Meet our Volunteers

Volunteers for the DNR

Spring 2016

Park Rapids Wildlife Volunteer Team : Don Marg, Denny Ernst, Chuck Yliniemi, Ron Norenberg, Russ Johnsrud, and Dave Gansen

truckload of birdhouses

Pictured with a truckload of bluebird houses (L to R) are Russ Johnsrud, Denny Ernst, Chuck Yliniemi, and Don Marg.

trail kiosks

Pictured with trail kiosks (L to R) are Russ Johnsrud, Denny Ernst, and Ron Norenberg.

Since 1992, volunteers have been working on woodworking projects in the shop at the Park Rapids Wildlife Office.  Tom Stursa, Area Wildlife Technician, has had the pleasure of working with this group since Day 1.

“Over the years I’m not sure who benefitted more, the volunteers or me!” said Stursa.  “Somedays there were more hunting stories told and pictures of grandkids shown than actual work being done, but that’s what’s made it so fun for these volunteers.”

“In the past, this group has built hundreds of bird houses and nesting boxes.  Most recently they constructed 33 kiosks for our Hunter Walking Trails, 12 kiosks for horse trails on surrounding State Forest Lands and the table the kiosks are setting on was constructed for Detroit Lakes Wildlife to store shovels and rakes in.  There are also a bunch of bird houses and suet feeders that were constructed to give away at Area Fire Warden meetings.” 

Pictured in the photos are the Park Rapids Area Wildlife Volunteers:  Don Marg, Denny Ernst, Chuck Yliniemi, Ron Norenberg, and Russ Johnsrud. Missing is Dave Gansen. 

Thank you all, for your years of devotion and talent shared with MNDNR!

Fish Sampling on Leech Lake: Pat Mortale, Walker

Pat Mortale

Pictured here are Mike Schlener, Pat Mortale (facing camera), and Larry Jacobson.

Pat Mortale is a member of the Leech Lake Association Board and an active DNR volunteer.

“Pat volunteered for seining, trawling, gill netting, and electrofishing, and volunteered on seven different days for a total of 43 hours this past year,” said Matt Ward, Large Lake Specialist, Walker Fisheries.

“On multiple occasions Pat volunteered at a moment’s notice when we called stating we needed help. He is truly an outstanding volunteer that went above and beyond the call of duty on multiple occasions.  We greatly appreciate his time and efforts!”

Thank you, Pat!

Fishing Outreach Volunteer - Mark Tipler, Tips Outdoors Foundation

Mark Tipler

Mark Tipler and his Tips Outdoors Foundation are always available when a classroom, church, event or organization needs a helping with hands-on fishing skills.

According to Mike Kurre, Mentoring Coordinator, Division of Fish and Wildlife, “Mark has helped and organized at Governor's Fishing Openers, Big Brothers Big Sisters fishing experiences, charity fishing contests, school outings across the metro area and numerous other family oriented outdoor events state-wide. He is a real asset to the outdoor community!”

Thank you, Mark, for helping families to enjoy the great outdoors together!

A Part of Geological History - Austin Dusek, Hibbing

Austin Dusek

“Austin did a fantastic job helping me sort through and quickly organize a vast amount of geophysical and other geological data,” says Andrea Reed, Mineral Resource Geologist, Division of Lands & Minerals.

“He caught on quickly to the task and came up with suggestions on how to make the task more efficient. Thanks to his efforts, the old and nearly forgotten data will soon be making its way from the analog to digital world!”

Thank you, Austin, for your assistance!