Mother Nature’s Helping Hands

What would life be like now if Duck’s Unlimited was never
created with all the group has done for wildlife and the wetlands?
Today doesn’t seem so bad when looking back at the drought and
terrible financial crisis of 1937. Seventy-five years ago a group
of men gathered to discuss their love for waterfowl hunting, and
the sight of a declining duck population to compile a plan. Ducks
Unlimited’s success started with its core structure and it has
remained consistent throughout the years. The foundation for
success has been based on volunteerism, partnerships, and
science-based decision-making using a sound business plan. I meet
people in this industry every day who have extreme passion about
outdoor life and hunting. There are many people in the industry who
talk about how important it is to pass on the hunting tradition to
others, but there are very few people who actually do something
about it. It’s not the name of the organization that makes it
great, it’s the hard working members who stand behind it. It’s
uplifting to know there are still people in this busy world who are
willing to give their time to get others to see the big

While many college students spend most of their energy balancing
books and beer, Justin Morrissey has another plan. Morrissey,
sophomore at UW-River Falls (UW-RF), is double-majoring in
marketing communications and field biology. He founded the first
Ducks Unlimited Chapter at UW-RF last year and has been very
successful so far by signing up 120 members. If that wasn’t enough,
he is also part of the pro staff and an intern with
POMA (Professional Outdoor Media Association). I found out from
another POMA member that Morrisey is also an amazing wildlife
photographer; Morrissey was too humble to point that out himself.
“That all keeps me pretty busy, but I still find plenty of time to
get out in the woods,” said Morrissey. In order for the college to
allow him to start a DU chapter in the UW-RF name, he had to
educate the educators. “I had to get them to understand the big
picture; DU is into conservation and restoring wetlands, not just
hunting. It was a lot of work, but we are growing like crazy and
are starting to attract city kids who have never even picked up a
gun before,” said Morrissey. With the success of the DU chapter,
his future goals include getting a shooting team started and
possibly some other good programs through other conservation

Thankfully there are still great people who use their free time to
help develop successful programs to help preserve, conserve and
protect wetlands. A good friend once told me a rich man can donate
all of the money in the world, but when someone donates his time,
that is worth much more. I think Joseph Knapp would be mighty proud
to hear about the good people who are following in his


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