Below are the winners of Ducks Unlimited's 2010 Wetland Conservation Achievement Awards, which were presented at the 75th-annual North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference on March 26, 2010.
Senator John Thune
Sen. John Thune of South Dakota has demonstrated a commitment to protecting the Prairie Pothole Region for many years. During this time, Sen. Thune has contributed immensely to advancing one of the conservation community's top Farm Bill priorities – Sodsaver. Specifically, in 2007, the great-plains-region senator played a critical role in advancing the inclusion of Sodsaver in the Farm Bill reauthorization. He championed arguments on the floor of the U.S. Senate expressing strong support for removing government incentives for continued conversion of America's dwindling native grasslands. Through his continued resolute commitment and dedication to conservation, he has helped protect essential waterfowl habitat in one of the most critical waterfowl production areas in North America.
For the past two decades, Mott has been a major force behind the evolution of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP). The current chief of the Branch of Science and Planning of the USFWS Division of Bird Habitat Conservation, he has been instrumental in the expansion, focus and coordination of the habitat Joint Ventures. Mott, a native of southern New England, has aided the spread of Strategic Habitat Conservation and Adaptive Management as the way the federal wildlife agency conducts its business. He has played a major role as a liaison between the United States and its NAWMP partners in Canada and Mexico. He has had a broad, positive impact on North American waterfowl conservation and remains a vital partner to conservation agencies and NGOs.
Thomas M. Hauge
Thomas M. Hauge has had a long and successful career working for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources – Wildlife Bureau and has built a great coalition of partners in many successful programs, with a strong influence in wetlands and waterfowl programs. Since their inceptions, Hauge has been a staunch supporter of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) and the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA). He has worked diligently to promote wetland conservation projects in Wisconsin, including numerous NAWCA grants, making Wisconsin one of the top NAWCA states in the union. He has worked with DU on more than 100 projects. He is also a strong supporter of NAWMP efforts in Canada, to which Wisconsin has contributed over $4.4 million. Hauge has represented Wisconsin for many years on the Mississippi Flyway Council, including serving as chairman.
Dr. Gary Krapu
Krapu grew up on a small farm in North Dakota where he became interested in waterfowl hunting. Krapu's research career began in 1968 with the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, where he has spent more than 40 years as a wildlife research biologist. Krapu spent his early career in waterfowl research conducting feeding ecology studies of nesting pintails. One important finding from these studies involved the role of invertebrates in providing protein necessary for production of eggs. From a management perspective, this research illustrated the need to protect temporary, seasonal and semi-permanent wetlands, and led to changes in land acquisition priorities for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Dr. Charles M. Nelson
Nelson grew up in Saginaw, Mich., and has had a lifelong passion for the outdoors and civic action. As president of the Tri-County Chapter of the Michigan Duck Hunters Association (MDHA) and the state legislative chairperson of the MDHA in 1975 and 1976, he led the successful effort to create the Michigan Duck Stamp Act. The Michigan Duck Stamp has provided millions of dollars for wetlands conservation. He is chair of the Implementation Committee of MDHA for the North American Waterfowl Management Plan in Michigan.
A Pulitzer-Prize-winning columnist for the New Orleans Times-Picayune and a regular contributor to Field and Stream magazine, Marshall is a natural selection for the 2010 Wetland Conservation Achievement Award in Communications. Marshall has used his platform, both in Louisiana and nationally, to promote important waterfowl and wetlands conservation issues. During Marshall's 35-year career, his willingness to address contentious issues, such as the loss of wetland protections and the threats of natural resource development on fragile habitat, has set him apart. Marshall's continuing enthusiasm for the outdoors makes him a leading voice promoting the traditions of waterfowling and the need for waterfowlers and other sportsmen to be conservation leaders.