 gested one of the sportsmen. In response, the owner       your dad thought you were strong enough and resp-
                 of the lodge, an imperious millionaire named Joseph       onsible enough to handle a shotgun. I was 12 years
                 Knapp, shot back, “Damn it, we don’t want limited         old when I was first allowed to shoot. My dad was
                 ducks!”                                                   paddling the canoe while I sat up in the bow with the

                                                                                                             conservator | 29-4 2008   17
      gun. A mallard flushed from the bulrushes and I don’t
      think it rose up more than a few feet before I knocked
      it down.Your reflexes are fast when you’re young, and
      that was a proud moment for a young boy.”
                                                                 a      t the time, Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC)
                                                                        had completed two large wetlands projects. The
                                                                        first, Big Grass Marsh, was a traditional wetland
                                                                 near Langruth, Man. The second, Waterhen Marsh, that
         Leitch had planned to become a geologist but his        was now under Leitch’s watch, was completed in 1938.
      love of waterfowl won out and he took biology at the       Both projects were dried-up wetlands that had been
      University of Manitoba. In 1938, he heard about this       drained for agriculture in the 1920s. At Waterhen Marsh,
      new organization called “Ducks Unlimited” and he           persistent problems with peat fires and dense smoke
      approached them for work. There were less than a           had persuaded local landowners and the Saskatchewan
      dozen employees working at the Winnipeg office and         government that the drainage project had been a bad
      they all tended to be colourful characters. Bert Cart-     idea.
      wright, the chief naturalist, was a professorial-looking     “We plugged the drainage canal and used horse-
      bird lover who despite his bookish appearance was          drawn scrapers to build a permanent dike over four
      utterly fearless. During aerial surveys of waterfowl       thousand feet long,” says Leitch, mentioning the pro-
      populations Bert would sit up in the front seat of a       ject was the last DUC project to feature horse-drawn
      rattletrap bush plane as it dipped and roared at low       machinery. “We also planted sago pondweed, bulrush

“WaTErfoWl populaTIoNs arE a loT HEalTHIEr NoW THaN
WHEN I fIrsT sTarTEd WorkING for ducks uNlImITEd
caNada. aNd THaT Is BEcausE EvEry orGaNIzaTIoN
as succEssful as duc Has ITs uNsuNG HEroEs.”      – B I l l l E I TC h

      altitude over the marsh, calmly making note of every       and sweet clover on newly constructed islands. These
      group of ducks no matter how tumultuous the ride.          islands were used for nesting waterfowl and were an
      During one survey the plane crashed on takeoff. Bert       innovative concept in those days.”
      climbed out of the wreck, helped to bandage up his            DUC management was pleased with Leitch’s per-
      fellow passengers. After all was well, he found another    formance and Waterhen Marsh proved to be a big hit
      plane and he was airborne with his clipboard a few         with its web-footed beneficiaries. Surveys taken after
      hours later.                                               the marsh was completed showed impressive results.
         Tom Main ran the office as general manager and          In later years, one nesting island produced 170 gadwall
      Bert Cartwright’s daughter Dorothy was the secretary.      nests with a brood success rate of 82 per cent, and the
      One day, when Tom Main was out of town, Dorothy            number of Canada goose nests rose from two to 145.

      brought in Tom’s daughter Irma to help with the secre-
      tarial work. Tom didn’t want to be accused of nepotism            ill Leitch says Tom Main was “fascinated
      so he fired Irma as soon as he came back. Dorothy                 by the North,” and it was Main’s plan to install
      promptly rehired her when Tom left, and this became               a DUC crew on Alberta’s Gordon Lake to con-
      a sort of recurring office joke. As Irma Main put it,      trol the predator population, fight forest fires and to
      “My dad finally forgot to fire me and I ended up           introduce beavers. To this end, the Alberta govern-
      working for Ducks Unlimited for eight years.”              ment gave DUC a lease on several townships of lakes
         Tom Main was looking for qualified workers who          and bush 100 kilometers east of the small town of
      loved waterfowl and were willing to work 12 hours a        Fort McMurray. This would give Ducks Unlimited
      day, seven days a week for the love of the ducks.Young     a foothold in the North. Main believed that if the
      Bill Leitch pestered Main so hard for a job that Main      beavers became established, local Aboriginal people
      hired him in May 1939 to supervise the just-completed      would have a chance to earn some money and a por-
      wetland restoration project at Waterhen Marsh, near        tion of their trapping revenues would pay for ongoing
      Kinistino, Sask., for $50 per month plus expenses.         management of the area.

                                                                                                   conservator | 29-4 2008   19
                                                                                                    Not all the DUC staff agreed that it was an appro-
                                                                                                 priate project for the new company. Bert Cartwright
lEITcH Was appoINTEd duc’s cHIEf                                                                 in fact expressed his doubts in a letter to the boss:
                                                                                                 “Considered solely by its duck-producing potentialities,
BIoloGIsT IN 1951, aNd sErvEd IN                                                                 this great area is in no immediate need of attention,
                                                                                                 nor can anything we do make any great difference in
THaT rolE uNTIl HIs rETIrEmENT                                                                   the duck crop.”
                                                                                                    In the winter of 1939-1940 Tom Main nevertheless
IN 1977. durING HIs TENurE                                                                       dispatched Bill Leitch to Gordon Lake, where he set-
                                                                                                 tled into a log cabin with Sigfus Arnfinson, a brawny
lEITcH BEcamE oNE of NorTH                                                                       Icelander whose bush-savvy skills were a major sur-
                                                                                                 vival asset in that forbidding wilderness. The Second
amErIca’s morE WEll-kNoWN                                                                        World War was underway and head office didn’t have
WaTErfoWl BIoloGIsTs.                                                                            much money for supplies. The two men were stuck
                                                                                                 up there and did not have sled dogs and it was very
                                                                                                 difficult for them to get around, let alone carry out
                                                                                                 the ambitious projects envisioned by their employer.
                                                                                                    On top of it, Bill Leitch had just been married.
                                                                                                 “We had a two-way radio and a schedule to call in
                                                                                                 every night to Fort McMurray,” says Leitch, “but it
                                                                                                 seldom worked, and during the three months I was
                                                                                                 in the bush I was only able to get in touch with my
                                                                                                 new bride Inez by letter via the occasional supply
                                                                                                 plane. Most of the time she and our employers at head
                                                                                                 office had no idea if Fusi and I were alive or dead.”
                                                                                                    With the war gathering momentum, Gordon Lake
                                                                                                 and other DUC projects were soon put on hold and
                                                                                                 Bill Leitch took a leave of absence in February 1941
                                                                                                 to join the Royal Canadian Air Force. After the war,
                i’m passionate about                                                             he took postgraduate studies in Wildlife Management
                                                                                                 at the University of Toronto and returned to DUC in

