Angus Norman is new to volunteering with DUC, but not new to conservation. In 2014, he retired from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) and the next year, joined DUC as a volunteer. His 45 years of work with wildlife and wetlands is now a great asset to DUC’s industry and government relations team.
Raised on a farm near Lake Huron, Norman earned a B.Sc. (Honours) in Zoology and M.Sc. in Wildlife Biology from the University of Guelph in the 1970s. He credits an excellent education and a series of good summer jobs for leading him to his career with the MNRF.
“DUC brought their conservation programs into Ontario in 1975,” says Norman. “I was assigned to work on a marsh on Lake Simcoe where DUC was a partner and I’ve been involved with their team, forging not only professional, but personal friendships, ever since.”
With a professional career as a wildlife biologist and personal value that conserving nature is “the right thing to do,” Norman has developed his understanding of the broader benefits to conserving wetlands and appreciates the need to “keep the wetlands we have and restore where we can.”
“Much of what I have been doing over my career is trying to characterize the benefits wetlands provide, promote them and the overall need to conserve them.”
By volunteering to work with DUC, Norman continues to strive for positive environmental change. Today, Norman is helping Ontario’s industry and government relations team prepare for the sixth annual DUC day at Queen’s Park. On March 1, 2017, DUC staff and volunteers, including Norman, will meet with provincial members of parliament to talk about the benefits of wetlands.
“Two years ago, Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario, directed the Minister of Natural Resources to develop a wetland conservation strategy that would halt the loss of wetlands in Ontario,” explains Norman. “One of the things that I’m doing through Ducks Unlimited Canada, is urging the staff of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to get on with implementing this project. After 40 years of doing wildlife and wetland management in the province; this is the best political direction we’ve had. It’s really, really significant.”
“Wetland conservation is one of the best investments that governments can make to ensure a healthy environment and a strong economy” says Kevin Rich, DUC’s head of industry and government relations in Ontario. “Having a volunteer like Angus who brings such strong science credentials as well as the ability to distill that information and communicate it to Ontario’s key decision-makers is a huge boost to our IGR program.”