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Last year I was asked to sit on a steering committee to help plan an initiative within our great waterfowling state. This initiative is designed to bring wetlands and waterfowl to the forefront and promote all the aspects related to wetlands and waterfowl.

The Michigan Waterfowl Legacy has a number of focus points. Among them are wetland protection, habitat improvement, hunter retention/recruitment and waterfowl population improvement. The message is a good one and needs to be on everyone's mind. A series of goals have been established to measure success (or failure) and they are realistic. When this initiative succeeds we will have more hunting opportunity at more birds within this state. This is something we should all work on achieving.

Waterfowl USA's Southwestern Lake Erie Chapter has taken the ball and ran. We have donated $5,000 to get this initiative off the ground. When first presented with the goals of the initiative I felt that WUSA's goals were represented perfectly by this initiative and I readily presented the plan to our committee. The committee approved the funding and this initial money has been used to hire a person to coordinate the initiative. A web site will be developed to facilitate the implementation of the initiative's plan to make ALL Michigan residents aware of wetlands and their importance. The web site will also help to put people in touch with the proper authorities so they can easily find help to improve wetlands within the state.

The plan is being modeled somewhat after the pheasant initiative. Kickoff events will begin in September to coincide with many anniversaries that fall this year such as Pte. Mouillee's 65th Tournament, DU's 75th Anniversary and other important events. Printed materials will be created to get the word out and help landowners get the information they need to turn their land into more productive wetlands.

"The Year of the Duck" was chosen as the catch phrase and a calendar will be available on the web site to promote waterfowl awareness as to what waterfowl are doing at all times of the year.

Why am I bringing this to you folks? The initiative NEEDS FUNDING!! While many organizations are members of the steering committee ONLY Waterfowl USA has committed funds. An additional $10,000 would carry this plan forward and give the initiative the materials necessary to carry out the plan.

Please, make a commitment to present this initiative to your chapters, organizations or groups and let's get a stream of money into the Michigan Waterfowl Legacy. The end result will be more hunting opportunity and more birds in the air.

You may contact me with any questions or concerns and I will get you in touch with the people to make things happen.

Thanks for reading.
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