                   saving wetlands                                                               1946. From 1947 to 1952, Leitch worked on his mas-
                                                                                                 ter’s thesis, studying the ability of ducklings to travel
                                                                                                    “My study area was the Missouri Coteau,” he says.
                                                                                                 “It’s a magnificent area of hills and pothole wetlands
                                                                                                 in Saskatchewan. During dry years, some of the wet-
     i give more so ducks can do more. By upgrading my sponsorship to a Platinum                 lands disappear and I studied the ability of broods to
     level, I’m playing a bigger role in conserving Canada’s wetlands. For as little as $3 per   walk overland from dried-up potholes to larger wet-
     day, my contribution to Ducks goes a long way in sustaining waterfowl populations,          lands. The results were positive and led to a major
     protecting wildlife habitat and ensuring generations to come enjoy the beauty of            program by DUC.”
     the outdoors.
     Step up your commitment to Canada’s wetlands. Find out how you can upgrade your
     donation to a major sponsorship level for only a few dollars per month.
     call 1-866-384-duck (3825) or visit
                                                                                                 l    eitch was appointed DUC’s chief biologist
                                                                                                      in 1951, and served in that role until his retire-
                                                                                                      ment in 1977. During his tenure Leitch became
                                                                                                 one of North America’s more well-known waterfowl
                                                                                                 biologists, and as years passed, he watched Ducks
                                                                                                 Unlimited Canada grow into a mature and influential
                                                                                                 organization with thousands of projects across the
                                                                                                   At the outset, DUC was established to be managed
                                                                                                 by a board of directors legally independent of Ducks
                                                                                                 Unlimited, Inc (DUI). Each organization has a separate

20            conservator | 29-4 2008
board, but individuals are allowed to serve on both. In
the beginning most of the strong individuals on the
board of DUC were Americans with ties to DUI.
Around the late 1960s, a group of Canadians , led by
DUC president Lorne Cameron, evolved the DUC
board into a strong national organization with good
family ties to DUI. This was supported by the joint
policy that said DUI would supply funds for develop-
ment and DUC would arrange land under free ease-
ment, and both organizations were equal participants.
   Leitch says DUC owes its current success to the
DUI partnership, DUC’s financial independence and
science-based programming. To help fund the organi-
zation’s conservation programs, DUC organized and
carried out dinner banquets and other activities, based
on the successful template that DUI developed. These
monies helped fund innovative habitat programs such
as the Heritage marshes. The increase in DUC’s
science-based programs began with the Biological
Services Group which evolved into the Institute for
Wetland and Waterfowl Research.
   “We now understand that you can’t prevent drought,”
Leitch says. “You have to devote your resources to

                                                                      we volunteer
protecting those marginal wetlands that produce water-
fowl in a good year and go dry in a drought. These
are your ‘potential marshes’ and we’re doing a much

                                                                      for the future
better job of protecting them. In my opinion there
were two critical people that made this happen, DUI’s
Dale Whitesell and DUC’s Stewart Morrison, both of
whom served as executive vice-presidents for their
respective organizations. We grew from an office that
built large ‘duck factories’ on the prairies into a Can-
adian company that uses science to understand and
protect the whole wetland ecosystem.”

B      ill Leitch devoted most of his life to
       wetlands conservation, and it seems to have
       served him well. He hunted ducks until he
was 90 years old, and still goes out occasionally to
                                                            each year more than 7,400 ducks volunteers help save wetlands –
                                                            and have fun doing it. When you volunteer with Ducks, you join a family
                                                            of dedicated conservationists. Like you, these people are active in the outdoors
                                                            and concerned about wildlife and the depletion of natural environments. By
shoot clay pigeons with his 28-gauge.                       working together to organize a variety of fundraising events, you’ll make
   “Waterfowl populations are a lot healthier now than
                                                            memories that will last a lifetime – and ensure the wetland habitats you
when I first started working for Ducks Unlimited Can-
ada,” he says. “And that is because every organization as
                                                            enjoy last even longer.
successful as DUC has its unsung heroes. In our case, it    Become a volunteer today. It’s a great way to have fun, meet new friends
was construction crews who lived for months in con-         and support Ducks’ wetland conservation work.
struction trailers fighting blackflies and mosquitoes
in the summer and freezing cold in the winter when          call 1-866-384-duck (3825) or visit
project sites were only accessible after freeze-up. And
our field men to who 4:30 or 5:00 p.m. were just num-
bers on their watches. And finally, many DUC retirees
worked just as hard for DUC after retirement as they
did during their employment. This is what makes DUC
so special, the dedication of the people.” A
                            a Special dUc report

                            The impacts of wetland loss

                            by B O B G R A N T

                            how would you react if a neighbour
                            came up to you and told you they were
                            about to drive to Gimli, Man., dump
                            544,000 bags of lawn fertilizer directly
                            into Lake Winnipeg, and do it every year?

