In partnership with the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge, the Santiva Chronicle will be celebrating the 75th anniversary of the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge by honoring its roots in the noble profession of newspaper editorial cartooning.
Starting this week, through Dec. 1, 2020, the refuge’s official anniversary, this publication will be running a monthly historical editorial cartoon penned by Jay Norwood “Ding” Darling, who twice won the Pulitzer Prize for his thousands of cartoons that appeared in the Des Moines Register in the early 1900s, syndicated in 150 dailies across the country.
We start this month with a cartoon featuring one of Darling’s favorite subjects: ducks. Although an avid sportsman himself, Darling expresses his concern for the overhunting of ducks, which led to his creation of the Federal Duck Stamp program in 1935.
Titled “All dressed up and no place to go,” the cartoon recognized the need to create legislation and refuge habitat to protect migrating birds. Considered prophetic in his time about issues that would affect our nation and the world, Darling later laid the foundation, as chief of the precursor to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, for the national wildlife refuge system, which today oversees more than 560 refuges.
To learn more about Darling, his work, and his legacy, watch future Santiva Chronicle issues for this new monthly feature. For more information about the refuge’s 75th anniversary celebration, visit www.ding75.org.