BY SCOTT YESS, LA CROSSE FWCO
The following letter was presented to La Crosse Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office Biologist Heidi Keuler, in recognition of her fantastic work as Fishers and Farmers Coordinator. The letter was presented by Steve Sodeman and Jack Lauer Co-Chairs of the Partnership.
On behalf of the Steering Committee of the Fishers & Farmers Fish Habitat Partnership (FFP), we present you this letter in recognition and appreciation of your services as coordinator for FFP. Your leadership and professionalism have been an invaluable asset to the development, function and motivation of a rather unique partnership. FFP was created to address the needs of both farmers and fishes across the Upper Mississippi River Basin— farmers because of the significance of agriculture in shaping our landscape and our communities, and fishes because of their importance as both a natural resource and an indicator of the ecological health of the Basin. To make the Partnership relevant and representative we include a diversity of stakeholders representing state natural resource agencies, nongovernmental organizations working on behalf of environmental issues, and—perhaps most importantly—agricultural landowners and organizations that work and speak on their behalf. Agricultural representation in FFP is so important because nearly all our projects are on private lands, requiring landowner cooperation and engagement as a prerequisite for success. It is these characteristics of the Partnership and the Basin that present an organizational challenge and need for a skilled coordinator. Our successes to date as a Partnership are in no small part attributable to your guidance as coordinator. Simply put, we couldn’t do it without you. The accomplishments you have achieved as coordinator are many and varied. To list but a few, you have:
Exhibited an attention to detail, organization, and timely guidance to ensure the successful funding and implementation of farmer-led projects
Expanded the reach and representation of FFP with your efforts to bring in new members, secured multi-state grant funds to support stakeholder engagement training in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin
Engaged other partnerships and Fish Habitat Partnership staff at the national level, and in doing so have helped to attain a high profile for FFP
Earned the respect of all interests on the Steering Committee with your cooperative spirit and skill at bringing
together partners from diverse backgrounds and helping them to work together on common goals
Heidi, we have been pleased and rewarded with your leadership in FFP. You play an invaluable role in keeping us on task and in making the most out of what each of us can contribute to FFP. Thank you for your service as FFP coordinator. We look forward to continuing to work with you to further build upon the successes FFP has achieved with your leadership, service, and professional support.
Partnership coordinator and La Crosse FWCO biologist Heidi Keuler is widely recognized as “Outstanding in her Field!