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Published September 10, 2013, 10:02 AM

DNR conservation officer honored by Minnesota Trappers Association

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Conservation Officer Tricia Plautz of Henning was recently named officer of the year by the Minnesota Trappers Association (MTA).

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Conservation Officer Tricia Plautz of Henning was recently named officer of the year by the Minnesota Trappers Association (MTA).

The officer of the year is selected for their work on MTA’s tanned fur project where donated raw furs are tanned, dressed and used for educational purposes at such places as county fairs, youth outdoor programs and trapper/hunter education classes.

“Trapping is a heritage tradition and I enjoy seeing many continue the sport for future generations,” Plautz said. “I especially enjoy educating young adults on the aspects of trapping and value of each animal.”

Although the majority of the furs included in the collections are donated by member trappers, a substantial number of limited species (fisher, marten, otters, bobcats) are donated through a cooperative agreement with the DNR’s Enforcement Division where confiscated, road-killed and surrendered out of season catches are donated for education.

“In response to higher fur prices offered over the past few years, donations are down across the board,” said Shawn Johnson, MTA president. “Participation by conservation officers like Plautz becomes that much more vital to the survival of the program.”

The Trappers Association is working with DNR Enforcement to eventually provide complete tanned fur collections to all of the DNR’s 18 enforcement districts for education.

“Officer-to-officer word of mouth about our program and referring educators to us for resources has been our greatest form of advertising and participation,” Johnson said.

MTA membership stands at nearly 2,700.

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