International Crane Foundation and Wisconsin Wildlife Federation Sign MOU

Whooping and Sandhill Crane in flight

Mark LaBarbera, WWF Executive Director, 520-730-9252
Jodi Legge, ICF Director of External Affairs, 608-356-9462, ext. 120

April 5, 2023 – Finding common ground and informing the public about Whooping Crane and Sandhill Crane conservation is the focus of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) recently signed by the International Crane Foundation (ICF) and the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation (WWF). Educating the public on the voluntary use of non-lead ammo will also be a primary goal of the partnership.

“Communication is the key,” said Mark Kakatsch, WWF Waterfowl Committee Chair. Kakatsch, who also co-hosts WWF’s “The Hide” podcast, was instrumental in bringing the two organizations together.

“We want to model behavior that seeks common ground on the issues where we can agree, even when we agree to strongly disagree on other issues,” Kakatsch said. Both organizations strongly support outdoor education and science-based conservation policies and practices.

As part of the MOU, both WWF and ICF will:

  • Explore possible collaboration on educating ICF and WWF members and the sporting public about voluntarily switching to non-lead ammo and tackle;
  • Seek ways to collaborate on protecting the environment from contaminants;
  • Publicize the ICF and WWF relationship and facts about cranes;
  • Educate waterfowl hunters about crane identification;
  • Engage with private landowners in Wisconsin; and
  • Maintain communication and seek opportunities to collaborate.

ICF will also become a statewide affiliate of WWF to provide opportunities for youth in the Conservation Leadership Corp.

“I am hopeful this collaboration will help us assist farmers who support wildlife,” said Dr. Rich Beilfuss, President and CEO of the International Crane Foundation. “I am confident we can work together to resolve crop damage issues and focus on crane conservation on farms and private lands.”

The International Crane Foundation works worldwide to conserve cranes and the ecosystems, watersheds, and flyways on which they depend. We provide knowledge, leadership, and inspiration to engage people in resolving threats to cranes and their diverse landscapes. From its nearly 300-acre headquarters in Baraboo, Wisconsin, the ICF’s reach extends across the globe, with offices and staff in China, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia and South Africa, as well as Texas. It works through strong partnerships with local organizations, governments, universities, businesses and others in these regions. More than 125 ICF staff and associates work with a network of hundreds of specialists in over 50 countries on five continents.

The Foundation is committed to a future where all 15 of the world’s crane species are secure. Through the charisma of cranes, ICF envisions a future where people work together for wild crane populations and the landscapes they depend on – and by doing so, find new pathways to sustain our water, land, and livelihoods. Visit savingcranes.org for more information and to support the work of ICF.

The Wisconsin Wildlife Federation is made up of hunters, anglers, trappers, and others that are actively engaged in the outdoors and who deeply appreciate Wisconsin’s wildlife and recognize the importance of protecting fish and wildlife habitat. WWF members understand that the long-term sustainability of fish and wildlife populations depends upon clean water, clean air and healthy forests and grasslands. The Federation is dedicated to the future of hunting, fishing, trapping and the shooting sports. Members work to achieve these goals through conservation education and the advancement of sound policies on a state and federal level. The Federation was formed by sportsmen and women in 1949 and historically has been a strong leader in conservation through work with more than 211 affiliated sports clubs, plus citizen volunteers and policy makers to assure that Wisconsin’s outdoor heritage will be available for our children and grandchildren. Discover, donate, or join at wiwf.org.

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