                            What if that same neighbour told you that besides             for the benefits that Manitoba’s wetlands provide to all
                            dumping lawn fertilizer, they also plan to add 169,000        Manitobans. In fact, this research has broad application
                            more cars to Manitoba – and all their accompanying            across Canada and should be taken seriously by all
                            emissions – each year for the next 20 years? Or, what         municipal, provincial and federal governments.
                            if that same neighbour told you they wanted to reduce            Led by DUC researchers Shane Gabor, Pascal Badiou
                            Manitoba’s spring waterfowl populations in a specific         and Lyle Boychuk, DUC has recently completed Phase
                            municipality by 28 per cent?                                  I of a multi-phase research project that determined the
                               Likely, if you are aware of the plight of Lake Winnipeg,   impacts of wetland loss and associated drainage activity
above: an increase in       the objectives of our country’s climate change agendas        in the Broughton’s Creek watershed of southwestern
algae blooms, and the       and Ducks Unlimited Canada’s (DUC) waterfowl-based            Manitoba. During the first phase of the research, DUC
amount of nutrients         conservation mission, you’d be mortified by the envi-         partnered with the University of Guelph and Tarleton
emptying into manitoba      ronmental damage your neighbour was about to cause.           State University, a member of the Texas A&M University
lakes, could be partially      Unfortunately, these events have actually been hap-        system. Lead funding for this innovative project was
stemmed by halting the      pening for decades as a result of wetland drainage.           provided by the Murphy Foundation. The Broughton’s
drainage of wetlands.          In Manitoba, wetland loss is significantly deteriorating   Creek watershed is located in the Rural Municipality
                            the province’s environment. Algae blooms on Lake Win-         of Blanshard, north of Brandon. The area was selected
                            nipeg and many other lakes in Manitoba are a symptom          as a study watershed because the land use and wetland
                            of increased nutrients delivered from upstream water-         loss trends are representative of southwestern Manitoba.
                            sheds. When we lose wetlands, significant quantities of          This first step of this research project determined
                            phosphorus are transported downstream to Manitoba             the amount of wetland loss and drainage activity that
                            lakes and rivers. And when we lose wetlands, significant      occurred in the watershed between 1968 and 2005.
                            amounts of carbon that were stored in those systems           The research paints a clear but startling picture. A total
                            are released to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. We          of 5,921 wetland basins – or 70 per cent of the total
                            need the government of Manitoba to develop an inte-           number of wetlands in the entire Broughton’s Creek
                            grated wetland policy to protect and restore wetlands         watershed – have been degraded or totally lost due to
                            across the province. Right now, there is very little in       drainage activity. This has resulted in 21 per cent of the
                            place to stop this continued purge of wetlands.               wetland area being lost (these numbers do not account
                               Never before has DUC’s push to stop the loss of            for wetland loss before 1968 or after 2005).
                            wetlands been so staunchly supported by research. Our            The second step of the project focused on develop-
                            results are by far the most compelling scientific support     ing a hydrologic model to evaluate the environmental

24           conservator | 29-4 2008
                                                                                                                                               left: 70 per cent of the
                                                                                                                                               total number of wetlands
                                                                                                                                               in the entire broughton’s
                                                                                                                                               creek watershed have
                                                                                                                                               been degraded or lost
                                                                                                                                               due to drainage activity.
right: DU Canada (2)

                                                                                                                                               these small wetlands
                                                                                                                                               (above) are important
                                                                                                                                               habitat for prairie-
                                                                                                                                               nesting waterfowl.

                       impacts of this loss at a watershed scale. This research   or lost wetland area and directly to downstream ditches,
                       determined that wetland loss since 1968 in the Brough-     streams, rivers, lakes and drinking water supplies. When
                       ton’s Creek watershed has resulted in:                     many are drained, the cumulative impact is significant.
                                                                                     Wetlands are an integral component of the Manitoba
                       A 31 per cent increase in area draining downstream         landscape and play a significant role in watershed health,    never before
                          (12 square miles)                                       especially at a large scale. DUC applied the Broughton’s      has DUC’s push
                                                                                  Creek research results to southwestern Manitoba, an
                       A 18 per cent increase in peak flow following rainfall
                                                                                  area that has land use characteristics and wetland loss
                                                                                                                                                to stop the loss
                       A 30 per cent increase in water flow                       rates similar to the Broughton’s Creek watershed.             of wetlands
                       A 31 per cent increase in nitrogen and phosphorus
                                                                                     Scaling up our results from the Broughton’s Creek          been so
                                                                                  research results to southwestern Manitoba, it is estimated    staunchly
                          load from the watershed
                                                                                  that wetland drainage since 1968 has resulted in:
                       A 41 per cent increase in sediment loading
                          (annual average)                                        A An increase in total phosphorus loading by 114 tonnes       by research.
                                                                                     per year directly into Lake Winnipeg – equivalent
                       A release of approximately 34,000 tonnes of carbon,
                                                                                     to six per cent of the total annual phosphorus load
                          equivalent to 125,000 tonnes of CO2 – the annual
                                                                                     into Lake Winnipeg each year from all Manitoba
                          emissions from almost 23,200 cars
                                                                                     human-related sources, including agriculture and
                       A estimated 28 per cent decrease in the waterfowl             point source pollution like waste treatment facilities.
                          population                                                 It is also the same as dumping 10 semi loads of

                                                                                     commercial agricultural fertilizer, or 544,000 bags
                                  etlands collect and store water from               (seven kilograms each) of lawn fertilizer directly
                                  the surrounding landscape during rain or           into Lake Winnipeg every year.
                                  snowmelt.This is extremely important at the
                       watershed scale as wetlands are capable of storing large   A A release of five million tonnes of carbon (approxi-
                       volumes of water, while filtering sediments and nutri-        mately 32 million tonnes of CO2) to the atmosphere
                       ents from this water.When wetlands are drained, or even       that was stored in wetland sediments and in plant
                       partly drained, the local drainage area is connected to       material – equivalent to the emissions of 169,000
                       downstream flows. This causes water carrying nutrients        cars for 20 years.
                       and sediments to move rapidly through the degraded

