Extending across three Canadian provinces and down into five states in the Upper Midwest, the Prairie Pothole Region is characterized by millions of shallow depressions—or potholes—of wetlands left behind from the glaciers of the ice age. In addition to providing a home to more than 50 percent of North American migratory waterfowl, the potholes also absorb rain, snow melt and floodwaters, reducing the risk of flooding to communities downstream. However, this landscape is especially threatened. Nearly half of the potholes have been drained for agricultural uses or destroyed by development, and the loss is ongoing and accelerating.

“We see a window of opportunity to protect and restore the most critical large blocks of this landscape by using a revolving land approach. This allows us to substantially increase our conservation footprint and potentially save tens of thousands of acres across the prairie.”

—Dr. Scott Stephens, Director of Operations for the Prairie Region, Ducks Unlimited Canada

We’re establishing a $10 million revolving fund with Ducks Unlimited Canada that allows them to purchase sensitive habitat on the prairie, restore it if necessary and resell the land with a conservation easement that prevents development or conversion to agriculture land. “The willingness of The Conservation Fund to provide Ducks Unlimited Canada with a conservation loan has provided the needed leadership to get our Canada partners engaged,” said Greg Siekaniec, chief executive officer for Ducks Unlimited Canada. “We now have similar models in place with Canadian financial institutions based on ‘conservation lending’ that promotes a sustainable future as part of their environmental platform and interests. This is true international conservation leadership!”