South Dakota Ducks Unlimited has named U.S. Fish and Wildlife Partners for Fish and Wildlife Project Leader Kurt Forman as its 2013 “Friend of the Ducks.” Forman was given the award at DU’s recent state convention in Watertown.

“Kurt is strongly dedicated to working with private landowners to protect, restore and improve wildlife habitat—especially waterfowl production habitat in South Dakota,” said Warhurst, DU manager of conservation programs for South Dakota. He says hundreds of small wetlands have been restored on Conservation Reserve Programgrassland tracts by Forman and his team of biologists, located in U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) offices across the state.

A Windom native, Forman developed his love of waterfowl and wetlands while hunting the marshes of southern Minnesota’s Heron Lake. He began working with FWS on private lands conservation in the 1990s and has written numerous successful grant proposals for South Dakota wetlands conservation.

“It is certainly an honor to receive this award,” Forman said. “I have always had the utmost respect for Ducks Unlimited and look forward to continuing our partnership together for a shared vision of wetland and grassland conservation in the Dakotas.”

Warhurst says Forman has courageously led the effort to establish responsible management practices for wetland resources in South Dakota and throughout the Prairie Pothole Region. “Kurt always handles himself professionally and diplomacy is his strong suit,” Warhurst said. “He certainly has ‘ducks in the gut’ and is a member of the ‘mallard mafia fraternity’—a designation given to those biologists who fight hard for the ducks.”

Image courtesy Ducks Unlimited

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