Minnesota Ducks Unlimited recently helped the DNR protect and improve Minnesota's waterfowl habitat by donating $188,000 for acquisition of state wildlife management areas.
DU President Julius Wahl presented Tim Bremicker, DNR Wildlife Section chief, with the donation at the organization's state convention Feb. 12. The DNR will use the money to buy land for wildlife management areas during the upcoming year. Further, the DU donation will be matched with funds from the state's Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) Critical Habitat Program to double the amount available for acquiring wildlife land. WMAs, which are critical to wildlife management and public hunting in Minnesota, provide permanent protection for valuable wetland habitats.
Tom Landwehr, DU state conservation director, noted that DU contributions of some $200,000 in 1999 facilitated the purchase of almost 800 acres of WMA lands in Freeborn, Kittson, Otter Tail, Yellow Medicine and Martin counties. "These lands, managed by the DNR, represent some of the best waterfowl producing areas in the state," Landwehr said. "Further, they are all open to suitable public recreation like hunting and trapping."
Bremicker thanked the 47,000 Minnesota DU members for making the donations possible. "Minnesotans can be proud of the tremendous conservation they've made possible, through partnerships like that between DNR and DU," he said. "These contributions help ensure that future generations of Minnesotans will witness the awesome spectacle of waterfowl migration, and be able to participate in the grand tradition of waterfowl hunting."
2000 Becoming An Outdoors Woman workshops set
Registration guides are now available for the spring and fall Becoming An Outdoors Woman workshops. The spring workshop will be held May 19-21 at Ruttger's Sugar Lake Lodge in Grand Rapids. The fall program will be held Sept. 8-10 at Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center near Lanesboro.
BOW workshops offer women an opportunity to learn outdoors skills like canoeing, trap shooting, gun safety, using maps and compasses, fly fishing, and cooking fish and game. Workshops also provide a weekend away from the stresses of daily life relaxing with a group of other women, learning new skills or polishing ones learned in the past.
"I have been doing these activities all my life," said BOW State Coordinator Jean Bergerson. "Still, each workshop makes me enthusiastic about renewing my commitment to help others find the same enjoyment I have of the outdoors."
Women find being able to pursue activities on their own gives them a strong sense of accomplishment and self-confidence, according to Bergerson. "Learning from other women who can also serve as mentors is an added plus," she said.
At each BOW workshop participants can take four offerings, each 3.5 hours long. There are more than 20 offerings from which to choose during the weekends. Participants often range in age from 18 to 80 and come from all walks of life.
This year's offerings include a contrast in host facilities. "Some of our early workshops were in a resort environment," Bergerson said. "We discovered some women preferred that setting to the dorm-style lodging at the environmental learning centers."
This year's spring workshop costs $250 for the entire weekend, including food, lodging in townhouses at Ruttger's Sugar Lake Lodge, and all the materials needed for the courses. Resort amenities include a pool, golf course and tennis courts. The fall workshop costs $170, which also includes food, lodging at Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center, and all class materials. Women on a limited income may qualify for scholarships, which are available for each of the events.
In addition to the two workshops, a number of one-day clinics and events are also being offered this year. For a complete calendar of BOW events, call the Minnesota DNR Information Center toll free at 1-888-MINNDNR, or from the Twin Cities metro area call (651) 296-6157. Information is also available at www.dnr.state.mn.us.
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