Wetland Conservation Achievement Award Winners

A listing of all the past winners of the Wetland Conservation Achievement Awards. For more information about the awards or to submit a nomination, please contact Morgan McIntyre at mmcintyre@ducks.org.


Senior Federal Official
US Senator Martin Heinrich, New Mexico, has been a champion for conservation since arriving on Capitol Hill over a decade ago.

Federal Agency Employee
Noreen Walsh, US Fish and Wildlife Service fish and wildlife administrator, recently retired after a distinguished 30-year career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

State/Provincial Employee
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, has developed and led the agency to become a premier service organization to Iowa agricultural producers, as well as serving as a national leader in agricultural practices directed at improving water quality.

Research /Technical
Dr. Mark Lindberg, professor of Wildlife Ecology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, is a scholar of waterfowl ecology, a leader among his students and his peers and a steadfast advocate for science-based wildlife management. 

Local/Private Conservation
Elizabeth Deluca donated a 27,000-acre conservation easement to Ducks Unlimited and the University of Florida, the largest in DU history and the first for the organization in the state. The DeLuca Preserve presents a unique opportunity for collaboration between Ducks Unlimited and the University of Florida.  

Writer and editor T. Edward Nickens has mastered the use of words to cause people not to merely be entertained by wild things and wild places, but to actively engage in conservation. 


Senior Federal Official - Sen. Lisa Murkowski
Sen. Lisa Murkowski's passion for wetlands and waterfowl conservation in Alaska and around North America is vital to Ducks Unlimited's mission.

Federal Agency Employee - Dr. Skip Hyberg
The Conservation Reserve Program's growth under Dr. Hyberg's tenure with the USDA Farm Services Agency has significantly impacted wetlands conservation.  

State/Provincial Employee - Martin St. Louis
His service to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and stewardship to the Summer Lake Wildlife Area in Oregon has impacted waterfowl and wetlands for generations.

Research/Technical - Dr. Jane Austin
Dr. Austin's research in waterfowl breeding ecology with the U.S. Geological Survey's Northern Prairie Wildlife Research center in North Dakota helps guide Ducks Unlimited's conservation mission. 

Communications - Brad Dokken
Brad's entertaining stories about hunting and fishing helps his readers understand the benefits of conservation for wildlife and people.  

Local/Private Conservation - Jack Ray
His tireless wetlands conservation efforts in Utah, especially around the Great Salt Lake, have protected thousands of acres benefitting waterfowl and people alike.   


Senior Federal Official - Sen. John Boozman
Elected to the Senate in 2011, Sen. John Boozman’s commitment to wetlands conservation has been extremely important to the work of Ducks Unlimited.

Federal Agency Employee - Sarah Mott
In recent times no one has had a greater impact on managing continental wetland conservation funding than Sarah Mott.

State/Provincial Employee - Dave Morrison
His service on numerous committees and the National Flyway Council, in addition to his duties with Texas Parks and Wildlfie, cemented his legacy as a champion for waterfowl and wetland conservation.

Research/Technical - Dr. G. Scott Boomer
Dr. Boomer is a biologist with the Population and Habitat Assessment Branch, Division of Migratory Bird Management for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Scott’s work has affected every single duck hunter for the last 15 years.

Communications - Jim Ronquest
As a duck calling champion and television and radio host, Jim has influenced others to further youth education and conservation efforts.

Local/Private Conservation - Metroparks Toledo
By creating Howard Marsh Metropark, Metroparks Toledo is a shining example of how municipalities can be blend urban development with wildlife conservation.


Ducks Unlimited announced the winners of the 2018 Wetland Conservation Achievement Awards during the 83rd North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference on March 30, in Norfolk, Virginia.

Federal Agency employee: Jim Stutzman, founder of Montana’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife program and habitat delivery specialist for the Intermountain West Joint Venture

Senior Elected Official: Ohio Rep. David Joyce

State/Provincial Agency: Diane Eggeman, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Research /Technical: Dr. Ray Alisauskas, research scientist for Environment and Climate Change Canada, adjunct professor University of Saskatchewan

Conservation/Private Citizen: Lennie Sam and Aline Skaggs (posthumous), Idaho

Communications: Dennis Anderson, outdoors columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.


Kevin Norton, Louisiana state conservationist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Dr. Jim Gammonley, avian research leader and chief waterfowl biologist for the Colorado Division of Wildlife and Parks.

Dr. Douglas Johnson, senior scientist for the United States Geological Survey.

Judge Jeff Branick of Jefferson County, Texas.

The late Wade Bourne, editor-at-large for Ducks Unlimited magazine, co-host of Ducks Unlimited Television.

