Conservationists honored by NRC

Two men were honored for their preservation efforts tonight at the NRC’s Partners in Conservation Awards.

For the past 25 years, Sten Fjeldheim has volunteered his time to the DNR while simultaneously coaching the Nordic Ski Team for Northern Michigan University and Team USA. He’s played an instrumental role in the development of Nordic Ski Trails across the region. His latest endeavor focused on improving Blueberry Ridge Ski Pathway, which many consider the best classic ski trail in the Midwest.

“We had one hill system, for instance, where you had to go down a hill, and then make a 90 degree turn to go straight up a hill. It’s difficult because some people kept going off at the bottom of the hill. I was new to the trail system last year, and he kind of stepped in. I would have fallen flat on my face without his help there,” noted Doug Barry, a Supervisor for the DNR. “I just thought he deserves this. The NRC, the Natural Resources Commission, Award goes to a select few. It doesn’t go to many people at all. It’s a great honor that Sten was selected.”

Dave and Marcy Cella have spent a lifetime teaching children the art of fishing and spearheading volunteer efforts to preserve beaches and fisheries throughout Baraga County. But, for Dave, it was never about the notoriety.

“I would rather fly under the clouds,” Dave remarked with a smile.

“My husband has been fishing in the Baraga area and the Huron River since he was 16. He’ll be 80 next year. He came home and started complaining about the erosion, and I explained to him either he do something about it or stop coming home to complain,” said Marcy. “He formed a non-profit organization for the restoration of the Huron River. As a result, hopefully, we’re actually going to be able to work with the DNR this year to restore one of the eroded banks and to help the spawning beds for the future.”

We’ll have more from the NRC’s monthly meeting tomorrow night, including a look at the latest developments in the U.P. Wolf Hunt.