                                                                                                                                  conservator | 29-4 2008             25
                                                                                                                                                   right: Darin Langhorst
                                                                                                                                                   left: Ian McCausland
                            A An increase in area contributing runoff to Lake          Wetland loss needs to be stopped immediately to pre-
                               Winnipeg of 4,518 square kilometres, an area equi-      vent further deterioration of Manitoba’s water resources.
                               valent to 10 times the size of the city of Winnipeg.    Additionally, wetland restoration must begin if we hope

                                                                                       to improve and maintain the quality of our water sup-
                                     he estimated value of wetland ecosystem           plies for future generations.
                                     services associated with nutrient removal and        Within Canada’s agricultural landscape, private indi-
                                     carbon sequestration lost between 1968 and        viduals own and manage most of the land. Market
                            2005 as a result of wetland drainage is $430 million. To   forces have generated this loss of natural habitat and
                            replace the ecosystem services lost in Manitoba in 2005    producers are currently incurring the costs of wetland
                            alone would cost approximately $15 million and this        retention for society’s benefit. This DUC research will
                            will increase to $19 million by 2020 if wetland drainage   be used to help make producers aware of the value of
                            is not stopped.                                            the wetlands on their property while encouraging all
                               The estimates above are for southwestern Manitoba       Manitobans to push for policy programs that acknow-
                            alone and do not account for wetland drainage across       ledge the importance of landowners in nutrient and
                            Manitoba; the numbers would be staggering if the           habitat conservation. The time for government leader-
above: map details of       impact of all wetland loss was determined. Additionally,   ship is now and producers have key roles to play as
a small portion of the      the value of ecosystem services provided by wetlands is    part of the solution. Further to this, Manitobans must
broughton’s creek           dramatically underestimated here as we focus only on       support government to:
watershed from 1968         benefits associated with nutrient removal and carbon
(top) and 2005 show the     sequestration.                                             A Develop and implement programs and policies that
startling rate of wetland      The impact of wetland drainage and water quality           provide financial incentives for landowners to retain
loss in the region.         should be of concern to all Manitobans – and all Can-         and restore wetlands in an economical and sustain-
                            adians. Wetland loss affects our quality of life and our      able fashion
                            economic well-being. If wetland loss continues at the
                                                                                       A Develop and enforce regulations that conserve
                            present rate, phosphorus loading from southwestern
                                                                                          remaining wetlands
                            Manitoba will increase by 41 per cent by 2020, contri-
                            buting an additional 370 tonnes (46 tonnes per year by     A Encourage wetland protection and restoration.
                            2020) to Lake Winnipeg. Considering that the Lake
                            Winnipeg Action Plan has a goal of a 10 per cent reduc-       We need to help governments make good decisions.
                            tion in phosphorus, it will be extremely difficult to      Wetlands are an important public issue and our federal,
                            achieve this goal if we allow wetland loss to negate       provincial and municipal governments need to hear
                            progress made through other methods of reduction.          from you. A

26           conservator | 29-4 2008
                          a Special dUc report

Agriculture as a solution

by C Y N T H I A E D WA R D S

Every week, Canadians are bombarded
with media stories about the environment,
be it climate change, concerns over water
quality and quantity, or species at risk.

While the media have often pointed the finger                    carbon sequestration, groundwater recharge, flood and
for environmental problems at agriculture, not nearly            erosion control and the purification of air and water.
enough attention has been focused on the benefits that           Agricultural producers can manage their lands to pro-
agricultural producers provide to society. In addition to        vide an increased abundance and diversity of EGS.
producing food, Canadian farmers and ranchers produce               If society demands EGS and realizes where they come
a host of other goods and services that make our lives           from, they may be more willing to pay for them, espe-
better. The water quality research from Broughton’s              cially if supply is short and at risk of going away. In this
Creek in Manitoba is a perfect example of the need to            way, EGS is similar to other commodities that society
have landowners as a critical component of the solution.         demands and farmers supply. A portion of EGS produced
  Agricultural producers own and manage the majority             on private land are public goods, such as water quality,
of natural capital in southern Canada. In addition to the        so there is a role for government policies and programs
goods we’re all familiar with (wheat, canola and beef,           to provide mechanisms for public investment in the
for example), this capital is also used to produce ecolo-        natural capital that private individuals manage. These
gical goods and services. Ecological goods and services          mechanisms include incentive payments, which could
(EGS) are the benefits that society receives from healthy        be made through third parties that the public supports,
landscapes and the conservation of natural lands, inc-           like Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC), market-based
luding wetlands. These benefits include biodiversity,            incentives such as carbon credits, or government pro-
                                                                 grams like the National Farm Stewardship Program.
                                                                 Where payments are used there should be longer-term

                                           to me, wetland conservation is an important investment.
                                           donating stocks to ducks is a win-win situation because my bottom line and the environment both benefit. I reduce
                                           tax from capital gains and receive a tax credit for the full amount of my donation. And my gift of appreciated securities helps conserve
                                           wetlands which sustains waterfowl populations, improves water quality and prevents floods and droughts.
                                           It’s the best return on the environment. Donate today. call 1-866-384-duck (3825).
                                                                                      commitments (10 years or greater) to ensure stability
                                                                                      both for the suppliers of the goods and services as well
                                                                                      as those who are paying for them.

