Commentary: Local fundraisers protect waterfowl habitat

By Charlotte Westing and Nick Docken, Committee Co-chairs
Copper Delta Chapter of Ducks Unlimited

The Copper Delta Chapter of Ducks Unlimited is proud to report that over $15,000 was raised at this year’s banquet and auction on Saturday, Oct. 26 at the Reluctant Fisherman. How does DU help our community? DU has been directly involved in many of the measures to conserve Dusky Canada Geese, which rely almost exclusively on the Copper River Delta for nesting and brood-rearing habitat. DU has projects throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Latin America.  This work focuses on breeding, migrating, and wintering areas important for waterfowl. This directly benefits the waterfowl population so important to the subsistence and sport hunters right here in our area. Regardless of Alaska’s large expanses of unspoiled habitat, if these birds have no place to go when they travel south, that presents a real problem. DU has been at the forefront of wetlands protection for more than 80 years.

Our local chapter has been actively fundraising for 37 years! Our success depends on a dedicated group of volunteers willing to work hard to pull of a worthwhile and fun event for the community each year. They pay for a banquet ticket like everyone else but work tirelessly in the lead up to the event as well as on banquet night.

We could not be successful without the generosity of our local businesses that donate items to our raffles. With the holidays approaching, please remember to “Shop Local First!” These businesses do a lot to support our community and are the backbone to a thriving community. Please thank and patronize the supporters of Ducks Unlimited.

If you’re passionate about waterfowl and conservation, contact one of our committee members to talk about how you can contribute. The 2019 committee members were: Lisa Docken, Lance Westing, Ardy Hanson, Collin Bronson, Will Schreck, Clay Koplin, Charlotte Westing, Nathan Wesely, Nick Docken, Erin Cooper, and Anne Schaefer.

We hope you enjoyed your evening with our lively auctioneer R.J. Kopchak and a delicious meal provided by the wonderful staff of the Reluctant Fisherman. We hope to see you at our banquet next year!