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DNR Northwest Region receives award

ST. PAUL - The Minnesota Northwest regional office of the Department of Natural Resources was one of five winners of the Trust for Public Land's (TPL) conservation leadership awards.

The awards, which were announced this week at the Minnesota Science Museum in St. Paul, recognize achievements in supporting the conservation of Minnesota's special places for hunting, fishing, hiking, wildlife observation and other activities.

Blane Klemek, the current DNR area wildlife supervisor based in Detroit Lakes, accepted the award on behalf of the DNR Northwest Region. Northwest Region officials were instrumental in creating the La Salle Lake State Recreation Area, using an innovative, cross-divisional management approach. Klemek was the Bemidji Area DNR assistant wildlife supervisor during the La Salle project and was instrumental in its success.

Other 2012 conservation leadership award winners include: Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen, R - Alexandria; Representative Dean Urdahl, R - Grove City; Crow Wing county commissioner Paul Thiede; and Beth Kallestad of the Cannon River Watershed Partnership.

The TPL specializes in conservation real estate, applying its expertise in negotiations, public finance and law to protect land for people to enjoy as parks, greenways, community gardens, urban playgrounds, and wilderness.