Ducks Unlimited relies on partners and organizations to complete its mission in every state. One of DU's greatest partners in Wisconsin is Mike Carlson, interim executive director for Gathering Waters, a statewide service center for Wisconsin's land trust community.

Carlson and Gathering Waters have worked for several years on getting policy issues approved that benefit both organizations, such as the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program. The program offers grants to help organizations preserve natural areas and wildlife habitat, protect water quality and fisheries, and expand opportunities for outdoor recreation.

Carlson grew up in Washington, D.C. and central Virginia. He settled in Wisconsin after earning his law doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School. He sees DU as a perfect partner to supplement the work done by the 50 land trusts around the state.

"Land trusts help secure the property," he said. "Then Ducks Unlimited can come in with restoration expertise and do a great job of restoring the property. You've got the best of both worlds."

Carlson has been an active member of the Madison chapter of Ducks Unlimited for four years.

"It's comradery and a great way to raise money for the mission of the organization. You can feel good about raising money at a banquet for that."

He lives in Madison with his wife, Allison, 4-year-old son Jonas, 2-year-old daughter, Johanna, and 5-year-old lab Findley.