Ray Norrgard
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Fergus Falls, Minnesota

Working in the public and non-profit sectors for the past 37 years, Ray Norrgard has been committed to wetlands and waterfowl. Ray has served in a variety of roles at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), taking a leading role in the development of several wetland programs. This includes, among many others, Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) – an initiative that has generated tens of millions of dollars annually to restoring wildlife habitat on marginal agricultural lands. Some of the key programs under the initiative include the RIM Reserve and RIM Critical Habitat programs, both of which have served as national models for conservation. Ray has also been a key contributor to several natural resource management plans and reports. He was the primary author of Minnesota’s Long Range Duck Recovery Plan – the most ambitious duck plan in the state’s history. Ray also led the completion of the most comprehensive report to date on the ecology and management of northern wild rice. In addition, Ray has created an extensive legacy of education and outreach in the state, writing articles, conducting interviews, and speaking at clinics and symposiums for youth, adults, and wildlife management professionals. Ray has also volunteered countless hours of his free time to promoting wetlands. This includes working with a citizens group that spearheaded a successful effort to dedicate an increase in the state sales tax to conservation, restoration, and the arts – an increase that generates approximately $160 million annually for the state’s natural resources.