SANTE FE, NM – The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish recently joined other states in contributing to habitat conservation in Canada, where most of the waterfowl that winter in the U.S. are produced each year. Thirty-seven states made contributions in 2016.
“This is New Mexico’s inaugural participation in the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ program, which funds North American Waterfowl Management Plan habitat projects in Canada,” said DU Canada Director of International Partnerships Pat Kehoe. “We are very pleased to have them as a partner in waterfowl habitat conservation in Canada, and we are confident they will see tremendous returns for their investment.”
As part of the agreement, NMDGF will contribute $5,000 a year to fund habitat projects in western Canada. The state’s contribution will be matched by Ducks Unlimited and leveraged through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, resulting in at least $20,000 a year for conservation projects. This conservation work will restore and enhance breeding and staging habitats that are important to waterfowl that winter in New Mexico.
The funding will come from state hunting licenses sales revenue, continuing the long tradition of hunters being chief funders for conservation work that benefits all wildlife and people.
“New Mexico residents understand the habitats that benefit waterfowl also benefit many other species of nongame migratory birds,” said NMDGF Chief of the Wildlife Management Division Stewart Liley. “Sportsmen have long borne most of the costs of conservation. We see this arrangement as an opportunity to maximize our investments through the leveraging power of Ducks Unlimited.”