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New Richmond students attend state event

Among the New Richmond young people who attended this year's state Conservation Congress were (front right) Jacob Link and (in back, second from left) Duncan Moore, (fourth from left) Baily Lund, and (right in the back row) Dakota Lindquist. They were able to pose for a picture with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

The New Richmond and St. Croix County area was well represented at this year's state Conservation Congress.

According to Dave Larson, county chairman for the St. Croix County Conservation Congress delegation, five voting delegates attended the May 10 meeting in Eau Claire where they voted on resolutions related to hunting, fishing, environmental protection and more. This year's delegates included Larson, Vice Chairman Dan Donahue, Craig Olson, Claude Beauvais and Jeremy Sarauer.

New this year was an effort by the volunteer Conservation Congress to involve young people in the process. Of the six students who attended and participated in the process, five were from New Richmond.

"We want to introduce the kids to what the Conservation Congress does," Larson explained. "As we look across the room, there are a lot of gray hairs at the Conservation Congress. We want to get them involved now so they might be part of the process in the future."

Larson said the success of recruiting process was due to Donahue's presentation to a New Richmond High School Conservation of Natural Resources class. Participating students were Baily Lund, Cortney Mundth, Dakota Lindquist, Duncan Moore and Jacob Link.

"When I heard about the opportunity, I felt inspired to use my free time to investigate a new career area that now interests me," Lindquist said. "My favorite part of the congress was listening to the debates."

Link said he got involved because he's particularly interested in conserving the state's resources.

"I like to hunt and fish and I want to do my part to make a difference for the environment," he said. "When I get older and have kids, I will encourage them to enjoy nature as I have been able to."

Moore had much the same reaction to his involvement in the process.

"My passion is conservation of natural resources," he said. "I aspire to have a career in this area and this was a great opportunity to network and get my foot in the door. I enjoyed the discussion when congress was in session."

Lund chose to participate because she is an avid outdoors lover as well who loves hunting and fishing. She will be attending Chippewa Valley Technical College for the Agriscience Technician Program and will be gaining a broad range of agricultural knowledge.

Mundth wasn't able to attend the state event, but she did participate in the regional hearings earlier in the spring.

The four students in attendance at the state congress have signed up for committees and are waiting to hear when their committees meet so that they can continue their participation.

While in attendance, the delegates and student participants had a chance to cheer on a local man who was honored for his work.

Marty Engel, the area fisheries manager with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, was presented with the "Fish Manager of the Year" award.

Larson said Engel deserved the honor.

"Marty has been the backbone of fisheries around here for 30 years," he said. "He works hard and still has passion for the work. He always goes well above and beyond what he has to."

Local sportsman Mike Kelly nominated Engel for the award.