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Great Lakes Article:

Individuals, Groups Honored for Protecting Wetlands

WASHINGTON, DC, July 8, 2002 (ENS) - A Minnesota farmer, an Illinois conservation organization and a Wisconsin Native American tribe are among those selected by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to receive National Wetlands Conservation Awards (NWCA).

The national NWCA individual award went to Peter Stent, recognizing his involvement with the restoration of 1,379 acres of wetlands and three miles of riparian habitat on private land in Menlo Park, California. The national group winner was the Conservation Fund, represented by Brad Meiklejohn, for restoring about 37,000 acres of coastal wetlands, uplands and tundra in Eagle River, Alaska.

Daniel Rauenhorst, a rural Olivia farmer from Renville County, Minnesota, was selected as the NWCA's national runner-up in the individual category for his voluntary efforts toward restoring drained wetlands and enhancing grassland habitats in Renville and Kandiyohi counties.

Rauenhorst, nominated by the USFWS Litchfield Wetland Management District, has restored about 245 acres of wetlands on his properties. He has also restored, enhanced and protected another 430 acres of associated grasslands.

The regional group winner for the Great Lakes-Big Rivers Region was the Migratory Waterfowl Hunters, Inc., a private, pro-hunting organization with a record of restoring and protecting waterfowl habitats in Illinois. The group and its member volunteers were recognized for enhancing and protecting wetlands on the Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge, helping to protect an estimated 9,000 acres of wetlands throughout the refuge.

The regional group runner-up was the Ho-Chunk Nation from Wisconsin, which became involved with wetland conservation through the Partners for Fish and Wildlife program conducted from the Wisconsin Private Lands Office and Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, who have provided funds and technical assistance to the tribe. During 2001, the Nation responded to habitat conservation by restoring 75 acres of wetlands and 185 acres of native grasslands on tribal lands in Juneau County.

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