Wednesday, February 8th, 2023
Wednesday, February 8th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Outdoor Insights: A note of thanks to MOHA president Dave Carlson

THANKS, DAVE. 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 we’ve reported, 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, 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.

****                          ****                          ****

UPDATES. On the bright side, after years of complaining about few young people in
conservation leadership roles, the tide may be tilting.

We’ve seen Brad Gausman step up as the leader of the Minnesota Conservation Federation, and the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association hired Jared Mazurek as its
new executive director. I’m excited about the energy these young guys
can bring.

Here at Outdoor News, our
longtime staff writer and reporter, Javier Serna, has decided to leave
newspaper journalism to write long-form books and work on some side
projects. We thank Javier for nearly a decade of reporting and hope
he’ll drop an occasional freelance byline for our readers in the future.

In the meantime, we have some names you’ll be seeing more frequently in this newspaper in 2023 and beyond.

Eric Morken has joined us after 16 years as a reporter and editor with Forum Communications in Alexandria. Morken is tackling our new full-time web editor position.

A hardcore deer hunter, Morken’s name already has been in the newspaper
and our website this month. Last week, I also hired a new staff writer
to fill Javier’s role. His name is Brian Mozey, and he joins us after
reporting stints with the RiverTown media group (Woodbury and Cottage
Grove) and the St. Cloud Times. He grew up with Outdoor News in his household.

Happy New Year to all of our fantastic readers and advertisers. Your support is carrying Outdoor News into its 56th year in 2023. We’ve never been more excited to work with all of you.

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