New FWS McGregor District Manager getting reacquainted

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Kendra Pednault

By Ted Pennekamp


Kendra Pednault, the new McGregor District Manager for the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, has begun her duties and is getting reacquainted with the region.

“I missed being out on the water and the Driftless Area,” said Pednault who previously served as Refuge Manager of the Eastern Virginia Rivers National Wildlife Refuge as well as the Deputy Refuge Manager of the La Crosse District. “I just love this area. The people are nice. I grew up in the south, so I love the four seasons.”

Pednault also had stints at Deer Flats National Wildlife Refuge in Idaho, J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Florida and Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia.

“I have a lot to learn in the McGregor District about the McGregor Lake Project as well as other habitat restoration projects such as Reno Bottoms and Conway Lake,” said Pednault, who noted that the Reno Bottoms Project below Lock and Dam 8 at the north end of Pool 9 is in the planning stages. The Conway Lake Project in Pool 9 near Lansing is just finishing up, she said. 

Another area of importance is the fact that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in the McGregor District is in the process of moving its headquarters to Luster Heights across the river in Allamakee County, Iowa. The FWS purchased Luster Heights for their new permanent site. The FWS has leased a building in Prairie du Chien across the street from Cabela’s for the past few years while looking for a permanent home.

“There’s a lot of work to do,” said Pednault about the move to Luster Heights. “I’m guessing it will take two or three years.”

Pednault has moved to the Prairie du Chien area and said her youngest daughter is in fourth grade in Prairie du Chien. Her eldest daughter graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 2020.

“I’m happy,” said Pednault. “It’s like coming home.”

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