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Banding Together for Waterfowl

Policy News: Vol. 3, Issue 2

Top stories for Jan. 11, 2011

Former DU director of conservation programs named new director of MN DNR

Tom Landwehr
Former DU manager of conservation programs in Minnesota and Iowa, Tom Landwehr, was recently named director of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. (Photo courtesy duluthnewstribune.com)

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton recently named Tom Landwehr, former DU manager of conservation programs for Minnesota and Iowa, the new director of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Landwehr worked for the DNR as a research biologist and then as a wildlife manager during the 1980s into the late 1990s. After working with DU, Landwehr most recently served as assistant state director for the Nature Conservancy in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

"I am honored to serve Gov. Dayton and the citizens of Minnesota in this critical position," Landwehr said. "By bringing together all those with a stake in the future of our state's resources, I hope to show that sound conservation and vital communities are a natural combination. We need to have a Department of Natural Resources that works for all Minnesotans."

DU's conservation staff in Minnesota expressed excitement to see a proven champion of conservation in the director's position. "We were very excited and encouraged to hear that Tom had been named to such an influential position," said Ryan Heiniger, DU's manager of conservation programs in Minnesota. "He has a proven record of making conservation a vital priority for this state, and we look forward to working with him in the coming years."

Assistant Secretary of the Interior, active player in national conservation programs, to step down

Tom Strickland
Tom Strickland announced Monday he will step down from his post as assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks for the U.S. Department of the Interior. (Photo courtesy washingtonpost.com)

The U.S. Department of the Interior said Monday Tom Strickland, who has served as assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks and chief of staff for the DOI since 2009, has announced he'll step down from his post soon to pursue other opportunities.

"Tom has been a driving force in standing up our Interior leadership team, launching a 21st century conservation agenda, leading initiatives such as the Everglades restoration and helping restore the Gulf after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill," U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said. "He is a dynamic leader, a nationally recognized champion for conservation and a close friend of more than 30 years. Time and again, he has delivered results for the Administration and the American people. I wish him the best for the many chapters he has yet to write in his future."

As assistant secretary, Strickland helped develop a number of initiatives with which DU was involved, including the America's Great Outdoors Initiative, which promotes and supports innovative, community-level efforts to conserve outdoor spaces and reconnect Americans to the outdoors. Strickland also led efforts to protect national parks, wildlife refuges and coastlines during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

"It has been an honor to be part of President Obama's Administration and to help Secretary Salazar reform and reinvigorate the Department, whose missions are critical to our energy security, the conservation of our land, water and wildlife, and our nation's economic health," Strickland said. "It was a pleasure to serve with the top-flight policy and management team here at Interior and I leave with the deepest respect for the Department's dedicated and talented public servants."

Will Shafroth, the principal deputy assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks, will serve as acting assistant secretary for fish and wildlife and parks until a new assistant secretary is confirmed.

DU weighs in to support hunting on Forest Service lands

A September 29, 2010, Federal Circuit Court ruling on the Forest Plan for the Huron-Manistee National Forest in central Michigan sets a troubling precedent that could pose a threat to gun hunting on portions of federal lands. The Court mandated that the Forest consider banning all firearm hunting on all or portions of 13 Semi-primitive Areas.

U.S. Forrest Service
DU has signed onto a letter in support of hunting on U.S. Forest Service lands. (Member photo submitted by Brent Gale)

In December, the Forest published a Notice of Intent to comply with Court direction and develop a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement that will review the proposal to ban firearm hunting on the identified areas.

The Forest Service NOI proposes two alternatives: "No-Action," which would reaffirm existing management direction on the Forest and continue to allow hunting on the identified areas, or "Modified Closure Alternative," which would ban firearm hunting on some portion of the identified areas.

Joining other groups in the American Wildlife Conservation Partners, DU signed a letter to the Huron-Manistee NF asking the Forest to select the "No-Action" alternative and continue to allow firearm hunting on all areas of the Forest.

"This ruling is important because it could set a precedent for future issues involving U.S. Forest Service lands," Scott Sutherland, director of DU's Governmental Affairs Office in Washington, D.C. "The wildlife conservation organizations who have signed this letter represent the interests of millions of hunter conservationists across the nation. These organizations are continually working to introduce Americans to the outdoors, and establishing areas where outdoor activities like hunting, which has a rich American tradition, are banned could hinder that effort."


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