Jeff McCreary

Name: Jeff McCreary
Position/Occupation: Director of Conservation Programs, Ducks Unlimited, Inc. and San Francisco Bay Joint Venture (SFBJV) Management Board Chair, 2018-2020
December 2019

Jeff McCreary currently serves as Director of Conservation Programs for Ducks Unlimited’s (DU) Western Region, and as the Chair of the San Francisco Bay Joint Venture Management Board.  His career spans over two decades of wetlands conservation with thousands of acres conserved in 5 states – California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. Jeff’s educational background includes receiving a bachelor’s in wildlife biology from the University of California at Davis, and a master’s degree in wetland ecology from Duke University.

Jeff began his tenure with DU in 1999 as a biologist in the Intermountain West, conserving wetlands and associated habitats from the Mexican to the Canadian border. In 2005, he moved back to his native California to manage DU’s Delta, San Francisco Bay, and Coastal California programs before taking on this current position. Today, he is fortunate to supervise all of DU’s direct conservation activities throughout the nine westernmost states, while also serving on multiple joint venture management boards.

Jeff thinks “partner-based conservation is the way to ensure future generations can enjoy the natural world as we do today.”  He added “the San Francisco Bay Joint Venture is where we come together so that our collective conservation efforts are greater than our individual ones.”

Ducks Unlimited and Joint Ventures share the same model of collaborative conservation by using partnerships as the tool to develop a vision for, then implement wetland conservation. While some may view it as “too many cooks in the kitchen, people are the critical ingredient!” In Jeff’s opinion, “we may say we are doing this work for the birds, but it’s really for the people. Wetland conservation is important not only to me, but DU, DU’s partners, and the citizen of the Bay Area, California, and our great nation.”

The recent release of the report in the journal of science demonstrating there are 3 billion fewer birds in North America than there were just 50 years ago (a loss of approximately 1/3rd of those previously found in North America) is cause for alarm and action. While dramatically negative, the report does show that partnership-based conservation works. Jeff points out that one of the few species to have increased during this same time frame are waterfowl. Migratory bird conservation partnerships, such as the SFBJV, were born out of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan and North American Wetlands Conservation Act to enact flyway-wide wetland habitat conservation for waterfowl. Our task now is to continue expanding the proven waterfowl conservation model to all birds and all bird habitats.

Jeff’s call to action:  “we must all pull together now more than ever doing what we can as the ecological and social challenges before us continue to mount.” Ducks Unlimited has 750,000+ members who think so too and give back generously to support wetland conservation. By working together for conservation regardless of who we are or where we come from, we are making a difference in this world.

When not following his passion for wetland conservation, Jeff enjoys his other passion: the outdoors – hiking, camping, hunting, and gardening. His 2 acres in Penryn has 3 vegetable gardens, 40 fruit trees, 5 chickens, a jubilant golden retriever (Ginger), keeping him and his wife Holly blissfully busy.