                                                                                      O         rganizations like DUC have been deliver-
                                                                                                ing EGS programs for years by taking funds
                                                                                                from supporters interested in waterfowl habitat
                                                                                      and providing that money to agricultural producers
                                                                                      through conservation easements and other programs
                                                                                      that provide waterfowl habitat. Another example is
                                                                                      Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) Green-
                                                                                      cover Canada program that uses funds from Canadian
                                                                                      taxpayers to encourage farmers to convert marginally
                                                                                      productive cropland to permanent plant cover (e.g.
                                                                                      forage crops or native plant restorations).
                                                                                         While developing markets for EGS can certainly help
                                                                                      a farmer’s bottom line, the main objective needs to be
                                                                                      an improvement in the ability of the ecosystem to pro-
                                                                                      duce the good or service of interest. There is unlikely
                                                                                      to be any silver bullet program. Different goods and
                                                                                      services result from different land management practices.
                                                                                      All programs need to balance the preferences of both

         i’m helping save                                                             the suppliers (farmers) and the consumers (the public)
                                                                                      of EGS. Instruments then need to be developed to link
                                                                                      those willing to pay with those willing to provide.

          wetlands in my                                                                 Determining a fair price for traditionally non-market
                                                                                      goods is no small challenge. Auction schemes, such as

                                                                                      the Bush Tender auction being tried in Australia, could
                                                                                      be applied in Canada.This type of market-based instru-
                                                                                      ment can be used to increase the supply of a good or
                                                                                      service by creating a market for it – and then linking
                                                                                      consumers and producers. Carbon credit trading, tax
                                                                                      credits or public investment in best management prac-
                                                                                      tices such as AAFC’s new Growing Forward initiatives
                                                                                      are all options.

i am making a difference in the future of canada’s wetlands, and
                                                                                               UC has been focused on increasing the
you can too. Start a Ducks chapter in your community and see how easy and
                                                                                               underlying science of EGS. To answer the
rewarding wetland conservation can be. By organizing fundraising events                        question “What land management practices
such as dinners, auctions and sports tournaments, you’ll directly support             provide which good or service?,” we’ve worked with
Ducks’ cutting-edge wetland conservation work, scientific research and                universities and government partners to research the
education programs.                                                                   role of wetlands in water quality, carbon sequestration
                                                                                      and waterfowl use.This research will help support EGS
At Ducks, we see the results of strong leadership every day. Hundreds of volunteer-
                                                                                      program development. Canada has the opportunity to
driven chapters across the country are raising funds that save wetlands – and         learn from others who have developed EGS programs
you can, too. Take the lead in your community and start a Ducks chapter today.        around the world, including Europe, Australia and the
call 1-866-384-3825 (duck) or visit                                United States.
                                                                                         The science is becoming clear. Many around the
                                                                                      world have been experimenting with mechanisms in
                                                                                      support of EGS programs.Yet, while we continue to
                                                                                      build support on numerous fronts, our water resource
                                                                                      continues to deteriorate.
                                                                                         The time for action in Canada is now. A
                          by K A R L I

                            DUCks Un
                                        lImITED C
                                                  anaDa’s (D
                            foCUsED,                         UC) WE Tla
                                      CUrrICUl                            nD-
                           PRojeC t                         EDUCaTIo
                                     Webfoot                            n progra
                                                 Is offErED                          m
                          IT Is WIDEl                       aC r o s s C
                                     y rECogn                            a n a Da a n
                                                IzED as pr                            D
                          foUnDaT                          ovIDIng a
                                    Ion for T                           n ExCEllE
                                              EaChIng y                             nT
                          WE TlanD                       oUng pEo
                                   s anD Eng                          plE aBoU
                                               agIng ThE                         T
                                                          m In Cons
                                                                       Er vaTIon
mallard: Brian Wolitski

                                                partners to
                                                Focused in
                                                                   each prov
                                                                   region, DU e or
                                                                  tion staff w
                                                                 school boar
                                                             finance and ds, funders and
                                                                               C’s educa-
                                                                              ork with lo

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                                                                                                                                             conservatio        address the
                                               especially th             centres and                                                    that lie ahe        n challeng
                                                              ose associate           in rural com                                                     ad. Though es
                                               educational                  d                      mun
                                                            focus for eac with DUC’s work, D ities,       not taken a
                                                                                                                                                  n organizat         most
                                              the setting.
                                                                          h of these au               U
                                                                                        diences varie C’s population on in reaching out to                     ions have
                                             the same – e take-away message,                         s with              of
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                                                                                                                                    ion                 leads the w
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                                                                                       em.                 Project Web               anadian val                   und-
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                                                           tal conne                                   to a local w foot’s sponsored classes
                                                                     ctions in                                        etland. Here                   receive field
                                                                                                       students to                 , tr                            tr
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                                                                               the urban
                                                                                            jungle                    get outside ained interpreters help ips
                                                                                                       wetlands firs               and explore                      th
                                                        uarter mil                                                    t-                           the wonders e
                                          in Canada
                                                                    lion new im
                                                                                 mig rants a          their first o hand. For many of the                          of
                                          centres wh h year, many of them                     rrive
                                                                                                                    r only expo
                                                                                                                                 sure to
                                                                                                                                                  se students
                                                                                                                                                                this is
                                                      ere 80 per                 settling in u
                                         lives. There             cent of our
                                                                              population       rban fun port for these classes nature.
                                                      is n                                                ders, includ                 comes from
                                         with these c o denying that Canad                 already
                                                                                                     Foundation ing $100,000 this year                 a var iety o
                                                      hanges com
                                                                  es a growin
                                                                                a is changin
                                                                                             g and Pro             as part of th
                                                                                                                                e launch of        from the R f
                                                                              g need for n               ject. RBC                            its n              BC
                                                                                           ew and
                                                                                                    years in Ott has funded inner city ew Blue Water
                                                                                                                  awa and To                    c
                                                                                                                               ronto and th lasses for several
                                                                                                                                               is has g row
                                                                                                                                                              n to

                                                                                                                                          conservator | 29-4 2008             31
right: students prepare
to get up close and pers-
onal with a wetland during

                                                                                                                                                          Tye Gregg
a field trip to manitoba’s
oak hammock marsh.

