Volunteer, columnist honored for outdoor effortsAfter three decades of selfless volunteerism and visionary leadership in the field of conservation, Mike Reiter of New Richmond has been recognized as one of Wisconsin’s outstanding natural resources.
After three decades of selfless volunteerism and visionary leadership in the field of conservation, Mike Reiter of New Richmond has been recognized as one of Wisconsin’s outstanding natural resources.
Reiter has received two awards this spring, the first from the state Department of Natural Resources.
At a luncheon in New Richmond, Reiter was recently presented with the 2008 West Central Wisconsin Natural Resources Award, the highest honor the 19-county region has to offer.
Scott Humrickhouse, director of the DNR west central region, presented Reiter with the award plaque and honored him as being “the epitome of the phrase, ‘if you want something done, ask a busy person.’”
“It’s a good thing you work for free,” Humrickhouse told Reiter, “because if we paid you for your time and skill, the state budget deficit would truly be out of reach. There isn’t enough room here to list even the categories of your accomplishments. One thing is for sure – Wisconsin will be a better place for generations to come because Mike Reiter decided to get involved.”
Reiter said he was thrilled to be honored for the volunteer work he loves.
“It is a prestigious award and I’m very proud to have received it,” he said.
The second award came during the historic 75th annual convention of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress, held May 8 in La Crosse. Delegates and leadership honored Reiter for 28 years of service to this unique organization.
Again his accomplishments are too many to list, but as chairman of the congress’ trout committee, Reiter’s efforts have been of great significance to trout fishermen.
Reiter has been a key figure in the preservation of critical habitats and wild landscapes that will enrich western Wisconsin forever.
Reiter played an important role, for instance, in establishing the Western Prairie Habitat Restoration Area, which is leading to the protection or establishment of 20,000 acres of grasslands in western Wisconsin.
Reiter is more than a conservationist. His DNR award identifies him as “conservationist, teacher, community organizer, youth mentor and volunteer,” and this list is incomplete.
DNR officials are particularly grateful to Reiter for his 20 years as a hunter safety instructor, during which he had a direct influence on 2,200 young hunters.
From his weekly newspaper column on the outdoors in the New Richmond News to his volunteer work with Future Farmers of America to his willingness to help with youth fishing clinics and to serve on numerous civic and conservation organizations, DNR officials said Reiter sets a standard of volunteerism and community involvement that is nothing short of an inspiration.