Calling out in their familiar honks, a skein of Canada geese flies above Mike Anderson and a crowd of friends and colleagues gathered on the rooftop observation deck at DUC’s national office at the Oak Hammock Marsh Conservation Centre. Anderson, DUC’s emeritus scientist, is about to deliver a tribute to three outstanding individuals who’ve dedicated much of their careers to protecting habitat for North America’s waterfowl.
With a knowing smile, he says, “the geese are right on cue.”
The ceremony is celebrating the lives and legacies of Rod Fowler, Bod Davison and George Mitchell. As the newest inductees into DUC’s North American Waterfowl Conservation Honour Roll, each played a significant role in what is widely regarded as the most successful conservation model in the world: the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP).
About the North American Waterfowl Management Plan
The NAWMP is an international partnership that conserves and protects wetlands and associated habitats that waterfowl need throughout their migration cycle. It was signed by the Canadian and United States governments in 1986 and the Mexican government in 1994. A foundation for continental co-operation, the NAWMP works to ensure there are abundant waterfowl populations and sustainable landscapes across the continent through effective habitat management based on sound science.
DUC is a proud partner in the NAWMP. It established the Honour Roll to acknowledge those who have made unique contributions to the Plan’s success in Canada.
About the 2019 Honour Roll Inductees
Rod Fowler: A former executive vice-president of DUC (a position equivalent to CEO), Fowler worked tirelessly on the implementation of the NAWMP. He was instrumental in giving wing to all the Canadian Habitat Joint Ventures, which focus on areas or species of concern. His quiet, effective leadership gained him the trust of scores of partners across Canada and the United States and enabled DUC to play a leading role in the NAWMP delivery. Fowler passed away in 2002, but his legacy lives on in every aspect of DUC’s continuing involvement in NAWMP conservation programs.
Bob Davison: A retired staff member of the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Davison worked on the NAWMP implementation committee and helped align the funding needed to get the Plan off the ground. Here, Davison proposed and drafted the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) legislation which was passed in 1989 and has since provided over $2 billion for wetland conservation across North America. Over the past 30 years, NAWCA has been one of the most impactful government sources of funding for waterfowl and wetlands conservation.
George Mitchell: A retired United States Senator from Maine, Mitchell served as the sub-committee chairman for Environment and Public Works during the time that the NAWMP was signed and implemented. In 1988, he was appointed as the majority leader of the U.S. Senate and introduced the NAWCA legislation. This legislation was introduced one month later and, within seven months, was passed unanimously in both the house and senate.
DUC’s North American Waterfowl Conservation Honour Roll
The following individuals form the illustrious group of conservationists who have been recognized on DUC’s North American Waterfowl Conservation Honour Roll:
- Gary Myers
- John Frampton
- James Patterson
- Ken Cox
- Wayne MacCallum
- George Finney
- Harvey Nelson
- D. Stewart Morrison
- Matthew Connolly
- Rollin D. Sparrowe
- Stephen Wendt
- Michael Anderson
- Richard Yancey
- Bruce Batt
- Robert McLean
- Rod Fowler
- Bob Davison
- George Mitchell