The annual Ducks Unlimited dinner and auction has been cancelled this year.
“We’ve decided not to do it due to the wildfires and concern for the businesses in town and community, so we’re not going to do it this year. We’re going to look at perhaps doing one in the spring,” says Chris Nickless, chair of the local chapter of Ducks Unlimited.
While he stresses the spring fundraiser is still very tentative, he says the loss of the fundraiser is a huge impact to the organization.
“That’s our big fundraiser. We don’t raise funds any other way,” he says.
“The financial conditions right now for businesses in the area as well as folks — we don’t know where everyone is going to be. The fires are still burning.”
The fundraiser often raises between $15,000 to $20,000 that goes to the Ducks Unlimited organization for projects.
Previous projects have included the 100 Mile Marsh, the 130 Mile Wetlands and the Walker Valley.
The projects help provide habitat for waterfowl in the area.
“Obviously, if we don’t have marshlands for our wildfowl then we don’t have wildfowl.”
This year, Nickless says the organization had planned to rebuild weirs in the Walker Valley. He’s not sure they managed to complete the project due to the wildfires.
While the wildfires have impacted other wildlife habitat in the area, Nickless thinks that for the most part, the water birds should be okay.
“I wouldn’t think it would affect them too seriously. A lot of the nesting has been done. I’m guessing that a lot of the young birds were able to sit in the middle of the water.”