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Help Name the RWB’s Newest Waterfowl Production Area

Funk, Nebraska -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Rainwater Basin Wetland Management District launches a celebration of its 50-year anniversary by inviting members of the public to help name the district’s newest Waterfowl Production Area (WPA).

The Rainwater Basin WMD was established in 1963 with the purchase of land for Massie WPA in Clay County. Today, the district manages 60 WPAs in 13 south-central Nebraska counties, principally as wetland habitat for migrating waterfowl and other birds.

The new 162-acre WPA is southwest of Hildreth in Franklin County, approximately ½ mile west of Ritterbush WPA. Its proximity to several other wetlands greatly increases the area’s habitat value, not only for waterfowl, but also for whooping cranes, according to WMD project leader Ronnie Sanchez.

The land was purchased in 2006 by Ducks Unlimited’s Wetlands America Trust with support from North America Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) funds. DU and the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service subsequently restored the site’s wetland, also with NAWCA support. The USFWS purchased the land in 2012 with Land and Water Conservation funds obtained through Senator Ben Nelson and funds from NAWCA and DU.

The public is invited to help name the new WPA. Potential names may reflect local history, a prominent land feature, a wildlife species…or something else. “Only the individual’s imagination is the limit,” says Sanchez.

Entries should be submitted by noon on March 1, 2013, to ronnie_sanchez@fws.gov, or by mail to USFWS Rainwater Basin WMD, P.O. Box 8, Funk, NE 68940. The winner will be notified prior to the dedication ceremony this spring and will receive a commemorative gift.