DU Presents Senator Dorgan with Refuge Champion Award
PINGREE, N.D., August 3, 2005 – Dr. Jim Ringelman, director of conservation programs for Ducks Unlimited in the Great Plains Region presented Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (N.D.) with the 2005 Refuge Champion Award in recognition of the senator’s on-going support of operations and maintenance funding for the nation’s wildlife refuges.
“The Refuge Champion Award was established by the Cooperative Alliance for Refuge Enhancement (CARE) to recognize the dedication and commitment of members of Congress who support enhancement of the refuge system,” said Dr. Ringelman. “On behalf of Ducks Unlimited, I am pleased and honored to recognize Senator Dorgan’s enthusiasm and leadership for protecting these very special places for wildlife.”
Sen. Dorgan joins Sen. Judd Gregg (N.H.) and Rep. Bill Young (Fla.) and Rep. Norm Dicks (Wash.) as 2005 recipients of the Refuge Champion Award. Sen. Dorgan was named ranking Democratic member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for the Department of Interior in March, 2003.
CARE was formed in 1996 with the singular purpose of increasing funding for operations and maintenance of the refuge system. The cooperative alliance includes a very diverse group of conservation and recreation organizations with a common interest in funding needs for the refuge system.
North Dakota has 62 of the nation’s 544 national wildlife refuges and has more wildlife refuges than any other state. According to Dr. Ringelman, the refuge system plays a critical role in providing habitat for the nation’s wildlife including providing nesting and migration habitat for waterfowl and other migratory bird species on the Great Plains.
The Ducks Unlimited Great Plains regional office is located in Bismarck, N.D., and carries out the organization’s conservation mission in eight states including North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana.
With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands − nature’s most productive ecosystem − and continues to lose more than 100,000 wetland acres each year.