Awards for Minnesota Conservation Leadership Announced
At a ceremony held yesterday at the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul, The Trust for Public Land announced the winners of its fourth annual Conservation Leadership Awards. The awards recognize outstanding achievements in supporting the conservation of Minnesota special places for hunting, fishing, hiking, wildlife observation and other outdoor activities.
The 2012 Trust for Public Land Conservation Leadership Award winners are Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen, R - Alexandria, district 11; Representative Dean Urdahl, R - Grove City, district 18B; Crow Wing County Commissioner Paul Thiede, Beth Kallestad, Cannon River Watershed Partnership; and Blane Klemek on behalf of the Northwest regional office of the Minn. Department of Natural Resources. Steve Christenson, a Board member for the Minnesota office of The Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national conservation organization, announced the awards.
Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen was recognized for his leadership statewide, including his participation on the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council, which makes recommendations for Outdoor Heritage Fund appropriations, his support for the La Salle Lake conservation project in 2011, and his stalwart support for the Mississippi River Northwoods Habitat Complex in 2012.
Rep. Dean Urdahl was recognized for his leadership as the chair of the House Legacy Funding Committee and his work to craft a balance of funding for parks and trails statewide. He supported the La Salle Lake conservation project in 2011.
Crow Wing County Commissioner Paul Thiede was recognized for his leadership in support of the Mississippi River Northwoods Habitat Complex just northeast of Brainerd.
Beth Kallestad, executive director of the Cannon River Watershed Partnership, is recognized for her dedication to the Cannon River Watershed and her help protecting the Dora Lake Wildlife Management Area, LeSueur County, in 2011.
Blane Klemek accepted the award on behalf of the Northwest Region of the Minn. Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The office was instrumental in creating the La Salle Lake State Recreation Area, using an innovative, cross-divisional management approach.
The inaugural winners of the award in 2010 were Senator Ellen Anderson (DFL - St. Paul) and Representative Larry Haws (DFL - St. Cloud). The 2011 award winners were Representative Larry Howes (R - Walker), and Representative John Ward (DFL - Brainerd).
The Trust for Public Land, established in 1972, specializes in conservation real estate, applying its expertise in negotiations, public finance, and law to protect land for people to enjoy as parks, greenways, community gardens, urban playgrounds, and wilderness. Since 1986, TPL has helped protect more than 87,000 acres of some of Minnesota's most special land and water resources. TPL depends on the support of individuals, corporations, and foundations.
Susan Schmidt, The Trust for Public Land, T. 651.999.5317, email