Ducks Unlimited’s CEO Dale Hall recently penned an editorial that ran in Tuesday’s Contra Costa Times, highlighting the collaborative effort between DU and rice farmers to create habitat during the California drought.
Like other stakeholders, Ducks Unlimited has recognized the need to work collaboratively to protect against the impacts of the drought. Seizing an opportunity for farmers and sportsmen to work together to save two ways of life threatened by chronic drought, Ducks Unlimited and California rice growers worked together over the past several years in an important partnership that created much-needed bird habitat, benefiting sportsmen and wildlife.
Hall went on to highlight many of the partnerships and programs working on the ground within the state for the betterment of waterfowl, while emphasizing that there is much more help needed from Congress.
Over the 2014-15 winter, Ducks Unlimited, the California Rice Commission, water managers, and other partners worked with the Natural Resources Conservation Service to obtain funding to pump groundwater to flood rice fields and private wetlands, adding 15,000 acres of habitat to the landscape in a critical year.
This winter, the same partnership worked with federal and state regulators to create flexibility in system operations, allowing water to be delivered outside normal year water-delivery windows. This flexibility resulted in nearly 200,000 acres of post-harvest flooding.
To read the full editorial, click here.