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DU honors retired N.D. waterfowl biologist

Ducks Unlimited recently honored retired biologist Doug Johnson for his work at the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center in Jamestown, N.D. Johnson received DU's Wetland Conservation Achievement Award for efforts that provided much of the technical foundation for current landscape-scale approaches to habitat conservation for breeding ducks.

Johnson was recognized for his efforts March 10 during the the 82nd North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Spokane, Wash.

"Doug has made a world-class contribution to wildlife science," said Johann Walker, DU director of conservation programs in Montana and the Dakotas. "He is well-known in the field, and examples of his influence permeate ecology and conservation."

Johnson's four-decade career with the U.S. Geological Survey led to leadership work in population modeling, breeding pair surveys and nesting success estimation. His groundbreaking 1980 paper on habitat selection in the scientific journal Ecology has been cited almost 3,200 times and is the ninth most-cited paper of all time in that journal.

Now retired, Johnson still participates in wildlife science, including working to address the effects of energy development.

DU also honored 43 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees, including Jim Graham of Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge in northwest Minnesota, for their efforts in promoting and enforcing conservation easements with private landowners to ensure wetland and grassland conservation in the Prairie Pothole Region.

Other Fish and Wildlife Service employees honored from Minnesota and North Dakota for their easement efforts were:

• Minnesota: Brett Bowser, Mead Klavetter, Dennis Klimek, Ashley Look, Charles Melvin III, Scott Pariseau, Chad Raitz and Brent Taylor.

• North Dakota: Kathy Baer, Jon Beyer, Matt Carman, Ben Cleghorn, Matt Fischer, Todd Gallion, Alli Goldman, Wayne Henderson, Kyle Johnson, Chris Kringstad, Jared Newton, Tom Pabian, John Takala, Matt Van Thuyne, Brian Vose, Scott Williams, Tom Zick and Chad Zorn.

-- Ducks Unlimited

Game and Fish recognizes hunter ed volunteers

Joe Solseng and Todd Thingelstad of Grand Forks were honored for 30 years of service as volunteer hunter education instructors during the North Dakota Game and Fish Department's recent annual workshop in Mandan, N.D. Ted Hoberg and Alan Klatt of Grand Forks were honored for 25 years of service, and the department presented numerous awards for 30-, 25, 20-, 15-, 10-, five- and two-year instructors from across the state.

John Paulson, Bismarck, was recognized as volunteer of the year. Paul Speral, Fargo, was named archery instructor of the year. George Babcock, Garrison, N.D., and Rodney Hubbard, Fargo, were recognized as hunter education instructors of the year, while Minot residents Jonathan Hughes and Justin Hughes were named hunter education team of the year, and Skip Pederson, Valley City, N.D., received the hunter education lifetime achievement award.

A full listing of hunter education volunteers recognized during the workshop is available at gf.nd.gov.

-- N.D. Game and Fish Department

MDHA wants more license dollars for deer

The Minnesota Deer Hunters Association says it will support a license fee increase proposal from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources—provided the DNR deposits $17.50 of deer license dollars into dedicated deer accounts, including $16 into the DNR Management Account.

A letter that more than 40 conservation groups, including MDHA, sent to key state lawmakers Wednesday indicates the DNR has agreed to that approach.

Currently, $26 of a $30 deer license goes to the DNR's Game and Fish Fund, where money might be spent on a variety of wildlife and fisheries efforts. (Smaller amounts go for other purposes.)

Jim Leach, director of the DNR's Division of Fish and Game, said deer hunters are getting a good return on their investment.

"The amount we spend on deer management exceeds the amount we take in for deer management," Leach said. "It's obvious we're spending significant amounts on this priority resource for Minnesota. It's the number-one game species in the state."

Under the proposal, a resident deer hunting license would rise from $30 to $34, and the price of a nonresident deer license would increase from $165 to $185.

-- Forum News Service

Did you know?

• California gun owners are buying more ammo overall and in bigger quantities since the election, the Ready For Anything Wire online news service reported, citing data from online ammo retailer Wideners.com. In the two months since the November election, traffic from California is up 50 percent to Wideners.com. Nationwide traffic to the site has remained relatively static for the same period, Ready for Anything reported.

• Theodore Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota drew 753,880 visitors last year, up from 580,033 the previous year, statistics from the National Park Service show. Voyageurs National Park in northeast Minnesota drew 241,912 visitors in 2016, up from 238,313 in 2015. The park's record attendance of nearly 277,000 was set in 1980.

-- Compiled by Brad Dokken

Brad Dokken

Brad Dokken is editor of the Herald's Northland Outdoors section and also works as a copy editor and page designer. Dokken joined the Herald company in November 1985 as a copy editor for Agweek magazine and joined the Herald staff in 1989. He worked as a copy editor in the features and news departments before becoming outdoors editor in 1998. He also writes a blog called Compass Points. A Roseau, Minn., native, Dokken is a graduate of Bemidji State University. 

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