Wildlife Society honors Crookston artist
Ross Hier, a retired area wildlife manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in Crookston, recently won the Jay N. “Ding” Darling Memorial Award for Wildlife Stewardship Through Art during The Wildlife Society’s annual conference, held virtually this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Wildlife Society is an international nonprofit organization of wildlife professionals whose mission is “To inspire, empower, and enable wildlife professionals to sustain wildlife populations and habitats through science-based management and conservation.”
Hier is well-known in regional conservation circles for his watercolor paintings of wildlife and nature scenes. Darling was an editorial cartoonist who won two Pulitzer Prizes for his work and “was an important figure in the conservation movement” in the early 1900s, according to Wikipedia.
“I’m so honored by (the award) as Ding is a personal hero of mine whose unending efforts in a bygone era paved the way for so much in life that I love and cherish,” Hier said in an email.
In related news, the Minnesota Chapter of The Wildlife Society was honored as Chapter of the Year during the virtual conference.
- More info: wildlife.org.
‘Ducks Unlimited TV’ segment features UND hunters
Students and faculty from the UND Biology Department are among the hunters featured in the latest episode of “Ducks Unlimited TV,” which highlights duck hunting among the prairie potholes of North Dakota.
In the episode, “Ducks Unlimited TV” co-host Fred Zink joins staff and volunteers from DU’s Great Plains Regional Office in Bismarck on a hunt described as “public hunting at its finest with hundreds of thousands of acres of accessible land available free of charge.”
Zink also joins area students from UND and North Dakota State University on a mentored hunt designed to help students who know a lot about waterfowl biology learn more about waterfowl hunting.
The mentored hunt is provided through a cooperative effort between the universities and Ducks Unlimited. Students attend a basic waterfowl hunting skills workshop, and mentors take the students hunting the next day.
Featured in the segment are UND alumna Chelsea Berg, graduate student Ayla Morehouse and Susan Felege, an associate professor of wildlife ecology and management in the UND Biology Department.
“Wildlife biology is a very competitive field to get into,” Felege said in a news release from DU promoting the segment. “Experience is a must for your first job, both in the classroom and the field. We are glad to have Ducks Unlimited as a partner in this hunt, DU is a big part of training the next generation.”
“Ducks Unlimited TV” airs at midnight Mondays, 8:30 a.m. Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays (all Central Time) on the Pursuit Channel. All episodes, plus bonus content and classic episodes, also can be found at www.ducks.org/dutv.
Applications available for annual Camp Grafton deer hunt for disabled veterans
The Barnes County Veteran Service Office in Valley City, N.D., in cooperation with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, is taking applications for the 2020 deer hunt for disabled veterans set for Monday, Nov. 16, and Tuesday Nov. 17, at Camp Grafton near Devils Lake.
The hunt is open to veterans who are 50% disabled or greater and is limited to shotguns with slugs only. No rifles will be allowed or provided this year, the Veteran Service Office said.
Applications are due by Friday, Oct. 16, and are available from any North Dakota county or tribal veteran service office.
For more information, contact Angela Hunt, Barnes County Veteran Service officer, at email@example.com or (701) 845-8511.
Department of Interior announces annual PILT payments
Minnesota will receive more than $4.7 million and North Dakota more than $1.7 million in Payments in Lieu of Taxes funding for 2020, the Department of Interior reported Monday, June 29.
Commonly known as PILT payments, the funds are made annually for tax-exempt federal lands administered by U.S. Department of the Interior agencies including the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, for lands administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s U.S. Forest Service and for federal water projects and some military installations.
Minnesota has 2.9 million acres of land covered by PILT payments and North Dakota has 1.8 million acres, according to figures from the Interior Department. Grand Forks County will receive $3,328 for 1,177 acres of eligible land, figures show.
Nationwide, more than 1,900 local governments will receive $514.7 million in PILT payments, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said. The funds “will help small towns pay for critical needs like emergency response, public safety, public schools, housing, social services and infrastructure,” he said.
A full list of funding by state and county is available at www.doi.gov/pilt.