For six years, Dave Carlson has served as president of the Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Alliance. The state’s conservation scene has been lucky to have someone as competent and practical at the organization’s helm.
As Outdoor News reported this fall, however, Carlson has told his board that he’ll be leaving the post at year-end, and so far, no one has stepped up to lead the important umbrella organization. Without MOHA over the past 25 years, we probably would not have passed the Right to Hunt and Fish Amendment in 1998, plus the group was influential in passing dedicated funding a decade later.
Chatting with Carlson last week, he sounded skeptical about finding a replacement. The MOHA board didn’t have enough members (seven) for a quorum earlier this month, and Carlson fears many modern conservation groups simply don’t value umbrella organizations. Without MOHA, its frequent caucus meetings with legislators at the Capitol are over, and the annual MOHA legislative banquet – one of the biggest outdoors social events of the year – will no longer happen.
I’d argue MOHA has been the bridge from the heyday of Minnesota outdoors activism from the mid-20th Century to this modern era. Losing it would set back efforts to unify the voices of sportsmen. We’ll miss it when it’s gone. We at Outdoor News appreciate Carlson’s hard work at MOHA and wish him happy trails.
Postscript: There are rumblings among state movers and shakers on the outdoors scene to find or create an organization to fill the potential MOHA void. Stay tuned.