                             include Vancouver, Calgary, Saskatoon, Montreal, Halifax       the project. “The secretariat for the Ramsar Conven-
                             and St. John’s. Other sponsors, including the Winnipeg         tion on Wetlands, based in Europe, and wetland educators
                             Foundation and Ontario Trillium Foundation, have been          from dozens of countries provided ideas and input, as
                             eager to fund field trips to expose urban children to          did numerous Canadian educators, many of whom were
                             nature, especially those with limited resources.               not our regular science or environment types, but
                                “In dealing with field trips for inner city classes, we     teachers of English literacy, geography, art and so on.”
                             quickly became aware of the huge and ever-increasing              One of the big supporters of the project has been
                             diversity in the students that were attending our pro-         the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). With 450
                             grams. In speaking to one of the teachers at an Ottawa         elementary schools and over 100 secondary schools,
                             field trip I found out that their students spoke over          the TDSB is one of the largest in North America and
                             fifty different languages – all in a school of less than 400   it claims to be “the most multicultural, multilingual
                             students,” says Merebeth Switzer, national education           school board in the world.” The TDSB is used to deal-
                             coordinator for DUC. “This pointed out some of the             ing with cultural diversity as over 50 per cent of its
                             challenges that we were starting to face in reaching           students speak a language other than English when
                             urban Canadians. And it made us aware of the need              they are at home (the board deals officially in 12 dif-
                             to explain to parents and family members why Ducks             ferent languages). The school board supported the
                             Unlimited, an organization that they really didn’t know,       translation of some of the resources for Wetlands and
                             felt it was so important to send their child off on a          the World and allowed DUC staff to showcase this
                             wetland field trip. We saw an incredible opportunity           project and DUC’s education program at several major
                             to engage these children in a way that made them feel          conventions including the National Inner Cities Schools
                             included and part of their new home.You never know             conference, attended by over 1,500 urban educators.
                             who will be your future leaders or conservationists.”             Another partnership was developed with the Indi-
                                Having realized these challenges and opportunities,         genous Co-operative on the Environment (ICE), who
                             DUC staff submitted a successful proposal to the Ont-          became involved in the translation of some materials in
                             ario Trillium Foundation to grow DUC’s education               the two predominant aboriginal languages in Ontario,
                             program in Ontario. This included a plan to research           Cree and Ojibwa. However, aspects of the project so
                             and address ways to connect with these new audiences.          interested ICE that a separate project evolved to translate
                                “After our initial research, we identified the needs,       and produce resources in other aboriginal languages.
                             challenges and opportunities surrounding this project             Wetlands and the World is linked to Ontario’s science
                             and created a plan to move ahead. Since then the pro-          curriculum (Grades 4-6) and explores wetlands and
                             ject, Wetlands and the World, has taken on a life of its       their value in maintaining a healthy world. It consists
                             own and has brought in input and partnerships from             of several parts, some in different languages and others
                             all over the world,” said Switzer who has been leading         which act as resources for teaching English literacy. The

32           conservator | 29-4 2008
materials are available as free downloads from DUC’s
website and print versions with accompanying CDs are         “We saw an incredible
being distributed to interested teachers through work-
shops and conferences. Several groups have approached
                                                             opportunity to engage
DUC expressing interest in making these resources
available through their own networks. The project
                                                             these children in a way that
consists of three parts:                                     made them feel included
Kids and Wetlands Go Together – a world map high-            and part of their new home.
lights key wetlands and the important role wetlands
play around the globe. A Chinese quote, “Whenever
                                                             You never know who will
you drink water, cherish its source,” frames the map
in 19 different languages. Students whose language
                                                             be your future leaders or
doesn’t appear on the map are encouraged to ask their        conservationists.”
family to help them translate the phrase into their first
                                                                                                          Merebeth Switzer
language or to provide a quote about nature or water                                                      National education coordinator
that they can share with their classmates. The map also                                                   Ducks Unlimited Canada
highlights actions that children and DUC are taking
to conserve wetlands and encourages students and
families to explore a local natural area.

Wetlands are Wonderful! – a series of fun activity pages
are provided in English and other languages including:
Arabic, Chinese, Cree, French, Korean, Ojibwa, Punjabi,
Somali, Spanish and Vietnamese. Wetland values are
introduced in plain language and some natural and
cultural history notes are provided about common
Canadian wetland creatures. To add value and ensure
the materials make it home to the parents, each piece
includes paper models of ten common wetland creatures
including mallard, beaver, turtle, owl, fox, dragonfly,
frog, salamander, bass and heron.The 3-D paper models

                                                                     this moment brought
can be used either as part of a classroom activity or as a
family project. Suggestions for ways to use the materials
are provided and black and white versions for colouring
are available too.

Resources for Teaching English Literacy – this consists
                                                                        to you by ducks
of wetland lesson plans to help develop literacy skills
based on the elementary science curriculum. It also
includes student activity pages, a Picture Dictionary to
assist in vocabulary development and as a downloadable           the best gift you can give this holiday season is the gift of wetland
Powerpoint presentation Wetlands Around the World.               conservation. Make a donation to Ducks’ Habitat Fund for Our Heritage in the
                                                                 name of someone special on your list. It’s a unique way to wrap up priceless gifts
  “We have had an overwhelmingly positive response               like clean water, healthy waterfowl populations and scenic wetland habitat that
to these resources from all of the groups that have been         your recipient enjoys every day.
involved in their development and from the teachers
and students that have seen them,” said Switzer. “In             With a donation of $25 or more, your recipient will receive a special card letting
fact, while this program was originally developed and            them know you’ve made a donation on their behalf. And, you’ll both feel good
funded for use with Ontario schools, educators and               knowing the gift benefits the future of Canada’s wetlands.
DUC staff across the country have told us that it will           Make your gift today. call 1-866-384-duck (3825) or visit
meet many of their own needs so we decided to expand
the reach of the program.The wetland map is now being
                             included for all sponsored Project Webfoot classes and       head of education in DUC’s Western Region, adding
                             we have made all the resources available in French.”         that “it’s DUC’s goal to reach students in key wetland
                                While the program is just now being pilot tested a        areas across the country and this partnership with
                             letter from a Toronto teacher/social worker suggests         Talisman helps us to achieve this.”
                             DUC’s support for inner city classes has been effective:        “Rural youth need to be able to take pride in and
                                                                                          understand the value of their local wetlands. This pro-
                                                                                          gram helps kids understand the role they can play in
                                                                                          conserving wetlands now and in the future when they
                                                                                          may become farmers or make decisions in their local
                                                                                          community,” Brunen says.
                                                                                             “Along with Talisman Energy there are a number of
                                                                                          other key donors who help DUC make this program
                                                                                          available to rural classes across Canada” says DUC’s
                                                                                          director of education, Rick Wishart. “Besides our local
                                                                                          volunteer committees who support the program in their
                                                                                          communities, a few of these include Alberta Environ-
right: mirroring field                                                                    ment, ConocoPhillips, Dow Chemical, Imperial Oil,
trip experiences across                                                                   SaskPower, Petro-Canada, Louisiana Pacific, Monsanto
the country, toronto                                                                      and the Government of New Brunswick,” he added.
inner-city students                                                                          Talisman’s initial support of Project Webfoot classes
practice “critter dipping”                                                                started in Edson, Alta., a community where DUC’s

