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Duck Hunters.....Please read!

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Minnesota Waterfowl Association – December 2004

HAPPY HOLIDAYS,

WE ALL WANT TO WISH YOU A SAFE & JOYOUS HOLIDAY SEASON!

CURRENT EVENTS…

MESSAGE FROM MWA PRESIDENT JIM COX & THE BOARD REGARDING “EMPTY SKIES”- DENNIS ANDERSON’S ARTICLE FOR ACTION

(STAR TRIBUNE, SUNDAY DECEMBER 12, 2004)

Understandably, we have been deluged by people wanting us to take a leadership role in Dennis Anderson’s rally. I think from here on out, we have to start taking specific steps to ensure our readiness for such an event:

1. Chapter officers need to talk to their chapter members and duck hunting friends, making sure that all will be ready to show up at such rally. The number strength of our presence will make the most difference.

2. Members & duck hunters state-wide need to contact their local elected officials. Make sure that they know the significance of what this rally stands for and that you are going to be an active participant.

The MWA will keep you posted as the event unfolds. We are currently identifying a central location point for a pre-rally gathering. Additionally, to strengthen MWA’s appearance we will develop an armband, hat or some other item of identity to be distributed at the pre-rally location.

As details regarding time, date, & location are determined we will issue additional emails.

If you'd like to join in the effort, contact the state office for a chapter near you, or to be contacted as details are determined.

Anyone in the Nothern MN that wants to know more can contact the the Arrowhead Chapter @ 727-5995, ask for Nate.

Contact MWA

Minnesota Waterfowl Association

3750 Annapolis Lane, Suite 135

Plymouth, MN 55447

Phone 763-553-2977

Fax 763-559-2532

info@mnwaterfowlassociation.org

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Dennis Anderson: Support strong for wetland management rally

Dennis Anderson, Star Tribune

December 19, 2004 ANDY1219

Last week I wrote of the dismal state of wetlands and wetland wildlife, particularly ducks, in Minnesota, and challenged the state's 120,000 duck hunters to rally at the Capitol in support of these important facets of the state's culture and natural history.

Hundreds of readers responded, and a sample of letters I received is published here.

Many conversations have been held in recent days, with few decisions made. But this much is certain: A rally and/or march of duck hunters, birders and other conservationists will occur sometime in coming months at the state Capitol.

How many people will attend depends on various factors. But certainly, I think, thousands will rally -- and perhaps many, many thousands.

Here are developments/con-siderations/thoughts to ponder- with more coming in the weeks ahead:

• The rally will be held between mid-February and early April. A date favored by some is the first Saturday in April, while the Northwest Sportshow is running in Minneapolis.

• Bud Grant has agreed to help lead the rally. KFAN Radio and other media outlets statewide have volunteered their services.

• No one believes Minnesota's landscape woes can be reversed overnight. But immediate changes in the way ducks are managed in the state are necessary and can be made, providing hope for an improved environment. Plans on how to do this will unfold in coming weeks.

• Birders and other conservation-ists/environmentalists are equally disturbed at the loss of songbirds and songbird habitat. Many have said they will join the rally. The reason: Any recovery/refurbishment of Minnesota water and land will benefit everyone in the state.

• Among readers weighing in quietly last week on the rally idea were DNR employees who conceded the agency is incapable (though not necessarily for reasons of their making) of taking the actions necessary to save ducks in Minnesota -- and that change will only come from outside the agency. Still, the DNR is reportedly hurrying together a new duck-recovery plan in an attempt to get ahead of what they view as an uprising.

• Hunters from other Mississippi Flyway states also have said they will attend. Many have posted and/or linked my original column to www.waterfowler.com and www.ducks.org, among other Web sites.

• A consensus is building among some hunters, among them Grant, that serious consideration should be given to closing the Minnesota duck season for at least a year. Not necessarily because hunting is hurting ducks (though recent seasons have been too long and limits too high), but because holding a duck-less season benefits no one except the DNR and manufacturers and sellers of hunting gear. And until those entities get on board what might be called a duck-management-revolution-in-the-making, there's little reason to benefit them alone by holding a season.

• Send your thoughts on this to a new e-mail address: duckcrisis@startribune.com. Additionally, this column and last week's column can be found at www.startribune.com/anderson, along with past coverage, links to related Web sites, a discussion for readers, and ongoing updates on this issue.

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