Sunday, November 18, 2012

DNR personnel dedicated to their work

   Often the DNR comes in for criticism. It's usually related to the deer herd and lack thereof, or to fishing and why more of this or that species isn't stocked in certain lakes.
   Rarely are the DNR's employees mentioned. If they are, it's often not in a kindly way. Often conservation officers-CO's- those policemen and women in green that keep an eye on the outdoor sporting life are talked about negatively.
   Just like cops are lumped into one group. You know, those folks without feelings, cold hearted, willing to give their mom a violation.
   But the truth and more accurate account of these professions is that by and large, the people that choose them for careers are very dedicated.
   Many could have gone into other professions, made more money, had a better position, and wouldn't put in the hours as some public employees do.
   The staff at Holly Recreation Area and the DNR's wildlife personnel that serve that area are a case in point.
   First, it's because they all work so well together. Park manager Shawn Speaker manages to keep up with the challenges of overseeing a large park. That includes everything from road maintenance, pluming and electrical work, to enforcement of park rules amongst many other duties.
   Speaker and his staff thought the park needed an accessible hunting blind for disabled persons. Once the idea was presented, wildlife personnel Jon Curtis and Sarah Ecker-probably others too-located a spot, arranged for an Eagle scout to build the blind, and worked hard to see that the entire project came together in time for the 2012 firearms deer season.
   They didn't just stick a blind out in some field. They scouted the area, knew that deer frequented it, then went to work planting corn and clover as crops to help attract deer.
   The first hunters to make use of the blind arranged to stay in one of the park's camping cabins. They were treated like royalty, or guests would be treated in some upscale hotel.
   Their story will be in this next Sunday's Oakland Press. The story of the dedicated parks personnel that made this all possible continues everyday.
   The best thing any of them could say after all of the work was done and the hunters using it was that they were happy to be a part of something that was so pleasing to others.
   Way to go Holly Rec and wildlife personnel.

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