DULUTH, Minn. -- The longtime former executive director of the Wisconsin Waterfowl Association received honors Thursday for working to make the association a statewide and regional leader on all waterfowl-related topics from hunting to habitat protections while strengthening its relationship with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
Don Kirby, association executive director from November 2009 to October 2018, was presented with the Waterfowl Heritage Award at the Mississippi Flyway Council meeting in Duluth.
The Waterfowl Heritage Award recognizes a citizen, group of citizens or an organization for outstanding long-term support in the promotion of the sport of waterfowling, waterfowl law enforcement, waterfowl biology and waterfowl management benefiting the resource and the public. The recognition is sponsored by the Mississippi Flyway Council Law Enforcement Committee.
Kirby was nominated by Wisconsin DNR Chief Conservation Warden Todd Schaller who described Kirby as a consummate professional with a heart and mind for conservation.
"Don Kirby possesses an impressive breadth of knowledge about conservation and natural resource issues beyond just hunting and fishing. Always a strong advocate of water quality and wetland protections, he also understands the law enforcement role in conservation," Schaller said, adding that he appreciated Kirby's collaborative approach. "He is always willing to find solutions to the issues and challenges."
Kirby engaged in several Wisconsin DNR waterfowl committees and work groups, including Conservation Warden Training, Learn to Hunt Waterfowl Program and R3 - Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation - activities. Kirby often testified before the DNR Natural Resource Board and legislature on waterfowl related topics and issues.