Barbara Frank of La Crosse will be recognized Thursday as the state's Conservationist of the Year by Gathering Waters Conservancy.

Frank, who has worked in conservation in the Coulee Region for more than 30 years, will be honored at the group's Conservation Leadership Awards event in Madison.

She helped start several area organizations, including Mississippi Valley Conservancy, Hixon Forest Nature Center and the Coulee Region chapter of the Sierra Club, and has been involved in a number of other environmental and policy efforts.

She is chairwoman of the Midwestern Regional Conservation Committee of the Sierra Club.

While on the MVC's board of directors and Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center's board of trustees in 1998, Frank helped establish the public-private

La Crosse River Conservancy project to preserve more than 350 acres of wetlands.

This year, she and her husband, Don, are donating land to the MVC's La Crosse Blufflands Protection Program to protect about eight miles of Mississippi River bluffs.

"She's a tireless advocate for the environment and has been a real mentor to me personally since I started with the conservancy six years ago," said MVC Executive Director Cynthia Olmstead, who nominated Frank for the award.

Area closed to waterfowl hunting

NEW ALBIN, Iowa - An area north and east of New Albin to the Mississippi River on the Iowa-Minnesota border will be closed to waterfowl hunting this fall.

The area includes the Pool Slough State Wildlife Management Area in Iowa and parts of the federal Upper Mississippi National Wildlife and Fish Refuge in Iowa's Allamakee County and Minnesota's Houston County.

The designation includes a no-shooting zone 150 feet south of Army Road, and no trespassing on the refuge portion of Pool Slough during the fall migratory waterfowl seasons. Dates will be posted along Army Road.

Federal lands, including Army Road, are posted closed to all migratory bird hunting. Other hunting and trapping will be allowed beginning the day after duck hunting season closes or March 15, whichever occurs first.

Pool Slough often has low water during the fall, which forces migrating ducks and geese to rest and feed elsewhere. As part of the Pool Slough Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project, being done with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a dike system will be built later this year or in early 2004 north of Army Road that should provide a more manageable source of water.

For more information, call the Iowa DNR's Bob Kurtt at (563) 382-4895 or Mike Griffin at (563) 872-5700; or John Lindell, district manager for the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, at (563) 873-3423.

To submit an item for Environmental Notebook, call Betsy Bloom at (608) 791-8236, e-mail bbloom@lacrosse tribune.com or fax to (608) 782-9723.

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