Newsroom Midwest Region

Minnesota Private Lands Office wins Partner of the Year Award

October 11, 2018

Staff from the Minnesota Private Lands Office. Photo by Alejandro Morales/USFWS.
Staff from the Minnesota Private Lands Office. Photo by Alejandro Morales/USFWS.

We at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are committed to conserve, restore and protect wildlife, fish, plants and their habitats, we manage public lands for the benefit of everyone. Every employee in our agency plays a role in making our mission possible. Some of our employees are recognized for their exemplary contribution in environmental conservation. On September 15, 2018, Sheldon Myerchin, State Coordinator for our Partners For Fish and Wildlife Program accepted the Minnesota Land Trust’s Partner of the Year Award on behalf of the Partners For Fish and Wildlife Program - well earned recognition for their hard working staff. We don’t do anything alone. Our partners help us achieve our mission, we help them, and together we make a big difference for fish and wildlife. This award celebrates that unique partnership.

Our Partners Program was designed to provide conservation minded landowners with technical and financial assistance to improve habitat for fish and wildlife on private lands, complementing our conservation efforts on public lands like national wildlife refuges. In a similar capacity, the Minnesota Land Trust helps landowners develop conservation easements that will perpetually conserve habitat beyond the landowners lifetime while still being accessible by the landowner.

“If those lands are in need of wildlife habitat restoration or enhancement, Minnesota Land Trust or the landowner will contact us for assistance,” explains Myerchin. “Successful partnerships require the building of trust and integrity, both the Minnesota Land Trust and the Partners Program have a mission to protect, restore, and enhance wildlife habitat”

Finding and working with organizations like the Minnesota Land Trust, we are able to maximize our resource management activities, expand wildlife habitat and increase opportunities for recreation on public and private lands.

The Minnesota Land Trust shared the following about Myerchin and Partners Program staff: “Through a burgeoning relationship with the Land Trust, the program is playing a critical role in restoring natural habitat on private easement lands across the state. Sheldon Myerchin oversees nearly a dozen field biologists who work tirelessly with landowners to restore wetlands and grasslands by encouraging natural hydrology, removing invasive species, planting native prairies and more.” Myerchin recognizes that being honored by the Trust isn’t the accomplishment of one person, but all of the Partners Biologists and other Service staff.

Everyday is a new opportunity for us to foster, develop and collaborate with others to further our mission. Congratulations to Sheldon Myerchin and the Partners Program staff in Minnesota for their exemplary conservation work with landowners, organizations and communities across the state.