Don was elected to the Hamlet of Crystal Lake Board in July, 2017.
Don’s education is in the field of biology from the University of Saskatchewan and from the Kelsey Institute of Applied Sciences – wildlife/waterfowl resource management. Because of his surveying/engineering work with the Department of Highways, Don initially began working with Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) in wetland construction out of Yorkton in 1976. These were exceptional growing years for DUC, and in 1979 Don was moved to southern Alberta and became the Area Manager. In 1988, with the implementation of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) and the First Step Quill Lakes Project, Don moved back to Saskatchewan to help set up the Wadena office. The pressure was on, the success of this First Step Project would determine the future success of the whole $1.5 billion NAWMP program. The success of securing wildlife habitat was paramount, and that responsibility fell squarely on Don’s shoulders.
In addition to his professional background, Don has gained extensive Municipal Government experience in the Town of Sturgis, being a Councillor from 1991 to 1997, and Mayor from 1997 to 2016 inclusive.
Don’s involvement with Crystal Lake goes back to the 1960’s, swimming with his three brothers at his parents’ cabin at the lake. Summertime was great and times were simple and carefree for a young boy. Time goes by, and by the late 1970’s and early 1980’s big changes were occurring – the old cabin was replaced with a new year round cabin designed and constructed by the Olson brothers, the old outhouse was gone and new septic holding tanks installed all around the lake; lots were no longer leased but had to be purchased. The cabin continues to be a “family cabin” for Don’s extended families to enjoy.
With the Hamlet Board, Don is currently the Chair, and has the lead in the areas of (1) Infrastructure and Equipment, (2) Safety and Liability, (3) Economics and Commerce, and (4) Government and Partnership Relations.