Lessard tags walleye

Former Sen. Bob Lessard tags a walleye captured in 2013 by the DNR in the Rat Root River spawning run. The project, intended to restore the run, received funding from the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council.

The Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council, or LSOHC, has been awarded the National Blue-winged Teal Award.

The annual award is conferred by the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, or NAWMP, a department of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

The council is named after Borderland’s former Sen. Bob Lessard and Former Sen. Dallas Sams from Staples, both known as champions of the outdoors. Sams died in 2007.

Since 1993, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has presented the annual award to individuals, partnerships or programs whose activities at the national or regional level result in substantial benefits to waterfowl, other wetland- associated migratory bird populations or wetlands habitats. Ducks Unlimited nominated LSOHC for the award.

“The Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council is an important partner in restoring many of the state’s prairie wetland complexes that are crucial to waterfowl production and the waterfowl hunting tradition in Minnesota,” said Charlie Wooley, acting regional director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Midwest Region. “The Blue-winged Teal Award is a well-deserved honor. We are grateful for the Council’s contributions to advance conservation which have had a tremendous state and national impact.”

LSOHC is a contributing partner to NAWMP and supports its conservation goals. LSOHC provides annual funding recommendations to the legislature from the Outdoor Heritage Fund.Results of these efforts include the protection of over 88,000 acres of land in fee-title and over 300,000 acres via conservation easements across Minnesota. Additionally, more than 46,000 acres have been restored and nearly 500,000 acres of wetlands, prairies, forests and other important habitats have been enhanced.

“The Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council and administrative staff, including past council members and administrative personnel, are grateful to be recognized for our conservation efforts,” said Bob Anderson, chair of the LSOHC. “Furthering the mission of North American Waterfowl Management Plan aligns with our purpose and produces mutually beneficial results. We’re proud to be honored for work that also enhanced Minnesota’s wetlands, prairies, forests, and habitat for fish, game, and wildlife.”

For more information on LSOHC and its work, visit https://www.lsohc.leg.mn/ and follow the Outdoor Heritage Fund on social media.

About LSOHC

The Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council works to restore, protect, and enhance Minnesota’s wetlands, prairies, forests, and habitat for fish, game, and wildlife. The Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council was established by the legislature with the responsibility of providing annual funding recommendations to the legislature from the Outdoor Heritage Fund. The Outdoor Heritage Fund, one of four funds created by the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, receives one-third of the money raised by sales tax increase.

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