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Public invited to meet new wetlands managers

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The public is invited to a Meet & Greet with the Morris Wetland Management District's new manager and assistant manager.

Manager Bruce Freske and Assistant Manager Frank Durbian will be at the Common Cup on Friday, Dec. 4, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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The Friends of the Morris Wetland Management District are sponsoring the event.

Freske began his career with the Fish and Wildlife Service as a student trainee at Green Bay Ecological Services in 1987, followed by assignments at Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge, Illinois River National Wildlife Refuge, Rainwater Basin Wetland Management District, and Marais des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge. Freske most recently transferred from the Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge Complex where he served as the manager for the past 5-1/2 years.

Originally from western Minnesota, Freske was raised on the prairie where he hunted and explored sloughs, creeks, and Waterfowl Production Areas. He graduated from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Wildlife Biology.

"I have always been fascinated by the tremendous fertility of the prairie and amazed to this day that even a simple drainage ditch could harbor enough wildlife to keep a pack of children entertained year after year," Fenske said. "I am thrilled to be back to my roots and excited to have the opportunity to help manage and restore prairie habitats for wildlife and people."

Durbian was born and raised in Kansas. He received his BS in Wildlife Biology from Kansas State University and an MS in Wildlife Biology from Emporia State University.

Frank started his career with the USFWS at Charles M. Russell NWR and then moved to Bowdoin NWR, both are in Montana. Frank then served as the station wildlife biologist Squaw Creek NWR, in NW Missouri, for eight years before becoming the Assistant District Manager at the Morris Wetland Management District.

Prior to working for the USFWS he worked for several state wildlife agencies and universities doing wildlife research on a multitude of species and habitats across the Midwest.

"I have worked for the USFWS for the past 13 years and thoroughly enjoy my job," Durbian said. "I truly like working for the American Public and the National Wildlife Refuge System."

The Morris Wetland Management District manages 245 Waterfowl Production Areas totaling over 50,000 acres across an eight county region in west-central Minnesota. The District also oversees 20,000 acres of wetland and habitat easements located on private lands. Waterfowl Production Areas are purchased with money from the sale of federal duck stamps and are dedicated to wildlife and wildlife dependent recreation.

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