The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has approved renaming the Bayou Meto Wildlife Management Area just east of Pine Bluff to honor George Dunklin Jr. of Stuttgart. The area’s name will now be officially known as George H. Dunklin Bayou Meto Wildlife Management Area.
AFGC Commissioner Steve Cook made the recommendation to name the Bayou Meto WMA after Dunklin, saying, “As our wildlife management staff stated during the meeting, George is very deserving of this honor due to his commitment and passion for waterfowl habitat in Arkansas and all of North America.”
Cook added: “He has demonstrated this through his work and his personal efforts in his business, with his engagement with DU and with his service at the AGFC. I can think of no other than George that has worked tirelessly in this area of Arkansas for the waterfowl we all enjoy today and will continue to protect and enhance our waterfowl heritage in Arkansas.”
Dunklin had this to say about the honor: “When I was told that the AGFC Commission was going to name Bayou Meto WMA in my honor, I was shocked. I had agreed to the naming of the Wrape Plantation, which is a valuable rest area for the Bayou Meto WMA on the south end, but when I was told that the decision was not that but Bayou Meto, well, words can’t describe it. I am both humbled and honored.”
Over the last 10 years, there has been quite a bit written about Dunklin. Some of his many accomplishments include serving on the AGFC, serving as Senior Vice President of Conservation Programs, named President of Ducks Unlimited (DU), named Chairman of the Board for DU and was inducted into the Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame. These are just a few of the more recent accomplishments in the world of outdoors.
Dunklin served on the AGFC commission from 2005-2012 and has served as a DU volunteer for over 30 years. He has made significant contributions to conservation in Arkansas, including improvements to Bayou Meto WMA. While on the AGFC, Dunklin helped steer funds to the WMA, which he deems the crown jewel of all AGFC properties, for needed improvements.
Dunklin has been a long-time supporter of conservation, and educating others on its importance is his passion.
He has often suggested families go to the Bayou Meto Wildlife Management Area for recreation, bird watching and to enjoy the beauty of nature.
“George served effectively as DU’s president and chairman of the board, led numerous committees and volunteered countless hours to further the mission of this great organization, and I can’t think of a better, more deserving conservationist than George Dunklin to have one of the most famous and popular public hunting areas named in his honor,” said DU CEO Dale Hall.
Dunklin also farms in the Arkansas’ Grand Prairie. He views conservation as something that goes hand-in-hand with responsible farming.
“Arkansas rice farmers don’t just put food on America’s dinner tables - they are also leaders in protecting our land and water and being good stewards of the earth,” Dunklin said.
“As a third generation Arkansas rice producer, clean and ample water is my livelihood. It is the lifeblood for the rice I grow on the Arkansas Grand Prairie, the habitat that we provide for millions of wintering and migrating waterfowl and the drinking water that my family depends on to be safe and secure. The wetlands, bayous and rivers that recharge underground aquifers and help ensure our clean water resources must be properly cared for to provide abundant water supplies for years to come.”