These 43 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officers who enforce wetland and grassland easements in the Prairie Pothole Regions of North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Region 3 officers
• Brett Bowser, Minnesota
• Doug Briggs, Michigan
• Jim Graham, Minnesota
• Rodney Hansen, Iowa
• Mead Klavetter, Minnesota
• Dennis Klimek, Minnesota
• Carl Lantz, Iowa
• Ashley Look, Minnesota
• Charles Melvin III, Minnesota
• Scott Pariseau, Minnesota
• Chad Raitz, Minnesota
• Brent Taylor, Minnesota

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Region 6 officers
• Dave Azure, South Dakota 
• Kathy Baer, North Dakota
• Tyler Barriere, South Dakota
• Jon Beyer, North Dakota
• Mike Blessington, South Dakota
• Todd Boonstra, Montana
• Matt Carman, North Dakota
• Ben Cleghorn, North Dakota
• Drew Ellis, South Dakota
• Matt Fischer, North Dakota
• Todd Gallion, North Dakota
• Alli Goldman, North Dakota
• Wayne Henderson, North Dakota
• Eric Hoggarth, South Dakota
• Brad Johnson, South Dakota
• Kyle Johnson, North Dakota
• Brian Keller, South Dakota
• Chris Kringstad, North Dakota
• Jared Newton, North Dakota
• Tom Pabian, North Dakota
• Nicole Prescott, Montana
• Clay Ronish, Montana
• Bryan Schultz, South Dakota
• Don Soderlund, South Dakota
• John Takala, North Dakota
• Matt Van Thuyne, North Dakota
• Jared Vignes, Montana
• Brian Vose, North Dakota
• Scott Williams, North Dakota
• Tom Zick, North Dakota
• Chad Zorn, North Dakota

Robert Bonnie
Tammie Fairbanks
Ross Melinchuk
Craig & Shelley Larson
Dr. Bart M. Ballard
Don Dubuc

Congressman Rob Wittman
Dr. Fred Johnson,
David Norris
Dr. Gary Hepp
Mo Buder
Hal Herring

Representative Kristi Noem
Kurt Forman
Dr. Ken Abraham
Dr. Alan Afton
Phil Precht
Paul Baicich

Senator Debbie Stabenow
Dr. Byron "Ken" Williams
Garrett Graves
Dr. James D. Nichols
Robert "Bob" Zorb
John Pullman

Sec. of the Interior Ken Salazar
Robert S. McLean
Joe Kramer
Dr. John M. Eadie
James C. Kennedy
David Sikes

Sen. Dick Durbin
Kevin Brennan
Jim Sutherlin
Dr. Robert G. Clark
Durand Farms
David Hendee

Sen. John Thune
Seth Mott
Thomas M. Hauge
Dr. Gary Krapu
Dr. Charles M. Nelson
Bob Marshall

Congressman James L. Oberstar
Steve Moran
Alan D. Stacey
David A. Graber
Will Primos
David J. Case

Sen. Herb Kohl
Dan J. Nieman
Stephen V. Rockwood
Guy A. Baldassarre
Adolphus A. Busch IV
Joe Albea

Sen. Blanche Lambert Lincoln
David Roy Anderson 
Steve Gray
Richard A. Malecki
David M. Richard
Douglas B. Inkley

Kalven Trice
Sen. Thad Cochran
John Cooper
Richard M. Kaminski
Chris Niskanen
Hod Kosman

Matthew J. Hogan
Sen. Mike Crapo
Nick Lyman
David R. Anderson
Chris Madson
Charles Lane
Samy Watson

Carey S. Smith
Rep. Norman D. Dicks
Richard A. Bishop
Steve Havera
Robert A. Drieslein
William R. Ireland Sr.

Robert J. Blohm
Rep. Mike Thompson
Duane L. Shroufe
Harold Prince
Michael Furtman
Herb Metzger

Carl Madsen
Sen. John Breaux
Ollie Torgerson
Bob Davidson
Mark Damian Duda
James M. Crews Jr.

Hon. Ralph Regula
Richard Hatcher
Dale Humburg
Kevin Woster
Keith Krull

Bob Missio
Rep. Jim Saxon
Brent Manning
John T. Ratti
Gregg Patterson
F.W. 'Biggy' Hunt

Michael Dombeck
Steven W. Miller
James E. Hill
Ron Schara
Douglas B. McGeogh

John Doebel
Steve N. Wilson
James Sedinger
Michael Pearce
Curt, Randy & Cliff Rankin

David K. Weaver
W. John Schmidt
C. Davison Ankney
Charles C. Heinsz Jr.
Philip Bourjaily

Charles K. Baxter
Wayne MacCallum
Leigh Fredrickson
Bill Schulz
William A. Windham

Sen. Don Nickles
Ronald E. Reynolds
William K. Stevens
William C. Ashe

Rep. John D. Dingell
Richard B. Pierce
Ken J. Reinecke
Keith W. Harmon

John Turner
Hon. Harry J. Evans
Donald Rusch
Erling T. Jacobson

Robert Grady
Gov. George Sinner
John P. Rogers
Charles H. Collins