The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

February 28, 2013

Ducks Unlimited and the recent flareup

By Douglas Domedion
Medina Journal-Register

Medina Journal-Register — In the 1930s, duck populations took a big dive due to the large droughts of that era. A small group of sportsmen formed an organization called Ducks Unlimited (DU) in 1937 whose mission was habitat conservation for waterfowl.

We have lost over half our original wetlands in this country and continue to lose over 100,000 acres each year. This effects not only waterfowl but also the overall health of our environment because wetlands recharge and purify groundwater, moderate floods, reduce soil erosion and provide recreation. They also establish habitat for over 900 wildlife species.

DU has around 600,000 members in the U.S. A a huge number of conservation projects throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico and in special areas in Latin America and the Caribbean. In short, where ever waterfowl breed, migrate or winter DU is there.

About 80% of DU’s money is used for conservation work. Every year they have over 4,000 fund raising events over the country. In the U.S. the over all revenue and support provided by DU has reached over $3.5 billion since 1937. Their projects have conserved over 12,695,00 acres of wetlands between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

In New York State alone DU has been responsible for over 600 completed conservation projects, 28,000 acres restored or protected, over 34,000 acres where technical assistance was given and around $8 million invested.

Even if you are not a waterfowl hunter you may want to consider joining or donating to DU because there are many benefits to other wildlife species and the environment from this group’s work.

The Orleans County Chapter of Ducks Unlimited will be having their annual fund raising banquet on March 23rd at the Hickory Ridge Banquet Facilities at 15816 Lynch Road in Holley, NY. The event starts at 6pm with tickets running $60 for singles and $90 for couples. This will include membership, the DU magazine and the dinner which will be steak or chicken. There will also be a live and silent auction, games and raffles. Tickets should be gotten by 3/16/13 and from Gene and Donna Hart (589-9274 or 750-6176) or Tom and Kathleen Bates (585-451-7918)

The recent flare-up against Governor Cuomo’s SAFE Act in NYS has sportsmen and firearms owners really “hot”. His ridiculous act was passed in the middle of the night with no input from the citizens of NYS. In fact it infringes on our Constitutional right- the Second Amendment. One has to wonder what he will try to do next without input from the people he is suppose to represent.

The worst thing about this act is that it will not address the real problem but only restrict law-abiding citizens and give them less protection from the criminals WHO DO NOT OBEY LAWS!

The Governor claims that most New York State citizens are for his new SAFE Act but today there are thousands of concerned citizens headed to Albany from across the State for a Gun Rights Rally that will prove him wrong.

The Orleans County Federation of Sportsman’s Clubs, as have many of the State’s other Federations and Sheriff Departments have informed the Governor that they are against this act. Our Federation has sent the Governor and our legislators a Resolution calling for the repeal of the NYS SAFE Act. They have stated in this Resolution that the act was infringing on our rights guaranteed under the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, that there was no fair or open public input allowed, the act was passed with serious flaws with only a few hours for legislators to review the act and that it has placed several costly mandates on the County government with no corresponding revenue. They have asked the NYS Legislature and the Governor to repeal this Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act (SAFE Act)of 2013.

This resolution was sent out to Governor Cuomo and our State Senators, Assemblymen and the Orleans County Legislature.

If you were unable to attend the Gun Rights Rally today in Albany you really need to contact your representatives and let them know your feelings. If you don’t you may be seeing more Governor Cuomo “laws” that are not represented by the people of NYS and believe me you won’t like them!

The Great Outdoors is an interactive forum for nature lovers of all kinds. Local sportsmen and women can call to share their reports of trophies bagged, good hunting and fishing grounds, odd sightings and sportsman’s club activities. Photos are accepted. To get sportsman’s news and info into The Great Outdoors, call Doug Domedion at 798-4022 or e-mail him at woodduck2020@yahoo.com.