Delta Waterfowl Honors Policy Work Standouts with Conservation Leader Award

Delta Waterfowl Honors Policy Work Standouts with Conservation Leader Award

BISMARCK, NORTH DAKOTA —Luke Naylor and Jason “Buck” Jackson of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, and Jonathan Scarth, the principal secretary to the premier of Manitoba, were celebrated with Delta Waterfowl’s first-ever Conservation Leader Award.

Each was honored for exceptional work in waterfowl and conservation policy. The Conservation Leader Award rewards the commitment of remarkable individuals to supporting Delta’s mission to produce ducks and secure the future of waterfowl hunting.

Naylor, Jackson and Scarth were presented with awards during the Champions of Delta luncheon on July 30 at the Delta Waterfowl Duck Hunters Expo in Little Rock, Arkansas. Delta staff, members and supporters applauded the contributions each man has made to conservation policy.

Naylor and Jackson have been at the helm of AGFC’s waterfowl program since 2006 and 2009, respectively. The pair is responsible for the Arkansas Waterfowl Rice Incentive Conservation Enhancement Program, an innovative effort to enhance wintering waterfowl habitat and create new opportunities for waterfowl hunters in the state.

WRICE works with farmers across Arkansas to improve the habitat value of working agricultural lands by incentivizing reduced fall tillage and post-harvest flooding. The program improves wintering waterfowl habitat, and through a limited draw, those same fields are open to waterfowl hunters. The WRICE program also offers incentives to landowners with Wetland Reserve Easements. The program offers benefits in habitat conservation and waterfowl hunting access statewide.

“As both habitat and hunting access continue to be a pressing issue in Arkansas and across the country, Delta would like to recognize Luke Naylor and Jason “Buck” Jackson for their vision and ability to think outside the box to create solutions that are meaningful to both ducks and duck hunters,” said John Devney, chief policy officer of Delta Waterfowl.

Scarth has a long history with Delta Waterfowl and wetland protection. He first joined Delta Waterfowl as a student research assistant and worked alongside many graduate students, including Dr. Frank Rohwer, Delta’s president and chief scientist. After completing a law degree and a master’s degree in natural resources management, Scarth has held several senior-level positions, including service as president of The Duck Hunters Organization.

Throughout his career, Scarth has been instrumental in critical conservation work, including the legislation which established wetland easements in prairie Canada in 1996. In partnership with agricultural producers, Scarth also developed the Alternative Land Use Services model. Launched in the late 1990s, ALUS was a landmark tool for conserving wetlands and nesting habitat on private lands in Canada. The ALUS model was the basis for Manitoba’s Growing Outcomes for Watersheds program. Announced in 2020, GROW implements an incentive-based approach to habitat conservation across the province. Scarth’s work on ALUS, and to establish GROW’s $204 million endowment, made the historic policy possible.

Additionally, Scarth helped shape Delta’s initial efforts on hunting policy.

“Jonathan was instrumental,” Devney said. “As an example, he provided key support through Canadian Delta chapters and membership to the federal government to establish Waterfowler Heritage Days, special hunting days for youth that began in 2000.”

The dedicated efforts of Naylor, Jackson and Scarth help secure the future of waterfowl and waterfowl hunting in North America. With this award, Delta recognizes the exceptional contributions these men have made toward Delta’s mission and waterfowl conservation.

Delta Waterfowl is The Duck Hunters Organization, a leading conservation group working to produce ducks and ensure the future of duck hunting in North America. Visit deltawaterfowl.org.


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