On September 30, Dutchess County Ducks Unlimited (DU) hosted its fifth annual Great Swamp Clays and Conservation event at Tamarack Preserve in Millbrook. The gathering featured a clay shooting competition, conservation program, and a pig roast lunch to benefit land conservancy and raise awareness about preservation efforts for the Great Swamp.
Ducks Unlimited began in 1937, when Dust Bowl conditions reduced waterfowl populations to dangerously low numbers. A group of concerned sportsman joined together to form Ducks Unlimited, currently the world’s largest private waterfowl and wetlands conservation organization. DU achieves its goals through partnerships with private individuals, landowners, and scientific organizations across the United States, Canada, and Mexico. A non-profit, volunteer organization, DU seeks to address the numerous causes of the erosion of waterfowl habitats in North America.
The Tamarack Preserve was opened in 1992 as a members-only hunting and fishing club. The club leases land primarily from the Bontecou family for members to hunt upland birds, turkey, geese, ducks, and deer, as well as fish for trout and bass. The property remains undeveloped to promote the sporting and agrarian use of the land.
The event was presented in conjunction with the Dutchess Land Conservancy. The conservation program educated attendants on DU programs, land use management, and a history of the organization. It also highlighted the importance of the Great Swamp as not only a waterfowl habitat, but also as a vital watershed in New York State. The area also plays an important part in flood control and water filtration for the surrounding areas.
For more information about Ducks Unlimited, visit www.ducks.org/new-york/ online, or email: DutchessCountyDU@gmail.com.