Volunteers needed for new Ducks chapter

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Don Cuchens’ love of duck hunting, and desire to preserve wetlands for the sport he loves, have led him to restart a Covington County chapter of Ducks Unlimited.


“There was a chapter here a few years ago,” Cuchens, who is a National Guard recruiter here, said. “I had chaired the one in Enterprise, so they asked me to start one up here.”

DU got its start in 1937 during the Dust Bowl when North America’s drought-plagued waterfowl populations had plunged to unprecedented lows. Determined not to sit idly by as the continent’s waterfowl dwindled beyond recovery, a small group of sportsmen joined together to form an organization that became known as Ducks Unlimited.

DU is now the world’s largest and most effective private, nonprofit, waterfowl and wetlands conservation organization. It works with private individuals, landowners, agencies, scientific communities and other entities.

As of January, DU had conserved 6.4 million acres in Canada; 1.9 million acres in Mexico; and 5 million acres in the U.S.

In the most recent fiscal year, DU volunteers hosted more than 4,500 grassroots fundraising events to support these projects. Last year, DU spent 82 percent of its national budget on waterfowl and wetlands conservation and education; 15 percent on fundraising and development; and 3 percent on administration.

Cuchens plans an organizational meeting next Mon., Feb. 23, at 6 p.m. The place has yet to be determined, but he is asking those interested in helping to call him at 334-796-6825.

“You don’t have to be a duck hunter to conserve wetlands,” he said.

Preliminary plans are for a fundraising event to be held here the first week of May.