On June 1, 2011, the Heron Lake Watershed District (HLWD) hosted a Wildlife Habitat Workshop as part of an ongoing educational effort funded through a Clean Water Partnership grant. There were 21 people in attendance including HLWD staff, managers, wild game organization members, and members of the public. Speakers included Tony Thompson – North Heron Lake Game Producers Association (NHLGPA), Rob Baden – Ducks Unlimited (DU), and Joe Pavelko – Pheasants Forever.
Tony Thompson presented information about the history of Heron Lake and the HLWD as it relates to the unique environmental qualities of the area. Special focus was given to the history of the NHLGPA, the original families that settled along the lake, and how these families have worked together for generations to protect Heron Lake and its hunting quality.
Rob Baden shared information about the history of DU, focusing specifically on Minnesota. He highlighted DU’s Living Lakes Initiative and the projects that have been completed under this model. Brief information was given about the lake designation process that is currently under way for Fish Lake and Teal Lake.
Joe Pavelko informed the audience of Pheasants Forever’s mission and current projects and activities that are going on across the state. Pheasants Forever is beginning to use habitat modeling and restoration potential to predict expected benefits from future projects. This modeling seeks to find areas where the benefits received on a restoration project will be proportionally greater to the amount of money spent.