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Aldo Leopold Weekend offers free events

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Aldo Leopold

Aldo Leopold is considered by many as the father of wildlife management, of land conservation and of the United States’ wilderness system.

The La Crosse area’s annual observance of Aldo Leopold Weekend will this year include a lecture at Viterbo University (March 3) and two nature education events (March 5). These free events are offered to the public to raise awareness of and care for Wisconsin’s land, water and wildlife.

The statewide celebration of Leopold’s groundbreaking work in ecology started in 2000 in Lodi, Wisconsin, when a group staged the first reading of the entire Sand County Almanac as a way to inform local residents of Leopold’s Land Ethic. Leopold, the author of “A Sand County Almanac,” is considered by many as the father of wildlife management and of the United States’ wilderness system. The success of the Lodi event led to support from the Aldo Leopold Foundation and a declaration by Governor James Doyle in 2004 setting the first weekend in March as Aldo Leopold Weekend in Wisconsin.

Guest speaker

When:

  • 7 p.m. Thursday, March 3

Where:

  • Fine Arts Center Recital Hall at Viterbo University

Who:

  • Timothy R. Van Deelen, wildlife ecology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will “reflect on Wisconsin’s recent wolf and deer controversies to consider how Leopold’s wisdom informs urgent conservation needs in a world of divisiveness, nostalgia and climate crisis.” The lecture will also be live-streamed and available to watch on the Reinhart Institute Facebook page (wwwfacebook.com/viterboethics).

Forest ecology walk

When:

  • 9:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, March 5

Where:

  • Goose Island’s Shady Maple Interpretive Trail

What:

  • A forest ecology hike will be guided by representatives from Audubon Minnesota, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The walk through the floodplain forest will “explore the unique characteristics of this habitat type and its importance to migratory songbirds, highlight ongoing forest management projects, share hope in the face of conservation challenges and tips for ways we can help strengthen our natural communities.” Registration is required and attendance is limited. Please call Ranger Katie to register or with questions, 608-779-2391. Face masks are required when physical distancing is not possible.

Nature Saturday at WisCorps

When:

  • 9:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, March 5

Where:

  • Myrick Park Center, La Crosse

What:

  • Free activities for families will be offered by WisCorps at Myrick Park Center. No registration needed. WisCorps teachers will offer indoor and outdoor activities including visiting with live education animals. Please wear a mask indoors.

About Aldo Leopold Days

The statewide celebration of Leopold’s groundbreaking work in ecology started in 2000 in Lodi, Wisconsin, when a group staged the first reading of the entire Sand County Almanac as a way to inform local residents of Leopold’s Land Ethic. Leopold, the author of “A Sand County Almanac,” is considered by many as the father of wildlife management and of the United States’ wilderness system. The success of the Lodi event led to support from the Aldo Leopold Foundation and a declaration by Gov. James Doyle in 2004 setting the first weekend in March as Aldo Leopold Weekend in Wisconsin.

The local event is planned annually by a group of cooperating environmental and conservation organizations including D. B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics and Leadership, Friends of the Marsh, Friends of the Refuge, Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge Visitor Center, Brice Prairie Conservation Association, Mississippi Valley Conservancy and Viterbo University.

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