Honoring an Influential Conservationist: 2011 Minnesota Waterfowl Symposium
Midwest Regional Director Tom Melius joined MN Commissioner Tom Landwehr and MN DNR Director Dave Schad to welcome members of the waterfowl conservation community to the 2011 Minnesota Waterfowl Symposium. The Symposium, in its fourteenth year, was dedicated to former Fish and Wildlife Service employee and influential conservationist Harvey K. Nelson. Nelson was regarded as a highly respected advocate for the prairie pothole region, a leader in wetlands and waterfowl conservation, and a friend to the entire Midwest natural resources community.
"In my mind, the men and women who dedicate their careers to conservation possess a passion that extends into the communities they live in, the conservation societies they lead, and the families they are part of," Melius said. "Not only do leaders in wildlife conservation work to protect and conserve fish and wildlife resources in their professional careers, but in their personal lives as well."
Harvey K. Nelson, an active member of the conservation community, worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for 42 years before retiring in 1992 to pursue various leadership roles in non-governmental conservation organizations. As a consultant with the Minnesota Waterfowl Association, Nelson was instrumental in the development of the Minnesota Waterfowl Symposium. Nelson's vision for the symposium was to create a forum where dedicated waterfowlers could interact with waterfowl biologists and managers.
The native of Evansville, Minn., received numerous awards for his efforts in the upper Midwest conservation community including Man of the Year for 2000 by Minnesota Outdoor News and the Silver Eagle Award from the FWS Midwest Region.
FWS Regional Director Tom Melius also welcomed Tom Landwehr to his recently appointed position as Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. "Tom's vision has always been a reflection of what is best for the resource," he said. "Tom is not only a planner, but an implementer as well. I had the pleasure of working alongside Tom on the restoration of grasslands and wetlands at Glacial Ridge, and the transfer of those lands to the Fish and Wildlife Service to become part of the Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge. I know that as DNR Commissioner, Tom will embrace landscape conservation and a common vision for Minnesota citizens and Minnesota resources."
Following a dedication to Harvey by retired Fish and Wildlife Service employee Dave Sharp, the program moved forward to address the current status of waterfowl populations, hunting regulations, species management problems, decoys and dog training, volunteer opportunities, and the future of waterfowl hunting recruitment and retention.
The Symposium was sponsored by Minnesota Waterfowl Association, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Delta Waterfowl.
To view a recording of the Symposium visit http://www.ustream.tv/discovery/live/all?q=Minnesota%20Waterfowl%20Symposium.