Ducks Unlimited CEO Dale Hall toured California’s Sacramento Valley last week, a region where 95% of the historic wetlands have been developed or destroyed, forcing waterfowl who call the area home in the winter to rely heavily on flooded rice fields and floodplains for habitat.
Hall joined DU staff, representatives from state government and local water boards, regional farmers, and other conservation groups at several project sites where cooperative efforts between organizations has led to positive habitat results for fish, fowl and landowners. Several productive round table discussions were held throughout the day focusing on how to best manage water in the Sacramento Valley while working in the best interests of fish, birds and agriculture.
“The Sacramento Valley is a wonderful place, rich in resources, culture, and good people,” said Hall. “But people need to come together and work together to recognize that the ricelands and farmlands are now the historic floodplain. There are partnerships that are taking place between different groups that you wouldn’t have thought could come together. When we talk to people about what they are for, instead of what they are against, it’s amazing how much similarity and purpose everyone has. Then real discussions can begin.”