Ducks Unlimited’s policy team has added waterfowl biologist and Mississippi native Ed Penny. Penny will work out of DU’s Southern Regional Office in Ridgeland, Mississippi and handle public policy efforts in 13 states.
He comes from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (MDWFP), one of DU’s strongest and most productive partners. At MDWFP he was most recently responsible for administering the Wildlife Bureau and developing partnerships with state and federal agencies, policymakers, individuals and organizations focused on wildlife conservation issues.
“Ed’s education and experience make him uniquely suited for this position,” said DU Director of Operations for the Southern Region Jerry Holden. “He’s a talented waterfowl biologist and a consummate professional with a tremendous gift for facilitating and maintaining strong partnerships with a variety of stakeholders.”
Penny was educated at Mississippi State University, where he obtained both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in wildlife and fisheries science. He has worked for Ducks Unlimited in California and for both the California and Mississippi state wildlife agencies.
Last year, Penny worked to establish a coalition of 14 conservation and recreation organizations to support the first legislative fee increase for hunting and fishing licenses in Mississippi in over 20 years. These license fees fund conservation and management efforts on state public lands and waters which are important to all citizens.
At the national level, Penny represented Mississippi sportsmen and women on policies affecting waterfowl and other wildlife populations. He served on the Mississippi Flyway Council for many years and provided guidance on conservation policy and funding issues, including the Farm Bill, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, State Wildlife Grants, federal duck stamp funding and others.
“Waterfowl conservation has always been my passion. It is a complex enterprise that will only be successful if we maintain adequate funding, healthy habitat and a strong hunting heritage. I am excited to support DU’s conservation policy efforts by working with state and federal decision makers in the Southern Region.”
“We have worked with Ed on many shared issues as he represented MDWFP on many federal policy issues and conservation partnerships,” DU Chief Policy Officer Margaret Everson said. “He has been a tireless worker for conservation, and we look forward to harnessing that energy for DU.”
Ed and his wife, Mandy, live with their three boys and Boykin Spaniel in Jackson. He will handle state, regional and national policy issues related to wetlands and waterfowl habitat conservation and funding. Penny starts in his new position March 17.