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A new daylong conference on the health of the Red Cedar River watershed is scheduled Thursday, March 22, at University of Wisconsin-Stout.
The inaugural Red Cedar: Land, Water and People Coming Together will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Memorial Student Center.
The goal of the event is to discuss solutions to the problem of impaired waters, which has caused blue-green algae blooms and compromised water quality in the lakes and rivers within the ecosystem.
The Red Cedar River starts in Sawyer County and flows 85 miles to the Chippewa River northeast of Durand. The watershed drains nearly 1,900 square miles in parts of eight counties, including Dunn County as the river passes through Menomonie.
The major event sponsors are the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics College at UW-Stout, Community Foundation of Dunn County, Xcel Energy, SEH engineering, Tainter/Menomin Lake Improvement Association, Fairmont Minerals and Wisconsin Industrial Sand.
"This event addresses topics of great significance to the community, environment and economy. This is a wonderful opportunity to further engage the university community through educational and applied research connections,” said Jeff Anderson, dean of the STEM College.
The event co-hosts are Dick Lamers, president of the Tainter/Menomin Lake Improvement Association, and Karl Hakanson, Red Cedar River project coordinator for River Country Resource Conservation and Development.
"We are grateful to Dick, Karl and the rest of their leadership team for collaborating with us on such an important project and bringing together core UW-Stout values and priorities with vital interests throughout the region," Anderson said.
To see a related video, go to http://youtu.be/WRG7mXYG0kY.
Attendees will hear three keynote addresses and have the option of choosing from 14 breakout sessions. Open time will allow for the review of exhibits from businesses and organizations throughout the watershed.
The opening address will be by James “Tony” Thompson, a fifth-generation farmer from Windom. By using innovative technology at his Willow Lake Farm, he has increased productivity while reducing negative or unintended impacts on the ecosystem.
The midday keynote will be “The Ups, Outs and Downs of Urban Storm Water,” by Bruce Wilson from the Stormwater Policy and Tech Assistance Department of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
The afternoon keynote will be “Beyond the Blame Toward Relationship-based Solutions,” by Warren Formo, executive director of Minnesota Agricultural Water Resources Center, and Patrick Moore, executive director of Clean up the River Environment.
Examples of breakout sessions include:
• “Farming for Water Quality,” by Joe Bragger, Bragger Family Dairy, and John Rosenow, Rosenholm Wolfe Dairy
• “Using Wisconsin’s New Phosphorous Rule to Restore the Red Cedar River Basin,” by Melissa Malott, water program director, Clean Wisconsin
• “Sedimentation and Erosion Control Systems in Construction,” by Glendali Rodriguez, UW-Stout STEM College
• “Shoreland Zoning — How Does it Impact Me?” by Mike Wenholz, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and Cleo Herrick, Dunn County Planning and Zoning Office
• “Urban Storm Water Runoff Prevention and Education: Local Success Stories,” by Randy Eide, Menomonie Public Works, and Dan Zerr, UW-Extension
• “Healing a Sick Little Lake,” by Rod Olson, president of Desair Lake Restoration
• “Steps for Controlling Cyanobacteria,” by Scott McGovern, UW-Stout STEM College
Early registration ends Thursday, March 8.
For more information, call Professional Education Programs and Services at UW-Stout, 715-232-2793 or go to http://www.uwstout.edu/profed/redcedar/index.cfm.