Delta Waterfowl Celebrates Signing of the Great American Outdoors Act

President Trump signs the landmark conservation-funding bill that invests in waterfowl habitat enhancements and quality duck hunting opportunities

BISMARCK, NORTH DAKOTA — The Great American Outdoors Act, historic legislation that will have long-term benefits for wildlife conservation, ducks and duck hunters, has been signed into law by President Trump.

The bill includes two elements of special importance to waterfowl hunters.

First, the Great American Outdoors Act devotes roughly $100 million toward “deferred maintenance” on national wildlife refuges. This investment will allow the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to significantly improve waterfowl conservation and hunting opportunities across a vast number of refuges.

“Delta members have often reported breached levies, failing water control structures and the resulting poor habitat and poor hunting opportunities on refuges,” said John Devney, senior vice president of Delta Waterfowl. “We were happy to work on this legislation to ensure the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has the opportunity to invest in critical infrastructure that enhances habitat and provides high quality hunting opportunities.”

Additionally, the bill provides permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which provides for a variety of hunting access and outdoor recreation investments, including a significant conservation investment in the prairie pothole region. LWCF funds have been used by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to purchase voluntary conservation easements on both wetlands and grasslands in North and South Dakota as part of the Dakota Grasslands Conservation Area. Duck production in the region is crucially important to U.S. waterfowl hunters.

The bill was passed by the U.S. Senate on June 17 by a strong bipartisan vote of 73 to 25, and by a 310 to 107 vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on July 22.

“We sincerely appreciate the work of both the House and Senate Democratic and Republican leadership for working across the aisle to pass this transformative piece of conservation legislation, as well as the president for signing it,” said Dr. Scott Petrie, chief executive officer of Delta Waterfowl. “Generations of sportsmen and women will remember this day as a critical moment in history.”

For more information, contact John Devney at (701) 471-4235 or jdevney@deltawaterfowl.org.

Delta Waterfowl is The Duck Hunters Organization, a leading conservation group working to produce ducks and secure the future of waterfowl hunting in North America.