The Minnesota Waterfowl Association (MWA) has honored its top 2018 members and chapters, while inducting eight Hall of Fame members for their help passing the 2008 Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment.

At the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge headquarters in Bloomington on Friday evening, Alan Nikolai of Chanhassen was named MWA citizen conservationist of the year. Top professional conservationist was Mike Schultz of Le Sueur, while Bruce Stasney, New Prague, was the group’s pioneer conservationist. Its top conservation chapter was Cedar Creek of the north metro.

Approval of the “Legacy Amendment” by Minnesota voters in 2008 followed about 10 years of lobbying and arm- and leg-twisting at the Capitol. Developed and promoted initially by hunters and anglers, the amendment in its final form was supported by environmental groups, as well as arts, culture, and parks and trails advocates.

By fractionally increasing the state sales tax, the amendment raises more than $300 million a year, with a third dedicated to game, fish and wildlife habitat, a third to clean water, and a third to arts, culture, and parks and trails.

Inducted into the MWA Hall of Fame were:

Former state Sen. Satveer Chaudhary, Fridley; Fred Froehlich of Nicollet, Minn., and the Nicollet Conservation Club; Garry Leaf, Bloomington, of Sportsmen for Change; retired state Sen. Bob Lessard of International Falls and St. Paul; Lance Ness, Golden Valley, and John Schroers, Shakopee, past MWA presidents and early organizers of the 2015 Ducks, Wetlands and Clean Water Rally on the Capitol mall; Dave Zentner, Duluth, chair of the Ducks, Wetlands and Clean Water Rally; and Star Tribune outdoors columnist Dennis Anderson.

Yet another honor

The Star Tribune’s Anderson also was honored by Ducks Unlimited recently as the 2018 winner of the group’s national Wetland Conservation Achievement Award in the communications category at the 83rd North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Norfolk, Va.

“Dennis’ storytelling abilities promote our collective passion for waterfowling, while balancing advocacy for wildlife habitat conservation that keeps the plight of wetlands and prairies fresh in the minds of readers,” said Tom Fulgham, Ducks Unlimited chief communications officer.

Staff Reports