NEW LONDON — LeRoy Dahlke developed a passion for the outdoors while growing up on a Sibley County farm.
When a high school guidance counselor told him there was such a thing as a career as a wildlife manager, he could hardly believe anything so good could be true.
He is retiring September 22, after a little over 39 years with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. He’s well known for his role since 1984 as the wildlife manager for the DNR office serving Kandiyohi, Chippewa and Meeker counties. Through all of these years, Dahlke still feels the same way about the career that has defined so much of his life.
He’s made his mark here by working hard to develop wildlife management areas, build and maintain strong partnerships with area sports and conservation groups, and keeping the public involved and informed. If being a wildlife manager was the perfect fit for him, so too was his transfer to the Willmar wildlife office that is now located in Sibley State Park. He’s found that there are many people in the three counties who share his passion for protecting our natural resources.
Dahlke will be honored for his service with a retirement party from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 6 at the Kandi Entertainment Center in Willmar.
RSVP Linda Ostermann at 507-359-6032 by September 22 if you wish to reserve a $13 ticket for the buffet meal to be served.
Dahlke won’t be pushing paperwork anymore, but he still will be found on the public lands he worked so hard to maintain. His retirement plans focus on hunting, fishing and getting some of his oft-delayed home improvement projects completed. He said he plans to pace his transition into retirement by only fishing and hunting every other day.
– Tom Cherveny