                                                                                                                                                      Tim Walker
at a local wetland.                                                                       volunteer support is significant and where Talisman
                                                                                          operates a natural gas plant. DUC staff worked closely
                                                                                          with Talisman, both corporately and locally, to provide
                                “The photos (taken while testing Wetlands and the World   Edson’s schools with Project Webfoot wetland resources
                             resources) are a testament to the beauty of our children and and an in-class presentation by a trained interpreter.
                             their natural interest in the world that exists just beyond  Each Grade 5 class also took part in a wetland field
                             their concrete high-rise apartments. Ducks Unlimited has     trip to the appropriately named School Lake, a wetland
                             provided students with an adventure far beyond the scope of  near the gas plant that Talisman had enhanced with
                             their everyday imagination.The magnificent beauty, peace,    facilities for outdoor learning.
                             harmony and splendour of the wetlands offered them a            Field trips were delivered with the enthusiastic
                             glimpse into the mystical, magical, wonder of the natural    assistance of local Talisman staff, who donned aprons
                             world.Thank you for renewing their natural curiosity and     to provide a hot meal for the students. Talisman’s sup-
                             childhood sense of wonder.”                                  port quickly expanded to Hinton and Grand Prairie
                                                                                          where through the efforts of DUC staff, partner organ-
                             Talisman a lucky charm for rural students                    izations and local Talisman volunteers, students in these
                                                                                          communities also became involved in wetland learning.
                             Ducks Unlimited Canada recognizes that many                     The partnership continues to grow in Alberta and
                             rural children also need to explore and learn about the includes plans for School Lake to be further developed
                             natural world around them. That is one of the reasons as a wetland learning site. This past spring, the expan-
                             DUC has partnered with Talisman Energy Inc.                  sion of Talisman’s support into rural communities in
                                After four years of supporting DUC’s education pro- B.C., Saskatchewan and Ontario has allowed up to
                             grams in parts of Alberta, Talisman Energy expanded          140 classes to be sponsored each year.
                             their sponsorship to three more provinces, signing a            In southern Saskatchewan, 10 classes were sponsored
                             $500,000 five-year agreement to support classes across this year and once again, members of Talisman’s Sask-
                             rural Alberta as well as areas of northeast B.C., southern atchewan staff worked alongside DUC education
                             Saskatchewan and along Lake Erie in southwest Ontario. specialist Barbara Hanbidge to plan and deliver wetland
                                “This support provides an important opportunity for field trips.
                             many rural children to learn about the wetlands that            “The Talisman folks were great to work with. They
                             are right in their own backyard,” says Jerry Brunen, were very efficient, knowledgeable and definitely

34            conservator | 29-4 2008
interested in the program. We had media attend in the
southwest and local conservation officers and DUC
volunteers dropped by too,” Hanbidge says.
   In B.C., Talisman’s funding went to rural schools in
the Peace region, that to date has not had access to
Project Webfoot. With this support, DUC staff were
able to visit these rural schools for the first time to
showcase their Wetlands in the Classroom program.
   “With the multi-year Talisman support, classes in the
future will also be able to receive the Project Webfoot
resources and field trips,” says Kathleen Fry, DUC’s
B.C. education coordinator.
   The experience in Ontario was equally positive.
Over 300 students took part, visiting Hillman Marsh
– an important coastal wetland on the shores of Lake
Erie near Leamington. Fifteen Talisman staff volun-
teered for the field trip days and one appreciative
teacher even baked a cake to thank them for their
                                                                       wetlands inspire
generosity. Reports were glowing.
   Lindsay Coristine, a Grade 4 teacher from Gore Hill
Public School, wrote a letter to express her gratitude
                                                                       me every month
for the rich experience her students were given. “Our
day was packed full of fun activities. It is something my
students will talk about and remember for years to
come,” she said.
   Perhaps though, one of the most important links that
can be drawn is between Project Webfoot and DUC’s
wetland conservation work. Bev Wannick, conservation           i make monthly donations to ducks because the benefits of
technician for Essex Region Conservation Authority,            healthy wetlands touch my life every day. Wetlands help filter my
spoke about their partnership with DUC and the oppor-          drinking water, reduce the effects of climate change, support hundreds
tunity to allow local schools to visit this local wetland
                                                               of species of waterfowl and other wildlife and provide me with beautiful
for the first time due to Talisman’s generosity.
   “This partnership brings our other projects with
                                                               settings to relax and enjoy nature. For as little as $10 a month, I support
DUC full circle as the students have been able to learn        wetland conservation all year long and ensure Canada’s wetlands remain
about wetlands utilizing the incredible habitat areas          a part of my future.
created by DUC at Hillman Marsh Conservation Area,”            Consider what wetlands do for you and help save them with your
she says. “I look forward to sharing the Project Webfoot
                                                               monthly donation today. call 1-866-384-duck (3825)
program and watching the students fall in love with
the natural habitat…to see children take part in hands-
                                                               or visit
on learning and gain a love for the science of living
   Without support from Talisman, these rural classes                Start your monthly donations during the month of
would not have access to wetland education or the                    December and we’ll send you a pin commemo-
ability to visit and appreciate the wetlands in their areas.         rating our 70th year of conserving Canada’s
                                                                     wetlands and a special 2009 Ducks calendar!
DUC’s goal is to help both urban and rural students
connect with the environment so that as these youth
grow up they will become the environmental leaders
and conservationists of the future. A

                                                                                                                MNC1208   OFFer exPIreS FeBruAry 28, 2009
g re a t o u t d o o r s

Man of the mallards
by R YA N S M I T H

M            manly men like ducks. This is the one logical
             conclusion to be made of the curious happenings
             in Canada’s North this past summer.

