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RGS, DNR share new coordinator position

In a joint effort to increase emphasis on ruffed grouse and its related habitat, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS) have created a new ruffed grouse coordinator position.

Ted Dick, a veteran DNR wildlife biologist, has been hired to fill this DNR position. The RGS will provide about 30 percent of the position's funding.

"This partnership enables the Society to work even more closely with the Minnesota DNR in two ways," said Mike Zagata, RGS president and chief executive officer. "One, it enables both organizations to better focus on habitat for game and non-game species. And two, it will ensure the continuation of abundant grouse and woodcock hunting opportunities for this and future generations." Dave Schad, DNR Fish and Wildlife Division chief, expressed similar sentiments. "It's a win for both organizations."

Schad said Minnesotans often take the ruffed grouse - the state's most-harvested small game bird - for granted. "Year-in, year-out, Minnesota offers some of the best ruffed grouse hunting in the nation," said Schad. "Because of our national status and state interest in grouse habitat and grouse hunting, it makes sense to focus additional energy on this fascinating game bird."

Dick was previously the assistant area wildlife supervisor at Baudette. An avid grouse hunter, he has a bachelor's degree in biology from St. Olaf College in and a master's in wildlife conservation at the University of Minnesota.

"I've spent most of my career working with area foresters to improve habitat conditions for grouse and woodcock," he said. "I'm looking forward to working on a larger scale with those who share an interest in healthy forests and quality grouse habitat." Dick will work out of the DNR's Aitkin office.

The RGS was established in 1961. It is the one international wildlife conservation organization dedicated to promoting conditions suitable for ruffed grouse, American woodcock and related wildlife to sustain the sport hunting tradition and heritage.