Paul Bonderson, Jr. was the first (volunteer) President of Ducks Unlimited from California in 35 years, and is now finishing his term as Chairman of the Board. As president of DU, he formed a link with Audubon to protect wetlands habitat and started a crusade to raise $2 billion to buy and protect breeding grounds in the northern hemisphere. Bonderson has applied his goals to his own properties. At his 2,500-acre ranch in the Butte Sink near Colusa, for instance, Bonderson and his sons converted 1,500 acres from rice fields to wetlands, and put up 500 wood duck boxes. Bonderson has hosted and financed youth groups to take part in wildlife courses at his ranch, including for anti-hunting vegans who completed the course with success. Bonderson bridged the gap between duck hunters, including those from the California Waterfowl Association, and nature lovers by acting to protect wetlands habitat that provides homes for more than 200 species of birds along with dozens of species of wildlife and endangered species.
As a hunter, Bonderson has traveled and hunted across the hemisphere and beyond, world-class in scope, always projecting the highest sense of ethics, sportsmanship and skill. His biggest victory is that he extended outside the small box of duck hunters and networked with other philanthropists, corporations and to gain grass-roots support with local Audubon chapters across America, as well as develop personal relationships with the directors of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior and Department of Fish and Wildlife, to support waterfowl habitat conservation and help increase waterfowl numbers across the flyways.