Ducks Unlimited formally welcomed new president and Humphrey native George Dunklin at the organization’s convention last week in Portland, Ore.

Dunklin, a 30-year DU volunteer, becomes the organization’s 42nd president, succeeding John Newman, who is now DU chairman of the board.

A rice farmer and noted conservationist, Dunklin said his background will influence his presidency and said that during his tenure he wants to see DU build on its more than 13 million acres of habitat conservation work.

“So many great leaders helped bring me to this place in my conservation career and I am determined to make them proud during my presidency,” Dunklin said. “And far beyond that, I am committed to continuing to grow and shape this great organization, strengthen our bonds as Team DU and reach or exceed all our goals over the next two years.”

Dunklin also wants to maintain DU’s fundraising success, grow the youth and education program to recruit and train future conservationists and meet the objectives of DU’s business plan.

Dunklin developed his love of conservation and duck hunting while growing up in Pine Bluff and hunting at Grand Prairie and said his father and grandfather were major influences.

In 1983 Dunklin bought what has become a popular duck hunting lodge, Five Oaks, and his efforts at conserving the habitat there and elsewhere earned him a seven-year appointment to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission by former Gov. Mike Huckabee.

He first volunteered with DU more than three decades ago and has been a state chairman, an at-large member of the board of directors, senior advisory vice president for conservation and the first vice president.

“It’s not just about the ducks,” Dunklin said. “It’s about what each of us can do for the land, the resources, our outdoor heritage and the family and friends we share it all with.”