Des Moines, Iowa, Feb. 24, 2009 – At its annual Iowa State Convention on February 14, Ducks Unlimited recognized three conservation partners for their efforts to enhance and protect Iowa’s wetland and waterfowl resources. The 2009 conservation awards were presented to Partners of the Year Larry and Jean Braby, Professional of the Year Mark Gulick and Elected Official of the Year Late Senator Mary Lundby.
|IA State Chairman Dr. David Haggard (left), Ryan Heiniger, Larry and Jean Braby and DU Regional Biologist Eric Lindstrom|
“The 2009 award recipients have all made tremendous personal contributions to waterfowl and wetlands conservation and we are pleased to recognize them for their notable achievements,” said Ryan Heiniger, DU director of conservation programs for Iowa and Minnesota.
As Partner of the year, Larry and Jean Braby of Pocahontas, Iowa have devoted a lifetime of service to wetlands and waterfowl habitat conservation. Larry is a charter member of the Pocahontas County DU Committee and has served for over 26 years. He is also a long-time member of the Pocahontas County Conservation Board, Pocahontas Conservation Foundation, Pheasants Forever and the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation. Larry and Jean are model private land stewards who have restored over 400 acres of native grassland and wetland habitat on their property through various Farm Bill programs.
“The work Jean and I have done on our property is a testament to our passion for habitat conservation,” Larry said. “We feel very fortunate to receive DU’s partner award this year.”
Professional of the year Mark Gulick is the Northwest District Wildlife Supervisor for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Throughout his career, Gulick has been a champion for shallow lake management and wetland conservation. Through his leadership, Gulick and his staff have helped advance DU’s Living Lakes Initiative in Minnesota and Iowa.
“Transforming degraded shallow lakes back to healthy clean water systems is one of the most rewarding aspects of my profession,” Gulick said. “In the few short years of the Living Lakes Initiative, significant shallow lake and wetland projects have been completed, and the future looks bright for continuing this progress on other aquatic systems in Iowa.”
The late Sen. Mary Lundby was recognized as the 2009 elected official of the year for her life long dedication to protect Iowa’s natural resources and efforts to promote sustainable funding in the Iowa legislature. In 2009, Sen. Lundby lost her battle with cancer. Sen. Lundby’s husband, Mike Lundby, accepted the award on her behalf.
“Mary would have been extremely pleased for the recognition of her legislative work on the environment and conservation given by DU,” Mike Lundby said. “DU is an organization that she knew works tirelessly on the goal of restoring wetlands and conserving habitat.”
DU began the Iowa conservation awards program in 2000 to recognize individuals, organizations and partners who help continue DU’s mission to conserve, restore and manage wetlands for the benefit of waterfowl, other wildlife and people.
With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization with more than 12 million acres conserved. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands - nature’s most productive ecosystem - and continues to lose more than 80,000 wetland acres each year.
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