State Rep. Gary Howell has been named the Legislator of the Year in Michigan by Ducks Unlimited – the first time that the honor has been awarded.
Howell (R-North Branch) received the award at Michigan Ducks Unlimited’s annual meeting in Harbor Springs. The group has roughly 28,000 members nationwide across 130 chapters, specializing in wetlands and waterfowl conservation and restoration programs while focusing on landscape, habitat and environmental changes.
Howell and State Rep. Joe Bellino (R-Monroe) have sponsored House Bills 5854 and 5855, which seek to preserve and strengthen wetland restoration programs. Howell and Bellino have been working closely with Ducks Unlimited to secure cooperation from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the legislation.
“As an avid outdoorsman, this is a tremendous honor,” said Howell, who chairs the House Committee on Natural Resources. “One of my priorities as a state legislator is protecting Michigan’s natural resources and preventing the enactment of measures that negatively impact our outdoor recreation or wildlife. I will keep working to accomplish those goals while in Lansing.”
This is the third award Howell has received this year recognizing his service to the people of Michigan. He was also named Legislator of The Year by both the Hunting Dog Federation of Michigan and the Michigan United Conservation Clubs.
Ducks Unlimited’s Great Lakes/Atlantic Regional Office is located in Dexter, Michigan.
“I did not expect to be honored in such strong fashion by so many conservation organizations,” Howell said. “The decision by Ducks Unlimited to name me in its inaugural award will always be one of my legislative highlights.”