KANSAS CITY, Mo., March 22, 2011 -
Ducks Unlimited honored a retired U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service district manager from Minnesota with a Wetland Conservation Achievement Award for his exceptional, long-term contributions to wetlands and waterfowl conservation. Kevin Brennan’s leadership during his 24 years as manager of the Fergus Falls Wetland Management District resulted in the improvement and protection of more than 26,000 acres of wetland and associated upland habitat in a key portion of the Prairie Pothole Region of Minnesota.
The award was made Friday during the 76th Annual North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Kansas City, Mo.
"I am very humbled by this award and want to thank Ducks Unlimited for their many years of commitment to the vitally important waterfowl and wetlands of the Prairie Pothole Region," Brennan said.
According to DU’s Manager of Conservation Programs for Minnesota Jon Schneider, Brennan’s efforts were important to DU’s launching its Living Lakes initiative. “Kevin accelerated wetland and shallow lake enhancement on waterfowl production areas in Minnesota,” Schneider said. “Kevin was relentless and innovative in his work to gain additional funding for habitat conservation through partnering with conservation organizations and accessing federal grant funds.”
“Kevin recognized the need for active management to maintain high quality habitat,” said Ryan Heiniger, DU director of conservation programs for Minnesota. “He earned respect from everyone he worked with as being very passionate and dedicated to wetlands restoration and protection.”
Brennan, who served a total of 36 years with USFWS, had a deep interest in educating people about waterfowl and wetland conservation, which motivated him to lead the way in establishing the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center. His championing of the learning center resulted a wide array of partners coming together to create innovative environmental education programs for both young people and adults. These programs include the successful Prairie Science Class, which every school day integrates the prairie wetland environment with traditional subjects for its 220 fourth and fifth grade students.
Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America’s continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 12 million acres, thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever.
Becky Jones Mahlum