PRATT, Kan. - Kirk Thompson, Public Lands manager at Benedictine Bottoms Wildlife Area, has been named Kansas Ducks Unlimited's Wetland Manager of the Year, and for those who know Thompson, it comes as little surprise. A dedicated 34-year Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) employee,Thompson recently received the award at the Kansas DU state convention.

"Kirk has worked diligently with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) on the Missouri River Mitigation properties to develop and enhance wetlands," said KDWPT Public Lands Supervisor Dustin Mengarelli, who nominated Thompson.

Mengarelli added that Thompson has taken it upon himself to work with the USACE mitigation funds to address water loss at Benedictine Bottoms Wildlife Area.

"He spread over 1,300 tons of bentonite clay on these wetlands in an effort to seal up the leaking pools. He has worked diligently to repair the three wells at the Bottoms, one of which was approximately 50-years-old," he said. "His hard work is paying off as the wetlands have begun to hold water and the pumps are able to fill the units instead of temporarily maintaining water levels."