Ducks Unlimited Secures First Kentucky Conservation Easement
Ballard County Land Protected In Perpetuity.
WICKLIFFE, Ky – -(AmmoLand.com)-Hunters Paradise, Inc., has signed a conservation easement agreement with Ducks Unlimited to permanently protect the natural integrity of seventy acres of important habitat. The property is located in Ballard County within the Mississippi Alluvial Valley, a priority area for DU.
“Protecting properties like the Hunters Paradise tract is crucial to DU’s mission of wetlands and waterfowl conservation,” said DU Manager of Conservation Programs in Kentucky Chris Cole. “This is our first conservation easement in the state, and we hope it is the first of many to come. We aim to protect sufficient winter habitat in the MAV to fully meet the needs of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan population goals for the region.”
Conservation easements meet the needs of interested owners of working farms, ranches, timberlands, sporting properties and recreational lands, who wish to protect valuable natural resources while retaining ownership of the property. A perpetual conservation easement allows a landowner to protect key natural habitats of a property while continuing to use the area for economic gain or recreation.
“I can’t say enough about the importance of conservation-minded private landowners like those at Hunters Paradise,” Cole said. “With the majority of the U.S.’s remaining wetlands in private ownership, achieving our vision to conserve wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever would be impossible without private landowner support.”
The property is near the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. It borders the Swan Lake Wildlife Management Area and lies near both the Peal and Ballard WMA’s. All three WMA’s are managed by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources for migratory waterfowl. Protection of this tract will ensure that additional waterfowl habitat is available in the area, adding to the existing state-owned habitat.
DU places great importance on its efforts in the MAV where approximately eighty percent of the forests have been cleared, and natural flooding has been reduced by as much as eighty percent. The MAV represents the historic floodplain and valley of the lower Mississippi River. It is easily the most significant winter habitat area for mallards in North America and supports thousands of other waterfowl during migration and throughout the winter.
With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization with more than 12 million acres conserved. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands ? nature’s most productive ecosystem ? and continues to lose more than 80,000 wetland acres each year.