The Duck Hunters Organization is hard at work securing the future of waterfowl hunting across the United States and Canada. Check in on the status of issues across all four flyways, including those affecting your duck hunting.
Delta Waterfowl in Washington, D.C.: Delta Waterfowl chief policy officer John Devney recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to take part in several meetings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill and administration officials to discuss priorities for Delta Waterfowl members and duck hunters everywhere. Additionally, Devney helped chair the Hunting and Wildlife Conservation Council, which he was appointed to in 2022.
- The Hunting and Wildlife Conservation Council’s purpose is to provide recommendations to the Federal Government, through the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture, that benefit wildlife resources, encourage partnership among the public; sporting conservation organizations; Federal, State, Tribal, and territorial governments, and benefit fair chase recreational hunting and safe recreational shooting sports.
Delta Waterfowl Presents to National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucus Members: Delta Waterfowl staff was on-site at the 20th Annual National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucus Legislator Summit in Delaware to present on Delta’s University Hunting Program. The team emphasized the growing trend of college/university level wildlife and natural resources students—throughout the United States and Canada—having little to no understanding or background in hunting.
Swan Creek WMA Response—Alabama: After Delta Waterfowl members in Alabama and across the southeast submitted hundreds of formal comments to the City of Decatur in response to proposed bridge construction that would threaten hunting access at Swan Creek Wildlife Management Area in northeast Alabama, the engineering firm hired to help assess the project sent the following update:
- Comment Grouping No. 4: Comments were received expressing concern about the potential impact of this project to Swan Creek and Mallard Fox WMAs located within the Tennessee River Bridge Feasibility Study Area.
Response Grouping No. 4: The City is using a combination of local funds and federal grant funds to conduct the Study. The City anticipates the financing for the future design and construction of the project to include federal funding. The Study follows the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act. Compliance with NEPA is required for all federal actions, including financial support of a project. Compliance with NEPA requires the team to avoid and minimize negative impacts to environmental resources. Where adverse impacts are required, mitigation may be needed to offset the impact. Federal and state regulatory agencies have oversight for all cultural resources and will determine if the project is in compliance with NEPA.
In response to the public concern about the impact of the alignments on the area of the WMAs used for duck hunting, the consultant team recommends any future phase of the project specifically evaluate the effects an alternative would have with regards to duck hunting and the dewatering unit. The project team has initiated stakeholder meetings with the duck hunting community to better understand the impacts of each alignment and determine if this can be avoided, minimized, or mitigated. The project team recommends the inclusion of this interest group in future phases of the project.
Measure 114 Update—Oregon: Last month, Measure 114 was ruled unconstitutional in Oregon by a Harney County judge. This ballot measure would have prohibited all magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds and requires all Oregon gun owners to acquire permits for their firearms and attend a gun safety course. Delta Waterfowl has been a staunch opponent of this ballot measure since it was conceived and voted into law in 2022, as it infringes on hunters’ rights. Oregon attorney general, Ellen Rosenblum, has pledged to appeal the case, and our policy team will continue to monitor developments as they arise.
Federal Government of Canada, Firearms Bill C-21: Earlier this month, the Senate of Canada completed the clause-by-clause consideration (review) of the bill. The bill will now be taken to the floor of the Senate for speeches, debate, and the final vote. While there were many amendments tabled in an attempt to focus the bill on the root causes of violence that plague our society (criminal activity – i.e., gang- and/or drug-related), they were unsuccessful, with the focus appearing to remain solely on licensed firearms owners.
2024 State Legislative Sessions: 2024 will be here before you know it, and with it, state legislatures around the country will head into session where they will consider and debate hundreds of bills that impact every aspect of waterfowl conservation and waterfowl hunting. Now is the time to make sure you are prepared to have your voice heard by registering for Delta Waterfowl’s Duck Hunters Action Alert System. Delta Waterfowl’s policy team will send you emails and alerts when issues impacting you arise and provide you with the tools and resources to engage with lawmakers. Text DELTA WATERFOWL to 52886 or click this link today to sign up!