SPRINGFIELD – "Managing and Making Choices: A Symposium on the Challenge of River Floodplain Land Use" will be held Friday, March 23, at Dickson Mounds Museum in Lewistown. The symposium is being presented by the University of Illinois at Springfield's Emiquon Field Station with funding provided by the Lumpkin Family Foundation and Friends of Emiquon. The program is open to the public, however advance registration is required.
The way land is managed affects the livelihood, economy, and well-being of the people who live on it. This symposium features speakers on a range of topics including management strategy, economics, nutrient farming, and environmentalism. Afternoon discussion sessions allow participants to interact with other experts to learn conservation, model systems, or land management options.
Mike Lemke, UIS associate professor of biology and director of the Emiquon Field Station, noted, "We are excited to host such a diverse group of speakers and perspectives. People who attend this symposium will be exposed to different viewpoints that will help them have an informed opinion about floodplain land issues or that they can consider when managing their own land."
Speakers are nationally and locally known experts drawn from science, law, policy, and other disciplines. They include Michael Rosenzweig, professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona and author of Win-Win Ecology; Suzanne Kercher, botanist/restoration ecologist with Adaptive Restoration LLC and professor of Natural Science at Edgewood College, Madison, Wisconsin; Donald Hey, senior vice president of The Wetlands Initiative; Drake Warren, a doctoral candidate in Agriculture and Consumer Economics at the U of I at Urbana-Champaign; Albert Ettinger, senior attorney with the Environmental Law and Policy Center; and K. Douglas Blodgett, director of The Nature Conservancy's Upper Mississippi River Floodplain Initiative.
Workshops will be led by representatives from The Nature Conservancy, the Wetlands Reserve Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Parklands Foundation, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, and various private-sector organizations.
Once a productive floodplain wetland along the Illinois River, the Emiquon site has supported row crop agriculture for the past 80 years. Since late 2004, UIS has been working in partnership with The Nature Conservancy to restore the nearly 7,500 acres to its natural floodplain state. UIS established the Emiquon Field Station to study, research, and document the undertaking, which is one of the first large-scale efforts of its kind.
Registrations for the workshop should be made no later than March 15. The $10/person fee includes lunch. Groups of five or more receive a $10 discount.More information – including a brochure, registration, and a map – is available at www.uis.edu/emiquon/. Contact Lemke by phone at 217/206-7339 or by e-mail at MLEMK1@uis.edu; or Vicki Perkins by phone at 217/585-1696 or by e-mail at email@example.com.