The Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams, Inc. (KAWS) announces hiring their first executive director, Harold L. Klaege, beginning in early January 2008. The Board made the selection in November and anticipates moving the nationally recognized wetland and stream conservation organization forward with Klaege’s day-to-day leadership. Charles Barden, KAWS Board chairman, said, "KAWS owes a debt of gratitude to Tim Christian, who provided tremendous leadership as he helped grow the organization over the past 8 years. With the hiring of Harold Klaege, in the new executive director position, we will take KAWS to a new level of accomplishment." Klaege will become the third person to serve KAWS as lead staff replacing Christian, Barden said. Christian served as state coordinator for KAWS as a contractor since August 1999. Paula Ford held the first part-time KAWS position from 1998 to August 1999. Klaege is the first organization employee. KAWS currently has six other contractors serving in a variety of support positions, he continued.
Biographical information: Harold L. Klaege recently retired from the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) as the state conservationist for Kansas. As state conservationist, he was responsible for the management and direction of all NRCS operations in the state. A native of Martin, Ohio, Harold grew up on a working farm. He attended Ohio State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural engineering in 1971. He began his 37-year career with NRCS as a student trainee in 1970 in Defiance, Ohio. Later he served as a hydrologist in Columbus, Ohio, until 1975. Harold relocated to Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1975 and held several positions in the Nebraska NRCS State Office including planning engineer, design engineer, area engineer, water resources planning leader, and assistant state conservationist. In 2000, Harold accepted a position in NRCS’ s national headquarters in Washington, D.C. as the national watershed program leader. In 2002, Harold became the eighth state conservationist for Kansas. Harold is committed to conservation and the position of KAWS executive director will allow him to continue his “Calling for Conservation.” Harold lives in Salina with his wife, and they have two children and one grandchild.
KAWS works with local people to create, protect and restore our state’s wetland and stream resources. Organized in 1996, KAWS is a 501.C.3. educational public charity reaching a broad spectrum of individuals, groups, and governments to improve the wetlands and streams they own or control. KAWS provides its services through 12 local chapters that cover the entire state. Contact information: Harold L. Klaege, Executive Director for the Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams, Inc. can be reached at P.O. Box 2112, Salina, KS 67402-2112, or call him at 785-820-1619, fax to 866-658-4535, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.