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Refuge employee honored
Biologist earns national award for wetlands program
by Lee Juillerat, Herald and News 3/18/11
H&N photo by Lee Juillerat Dave Mauser is the 2011 National Wildlife Refuge Employee of the Year
TULELAKE — A Klamath Basin wildlife biologist received a national award Thursday for his work with a crop rotation program that creates temporary wetlands on private land.
Dave Mauser was in Kansas City to accept the 2011 National Wildlife Refuge Employee of the Year Award at the 76th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference.
“It was a surprise,” said Mauser, who works with the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex. “It’s a tremendous honor. To be recognized amongst thousands of fish and wildlife service employees is really an honor.
Mauser, 56, traveled to Kansas City with his wife, Faye Weekley, a biologist at the Klamath Marsh National Wildlife Refuge.
“I think this award was not for perseverance but for the work I and a lot of others have done with the Walking Wetlands program,” he said, referring to the crop rotation program.
In some years, the Walking Wetlands program has added upward of 10,000 acres of wetlands and spurred expansion of organic farming.
The honor comes from the National Wildlife Refuge Association, a national citizen support organization for wildlife refuges. According to the award announcement, it goes to a person “whose career has shown a commitment to the conservation of our natural resources, superior management and/or technical skills, innovation, effectiveness in dealing with outside organizations and the public, and a background that has advanced the cause of wildlife conservation.”
Coming to Klamath
Mauser came to the Klamath Basin in 1991 while doing studies for his doctorate in wildlife ecology for Oregon State University.
Before that, he had roamed the country, doing undergraduate and graduate studies at Humboldt State University in Northern California and the University of Wisconsin. He also worked for state and federal agencies in Wisconsin, California and Missouri.
His years in the Klamath Basin have seldom been routine.
“Almost to the day I got here there have been issues with water,” he said, noting the listing of two species of suckers as threatened and endangered and the first of several extreme droughts.
He describes the Basin as a place “where science and wildlife management meet society, commercial uses of the land and social issues.”
“How you make wildlife management work is crucial … You need to work with the private landowners as much as you can,” he said. “The challenge is not to let the water business become overly personal.”
Page Updated: Tuesday March 22, 2011 01:58 AM Pacific
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