Ducks Unlimited Honors Iowa’s Conservation Leaders

Ducks Unlimited Honors Iowa’s Conservation Leaders

Sean McMahon State Director for The Nature Conservancy
Sean McMahon (right), State Director for The Nature Conservancy in Iowa receives the 2011 Partner of the Year Award from DU Regional Biologist Eric Lindstrom (left)
Ducks Unlimited
Ducks Unlimited

DES MOINES, Iowa –-( Ducks Unlimited volunteers and staff in Iowa presented their 2011 conservation awards during the recent state convention.

These awards recognize the achievements of individuals, organizations and businesses in Iowa for their dedicated efforts to protect and improve North America’s wetland and waterfowl resources.

This year’s recipients are:

  • The Nature Conservancy – Iowa Chapter – Partner of the Year
  • Doug Janke, Iowa Department of Natural Resources biologist – Professional of the Year
  • Des Moines Water Works – Public Policy Champion of the Year
  • Dr. Dave and Dee Haggard, Drs. John and Suzanne Synhorst and Bob Olson – Beyond the Call Awards
  • Winnebago Industries, Luster Heights Correction Facility and Diamond Vogel – Corporate Teal Award

As Partner of the Year, The Nature Conservancy – Iowa Chapter has worked closely with DU and other conservation partners on a multi-million dollar grant partnership to deliver high quality habitat protection, restoration and enhancement projects throughout north-central Iowa. The partners’ goal is to invest more than $8 million dollars of federal NAWCA grants and non-federal matching funds towards this large-scale conservation effort during a five-year period. TNC also provided key leadership to help chair Iowa’s Water and Land Legacy campaign in 2010, which passed by an overwhelming majority vote (63%) by more than 622,000 Iowans last November to create a permanent and dedicated Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund.

This year’s Public Policy Champion award went to the Des Moines Water Works. Accepting on their behalf were Randy Beavers, Dr. Chris Jones and Linda Kinman.

“Ducks Unlimited applauds the Des Moines Water Works for recognizing the environmental services provided by wetlands such as clean water and advocating for policies that protect Iowa’s remaining wetland resources against further degradation,” DU Director of Conservation Programs Ryan Heiniger said.

Iowa DNR Wildlife Biologist Doug Janke was recognized as the 2011 Professional of the Year recipient. “Doug has devoted more than 28 years of his career with the DNR to help protect and improve critical wetland and wildlife habitat across Iowa,” DU Regional Biologist Eric Lindstrom said. “Thanks to the dedication and commitment by Doug and his colleagues with the DNR, Iowa’s wetlands and waterfowl resources are making a strong comeback to recovery, despite the many challenges we’re up against today.”

Beyond the Call awards were presented to Dr. Dave and Dee Haggard of Fort Dodge, Drs. John and Suzie Synhorst of Spirit Lake, and Bob Olson of Forest City for their significant personal in-kind and financial contributions towards DU’s direct habitat conservation programs, fundraising efforts and public policy work.

Lastly, Winnebago Industries, Luster Heights Correctional Facility and Diamond Vogel were recognized with a Corporate Teal Award for their donation of materials and labor towards Iowa’s Wood Duck Box Program. “Thanks to strong corporate partners like them, we’ve been able to continue this highly successful statewide program during the past two years to construct and erect more than 600 wood duck boxes,” DU Regional Director Mike Heller said.

DU thanks the many individuals, organizations, businesses and partners that help achieve our vision to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever.

Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to conserving North America’s continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 12 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. Visit