The whole chain of seemingly uncon-
nected events started with Ice Road Truckers,
a History Channel reality TV show that
hasn’t aired in Canada but became a surprise
hit in the U.S. Alex Debogorski, a Yellow-
                                                                                                 bush pilot who sometimes likes to “weld
                                                                                                 things together that shouldn’t be so
                                                                                                    Further evidence Karen provided for
                                                                                                 Mike being the ultimate manifestation of
                                                                                                 the Y chromosome is that his favourite
                                                                                                 “cologne” is Jet B – otherwise known as
                                                                                                 airplane fuel.
                                                                                                    “He loves that smell,” she explains. “He
                                                                                                 comes home covered in it – I make him
                                                                                                 leave a lot of his clothes outside.”
                                                                                                    Karen hoped nominating Mike would
                                                                                                 attract others in town to join the fun, but
knifer and trucker featured on the show,                                                         in hindsight she thinks maybe it had the
drove his way to a measure of fame that                                                          opposite effect, scaring potential entrants
culminated with People magazine naming                                                           away.
him, a father of 11, one of “TV’s manliest                                                          In the end, Mike out-manned five other
men.”                                                                                            contestants, winning the title by a single
   The People article got the editors at The                                                     vote over Gary Burt, a karate-chopping
Yellowknifer newspaper thinking: Debogorski                                                      granddad.
may be one of the most macho guys on TV, above: a not-so-rare glimpse of “yellowknife’s manliest    It was a thrilling, down-to-the-wire
but is he the manliest man in Yellowknife? man” in the wild. contest winner mike yorston donated victory, Karen says, but the crown came
They decided to put the title up for nomi- $200 of his prize money to ducks unlimited canada.    at a cost for Mike. For a few weeks after
nations and let readers decide via an online                                                     winning, the Air Tindi pilot tried to keep
vote.                                         Yorston was thereby added to the manliest a low profile, but every time he had to call
   What happened next had the townsfolk man in Yellowknife mix.                                  an air traffic control tower he took “some
laughing so hard they “blew coffee out their    “Most everyone in town knows Mike,               ribbing,” he says.
noses,” says Karen Yorston.                   so when they read about him and saw his               “Oh yeah, I got it pretty good, from
   By her own admission,Yorston doesn’t       picture in the paper they just cracked up,” Ontario to B.C.They worked me over for
have “a creative bone in her body,” but her says Karen, who made a solid case for her            a while – actually, they’re still doing it,”
unsuspecting spouse gave her enough raw 36-year-old husband – a hunting, fishing,                Mike says.
material for her to feel confident submit- poker-playing, Playboy-reading, Ski-Doo-                 “He’d be flying over the tundra and
ting an essay to the local newspaper. Mike riding, goatee-sporting, car race-watching radio in to ask if anyone knew if the strip

36          conservator | 29-4 2008
he was over was safe to land on, and they’d                                                                 “I think we can safely say that it’s con-
say, ‘Oh, it’s nothing the manliest man can’t                                                            servation-minded people like Mike and
handle,’ ” Karen says.                                                                                   Karen who have helped build this organi-
   But winning the “honour” wasn’t entire-                                                               zation and who continue to play a major
ly a hassle for Mike – it also came with            In the end, Mike out-manned                          role in our success,” he says. “There are a
$200 for the Yorstons to enjoy dinner at            five other contestants, winning                      lot of great organizations out there that
their favourite restaurant, and another $200                                                             Mike could have donated to, so we’re very
to contribute to charity. Mike chose to
                                                    the title by a single vote over                      grateful that Yellowknife’s Manliest Man
donate to Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC),             Gary Burt, a karate-chopping                         chose DUC.”
an organization special to him for many             granddad.                                               For all the attention, ribbing and praise
reasons.                                                                                                 that has come Mike’s way, he hasn’t let it
   When Mike was growing up in New                                                                       go to his head, Karen says.
Brunswick, his dad taught him how to hunt                                                                   “Oh, maybe he’s gotten a bit cocky, but
and fish, and he fostered in Mike an appre-                                                              everyone seems to keep him in check pretty
ciation for nature and the environment.                                                                  well,” she says, laughing. “He’s still just the
   “I’ve been a member of Ducks Unlim-            tiny little snakes to moose, and the more              same old great, manly man that he was
ited since I was about eight or 10 years old,”    we can conserve them, the better off the               when I first met him.”
he says. “The thing I like is that their big      planet is going to be. It’s as simple as that.”           For his part, the good-natured Mike says
push is to conserve wetlands, and wetlands           According to Jason Charlwood, DUC’s                 he can handle the teasing, but he still doesn’t
are the engine that drives the world. They        fundraising manager and conservation pro-              understand all the fuss about his masculinity.
help clean the environment, and they pro-         grams specialist in Yellowknife, DUC has a                “I don’t think of myself as a manly man.
vide a habitat for all types of animals, from     diverse membership that they are proud of.             I just do what needs to be done.” A

                                                  great holiday gift ideas!
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                                                                       These items and more available only on the Online Auction!
                                                                       coming soon! if you missed out on a piece of 2008 duc event merchandise that caught
                                     sculptures                        your eye, you may have a second chance. All purchases support wetland conservation.
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limited edition prints
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