Longtime Upper Peninsula conservation activist Ken Buchholtz of Escanaba was named a Department of Natural Resources Partner in Conservation at the recent Michigan Natural Resources Commission meeting in Sault Ste. Marie.
Buchholtz, president of the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Bay De Noc Gobblers chapter, has been active in conservation for more than 40 years. In his role as president, he has made significant impacts on youth programs, such as Archery in the Schools, 4-H shooting sports, educational scholarships, hunter safety and youth mentoring. Buchholtz also has been committed to developing new avenues for persons with disabilities to enjoy hunting and the outdoors through programs like Wheelin’ Sportsman.
“Ken’s dedication spans many levels of conservation, and is not limited to wild turkeys,” said DNR Director Rodney Stokes. “He has worked with the DNR on habitat projects, education, youth activities, women’s programs and land purchases. He has been a valuable partner to the Department because he is so involved at the grassroots level.”
“For many years, Ken has been involved in the very successful wild turkey restoration effort in Michigan ,” said DNR upland game bird biologist Al Stewart. “I work closely with Ken on many projects, and he always takes his volunteer duties very seriously and is highly committed to natural resource conservation and management in our state.”
In addition to his work on natural resources issues, Buchholtz is dedicated to raising funds, designing equipment and providing opportunities for hunters with disabilities. Buchholtz takes his specialized equipment to area nursing homes and organized events for residents. He also has participated in the DNR’s Upper Peninsula Demo Days, where the public can try new adaptive equipment for the outdoors.
“Due to Ken’s involvement, residents of the UP have a better understanding of the importance of natural resources management in our state,” Stokes added. “He has worked with state and federal agencies, landowners, legislators, other organizations and his NWTF members to reinforce our objective of using sound natural resources management principles. We appreciate his deep level of commitment to Michigan ’s outdoors.”
Partners in Conservation are recognized several times a year at NRC meetings. Groups or individuals are nominated by Department of Natural Resources employees or NRC members for their outstanding contribution or volunteer service to help the DNR manage and protect Michigan ’s natural resources.