Carrol Henderson, a champion of Minnesota wildlife conservation who has worked for Minnesota Department of Natural Resources since 1974, announced his retirement Thursday.

Henderson has supervised the statewide Nongame Wildlife Program in the DNR since 1977. 

“There is no easy way to write this note,” Henderson said in an e-mail to media, DNR colleagues and others.

Henderson said he made his retirement official Monday. His late day is Oct. 2. “It is hard to walk away from a job that has been so rewarding for so many years and enabled me to work with so many great people in helping with wildlife conservation efforts across Minnesota and beyond,” he wrote. “But, I'll do my best to discover new adventures and opportunities in retirement.”

Henderson is involved in the details of the management plan for loon and pelican populations damaged by the Deepwater Oil disaster in 2010. The settlement with British Petroleum will mean millions of dollars toward their conservation in Minnesota.

Henderson said he will continue to advocate for the use of nontoxic fishing tackle and hunting ammunition; promote the Heart of the Bog Birding and Wildlife Trail anchored at Sax-Zim Bog, northwest of Duluth; and work on the translation of the 38 nature phenology journals kept by Dr. Johan Hvoslef in the late 19th century in Fillmore County.

Henderson is the author of multiple books, many focused on his love of birds. “Feeding Wild Birds in America” features practical advice on attracting more varieties of winged visitors to backyard feeders.

Look for more to come in the Star Tribune on Henderson’s career and legacy.