Founded in 1980, the Denton Ducks Unlimited Chapter is a local extension of the international organization of Ducks Unlimited. We are a grassroots, volunteer based organization. Our members are conservationists and lovers of the outdoors who live in the Denton, Texas area. The city of Denton is unique in that it is centrally located between Lakes Lewisville, Ray Roberts, and Texoma and can more adequately service the area wetlands. Through the years we have worked alongside the Army Corp of Engineers for wetlands, participated in the Wood Duck Nest Program on Ray Roberts Lake, partnered with the Boy Scouts of America, and are faithful in maintaining relationships with our area Game Wardens. We are focused on conservation, community involvement, leadership, and friendship.
Ducks Unlimited all started more than 67 years ago, during the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s, when a group of sportsmen banded together to form an organization that would become known as Ducks Unlimited or (DU). North America’s drought-plagued waterfowl populations had plunged to unprecedented lows, and the founders of DU decided to do something about it. They incorporated the fledgling conservation group in 1937, and within a year, 6,720 suporters porters had raised $90,000.
Sixty-six years later, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest private waterfowl and wetlands conservation organization, with a membership of over 700,000 and over 11 million acres of wetlands conserved. DU’s conservation projects occur throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Latin America. Wherever waterfowl breed, migrate, or winter Ducks Unlimited is there.
From the very start, DU focused its conservation efforts on Canada’s prairie breeding grounds. Today, a majority of DU’s habitat conservation work continues on the upland nesting sites and shallow wetlands located within the Prairie Pothole Region of the north-central US and south-central Canada, where 50 percent of North America’s ducks are produced.
In 1974, DU turned its attention to Mexico, where wetland projects offer secure wintering habitat for waterfowl to rest and restore energy for the spring trek north to breed. In 1984, DU began its work in the United States to provide waterfowl with breeding habitat, wintering grounds, and stopping places along their migration routes. DU is a leader in implementing the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP). The NAWMP is an international agreement among the United States, Canada, and Mexico that establishes goals for rebuilding waterfowl populations to levels of the 1970’s.
Waterfowl are not the only beneficiaries of DU’s work. Wetlands improve the overall health of our environment by recharging and purifying groundwater, moderating floods, reducing soil erosion, and providing recreation. These are nature’s most productive ecosystems, providing critical habitat to 900 wildlife species, including several that are threatened or endangered. The United States has lost more that half of its original wetlands, and continues to lose more than 109,000 acres of the vegetated wetlands most important to wildlife each year.