New biologist to help protect habitat

Douglas McClain is DU’s newest regional biologist in Minnesota.

Minnesota

Minnesota's Upper Lightening Lake

Doug McClainThe Living Lakes Initiative in Minnesota’s Prairie Pothole Region has additional expertise in creating stepping stones of actively managed, high quality, clear water shallow lakes.

Douglas McClain is DU’s newest regional biologist in Minnesota. McClain will oversee projects in the northwest part of the state, sharing office space in Fergus Falls with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

He will coordinate projects with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) and the USFWS, conservation easements by Ducks Unlimited for the USFWS and restoration of land acquired in fee-title for the MNDNR.

McClain comes to Ducks Unlimited following a successful tenure as an Ohio Department of Natural Resources waterfowl biologist. He previously worked for the Illinois Natural History Survey. McClain received his Master of Science degree in zoology (wildlife ecology) from Southern Illinois University in 2016.

“Being able to see tangible results from my work was a big motivator with joining Ducks Unlimited,” McClain said. “I’ve been involved in wildlife management my entire career and DU has always been like a close friend either personally or professionally. In terms of protecting habitat for waterfowl and wildlife, this is the perfect mesh.”

McClain joins a state conservation team that in 2018 completed 20 projects and conserved 23,920 acres of habitat. Biologist Kassy Dumke covers projects in southern Minnesota out of Windom; Biologist John Lindstrom covers central Minnesota and is based in Litchfield and Jon Schneider is director of conservation programs for the Living Lakes initiative in Minnesota and Iowa.

Minnesota is crucial to the lifecycle of waterfowl. Containing a mix of prairie pothole and shallow lake habitat complexes and near-pristine wild rice wetlands in the Mississippi River headwaters, waterfowl flock to the state to breed and during migration. Those duck-friendly habitats have generated a long and storied waterfowling heritage in Minnesota. With about 45,000 Ducks Unlimited members, residents here understand and appreciate conservation.

McClain is an avid hunter and angler. He and his wife, Sarah, have a 2-year-old son, Elijah, and a newborn daughter, Zelie.