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Taking Wing

Mission: To be a partner in the management of wetland ecosystems for waterfowl and wetland wildlife, while providing a variety of compatible recreational opportunities on National Forest System lands.

TAKING WING is dedicated to the management of waterfowl and wetland wildlife habitat. This effort is directed primarily at the 191 million acres of National Forest System lands and agency responsibilities for proper management and public uses of wetland ecosystems. As the Forest Service leads the way in ecosystem management, the TAKING WING program recognizes the need for close cooperation within all branches of the agency. One fundamental goal is to strengthen intra-agency coordination, regarding waterfowl and wetland wildlife habitat, between the National Forest System and the Research, State and Private Forestry, and International Forestry branches of the Forest Service.

TAKING WING is also the National Forest System program providing leadership in defining the role of National Forests and Grasslands in accomplishing the goals of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. The TAKING WING Strategic Plan ties the Forest Service to the North American Waterfowl Management Plan by establishing "Priority Forests" and outlining a five-year action plan to accomplish program objectives.

The relationship between TAKING WING and Ducks Unlimited, Inc.

Ducks Unlimited, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to fulfilling life cycle needs of North American waterfowl by protecting, enhancing, restoring, and managing important wetlands and associated uplands. Founded in 1937, Ducks Unlimited is the world's leading waterfowl and wetland conservation organization. They have been a formal partner of the Forest Service since 1984, when the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed, launching the beginning of partnerships for wetland habitat improvement projects.

Additional Partners of the TAKING WING Program

Strong partnerships with State game and fish agencies are key to many Forest Service activities and TAKING WING is no exception. These agencies maintain key roles in the Joint Venture process and the local Forests and Grasslands work closely with them to insure adequate resource coordination. Nationally, the TAKING WING program works closely with the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

The Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN) was established to promote and support the conservation of truly hemispheric shorebirds shared by all countries from pole to pole. WHSRN became and official partner of the Forest Service in 1994 by signing a M.O.U. that promotes the conservation of wetlands of importance to shorebirds. To safeguard critical habitats for shorebirds, WHSRN works to identify principal wetland sites. The Forest Service currently has management responsibility for two of these sites, Copper River Delta (AK) and Mono Lake (CA).

Waterfowl U.S.A., a South Carolina based non-profit organization also has an official partnership with the Forest Service. They are supporters of local or resident waterfowl habitats and work locally through grassroots committees and volunteers.

In addition to these partners are many local groups and organizations that provide both funding and hands-on support for the TAKING WING program. They include organizations such as the California Waterfowl Association, scouting groups, and local chapters of the Audubon Society.

Duck Biology

Biological Resources - waterfowl and more. (USGS, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center)



Cindy Ragland - Taking Wing program coordinator
Ducks Unlimited - DU/FS Laison
One Waterfowl Way
Memphis, TN 38120
Phone: 901-758-3825

Ducks Unlimited


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