In presenting the award at an annual statewide wildlife meeting, Tom Hauge, Wildlife Management bureau chief said that “in assisting public and private landowners, Greg‘s work ranges from forest management for ruffed grouse, deer, bear and woodcock to grassland management for songbirds, waterfowl and turkeys to Pine Barrens management for sharp-tailed grouse and turkeys.” Hauge added that Kessler participates in hunter and trapper education and has helped organized and conduct turkey and bear learn-to-hunt programs, a new archery club and range, county sports shows, hunters’ expos, and Master Gardener training programs.
In Douglas and northwestern Bayfield counties, Kessler manages four State Natural Areas and is the DNR liaison to a natural areas friends’ group. Other program work includes timber wolf population monitoring and management. He has issued permits to landowners to control wolves causing agricultural damage and conducts surveys for pine martins, trumpeter swans, anurans, Sandhill cranes, and marsh birds.
Hauge said that to accomplish these tasks Kessler has developed excellent working relationships with forestry, fisheries, and law enforcement programs, natural resource agencies such as County Land Conservation Departments, the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and local sports clubs. “His positive ‘can do’ attitude and his many wildlife management accomplishments has truly made him deserving of this year’s Wildlife Biologist of the Year Award,” Hauge said.