Wednesday, March 12, 2014


McPherson Valley Wetlands manager recognized for moist soil management practices
PRATT – Managing McPherson Valley Wetlands and Marion Wildlife Area is how Brent
Theede earns his living, but for this Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) employee, his job is more than a paycheck- it’s a passion. At the 2014 State Ducks Unlimited Convention in Overland Park in February, Theede’s passion was formally recognized and awarded during Saturday’s award ceremony as Theede was presented with the 2013 Wetland Manager of the Year Award. There to help celebrate was Theede’s supervisor, KDWPT public lands regional supervisor, Stuart Schrag. It was Schrag that nominated Theede for the award, and according to him, Theede was nothing short of deserving.
“Brent exemplifies the professionalism and dedication needed for proper moist soil management,” says Schrag. “Since starting at the Wetlands, Brent has diligently devoted his efforts in improving the area for waterfowl of all species and the sportsmen who pursue them.”
“There is a ‘feast or famine’ uniqueness to wetland management,” says Schrag. “The months, and sometimes years, of tediously maintaining dikes, repairing water control structures, clearing trees, spraying noxious and invasive plants, removing troublesome beavers, and running and checking pumps all hours of the night can finally pay off in one rain event, and 2013 was a ‘feast’ year.” Schrag went on to explain that heavy late-summer rains flooded the wetlands leaving pristine conditions heading into the early teal season. The fruits of Theede’s labor were evident within just the first two and a half weeks of the regular duck season, and by season end, McPherson Valley Wetlands had experienced a season of record-breaking harvest numbers.
“Around 3,370 hunters harvested 6,010 ducks for the 2013-2014 season, shattering the current record by 2,800 ducks,” says Schrag. “While the rain played a major factor, if not for Brent’s dedication and professional standards in moist soil management, everything would have not come together to set the environment for overall success and a record-breaking year.”

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