Ducks Unlimited joined partners at the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area on Thursday (12/7/17) outside Sacramento to celebrate California’s collective progress towards the conservation of waterfowl habitat. DU Western Region Director Mark Biddlecomb addressed the gathered media and guests and lauded the joint efforts of state and federal agencies, private landowners, water districts and NGO’s:
“The Central Valley is the winter home to millions of ducks and geese, and nowhere else can you see the concentration of waterfowl that you see in this area. As was pointed out earlier, the skyline of Sacramento is right behind us. It’s a unique area. Nowhere else can you can go and see millions of ducks and in one afternoon and not have to get out of your car; here at the Yolo Wildlife Area you can see around half a million birds in just a half hour.
And nowhere else can you see the cooperation between state agency needs, federal agency needs, private land owners, water districts, and conservation groups working together to provide the food and habitat resources the birds need. Nowhere else in the country. I feel we’re very unique in the way we all cooperate together.
We have over six million ducks and geese that call the Central Valley home in the wintertime. They make a remarkable journey from the breeding grounds in the boreal forest of Canada and Alaska. They come here every winter because they know what they’ll find, food, water, and shelter; and that’s because we all work together to make it happen. I doesn’t happen naturally anymore. Almost all of our wetlands have been drained,and the ones that are left are managed. It takes manpower, resources, and people to make sure to provide that.
It takes a community to provide that and cooperation among all those agencies. Nowhere else is it done better than right here. Working together we’ve weathered drought, we’re making improvements to the water delivering systems of the refuges, and we’ve provided for the needs of millions of birds. There will always be many challenges ahead, but this community will rise to those challenges. I’m sure of that. We can and will make sure that future generations will see the waterfowl that you see here today. I’m confident we’ll make that happen and that this partnership will remain intact as the state population continues to grow.”
Click here to watch a video on the day’s event.