I’m sure that most readers of this blog fully recognize that Wisconsin’s conservation community is full of talented and deeply committed professionals who toil quietly behind the scenes. While true in many quarters, perhaps it is acutely apparent among the civil servants in our field.
For this, among many other reasons, it is Gathering Waters Conservancy’s distinct pleasure to recognize and celebrate one of the many relatively unknown Wisconsin DNR employees who make a great contribution to protecting the places that make Wisconsin special every day. The 2012 winner of the Rod Nilsestuen Award for Working Lands Preservation is Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Area Wildlife Supervisor Dale Katsma.
Working out of Plymouth, Dale has spent the last decade quietly and successfully pioneering working lands preservation in the North Branch Milwaukee River Wildlife and Farming Heritage Program in Ozaukee, Washington, and Sheboygan counties. His patient and persistent efforts to build relationships and trust between the DNR, landowners, and conservation groups have played a pivotal role in the protection of 1,887 acres of farmland and 684 acres of wildlife habitat & natural areas.
Dale’s recognition of the critical role that farmland plays in our local economies, cultures, and habitats provides a blueprint for success that ought to be replicated elsewhere in Wisconsin. We cherish our agricultural heritage and our priceless natural areas and know that they are not mutually exclusive…Dale’s work aptly exemplifies this attitude.
Please join us on October 4 at the Monona Terrace in Madison when we recognize Dale and the other winners of Gathering Waters Conservancy’s Land Conservation Leadership Awards.