Ducks Unlimited Annual Membership Banquet Near
The Palo Alto County Chapter of Ducks Unlimited is busy making final preparations for its 2008 membership banquet and fundraising auction. The annual event is set for Saturday, Nov. 8, at the Emmetsburg VFW Post.
“Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest wetlands, waterfowl, and wildlife conservation organization,” said Brian Hospelhorn, Area Chairman of the Palo Alto Ducks Unlimited Chapter “Our organization has conserved over 12 million acres of wetlands and related waterfowl habitat since 1937. The majority of DU’s revenues are generated by one million supporters and members through fund-raising events like the one scheduled in Emmetsburg. The night will be filled with opportunities to participate in exciting games, live and silent auctions, raffles, and prizes including fine quality artwork, guns, decoys and many other special items all while you help support wetland conservation. Our premier raffle will allow the winner to select their choice of either a whitetail bowhunt for one, a waterfowl hunt for two, or a fishing trip for 3 in the Devils Lake area in North Dakota, all of which will be guided, and $200 of gas will be furnished.”
Ducks Unlimited has been a long-time supporter of wetlands restoration efforts, and is currently involved in three northwest Iowa conservation projects along with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
The projects are: 1) Four Mile Lake, a 215 acre marsh on a 691 acre State Wildlife Management Area (WMA) just west of Estherville;
2) Burr Oak Lake, a 87 acre project on a 321 acre WMA located about seven miles southeast of Estherville, or 4 miles north of Graettinger.
3) Dan Green Slough, a 288 acre marsh about 20 miles northwest of Emmetsburg. Water control structures are currently being installed at the south end of the marsh.
The projects are part of DU’s Living Lakes Initiative, which was conceived to highlight the poor ecological health of larger marshes and shallow lakes in Iowa. The projects in northwest Iowa were among the first chosen for the state to be restored as part of this new initiative.
Wildlife habitat has also been improved at Dewey’s Pasture, Burns Prairie, Lost Island Lake, Bluewing WPA, Fallow Marsh, and several other sites through the support of Ducks Unlimited.
Many forms of wildlife benefit from the improved habitat, especially migrating ducks and shorebirds that rely on large wetlands to replenish energy and nutrient reserves depleted during their long flight through Iowa in spring and fall. Several shorebird species and at least one duck species, lesser scaup, are in decline.
“Ducks Unlimited will raise about $1.3 million in the state of Iowa this year,” according to Brian Garrels, District DU Chairman for the Iowa Great Lakes area of the North Iowa Region.
Tickets for the Emmetsburg DU Fundraising Banquet can be obtained from Brian Hospelhorn, Clint Young, Kort Freeman, Bryan Sundall, Dan Reedy, Ron Riha, Brian Garrels, Nick Feilmeier, Grant Duhn, Tim Stowell, Brett Steinkamp, Ron Ludwig, Andy Joyce, and Chad Fank.