Ecological problems of the upper Midwest

Now is a good time, as nature and our gardening tools rest, to consider some of the ecological problems facing our area that have been caused by human enterprise. As the creators of these disasters, we are responsible for finding the solutions.

Consider, for instance, the invasion of the myriad alien species we fight in our native areas each year. Most were brought here intentionally to add variety to flower gardens, as fodder for livestock, or for some other misguided practical reason. We are now paying the price as these unwanted trespassers compete, to various levels of success, with our natives for habitat.

Other problems impacting natives in our area are fertilizer and storm water runoff, as well as the loss of wetlands. Join the Rock River Valley Chapter of Wild Ones Natural Landscapers Jan. 18 as John L. Larson, Ph.D., principal ecologist for Applied Ecological Services, describes these problems we have created and discusses the ways the science of ecology can work to address such thorny issues.

Dr. Larson has more than 15 years of professional experience in ecological restoration and management planning and design, as well as in wetland delineations. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from UW-Eau Claire, and his Ph.D. from UW-Milwaukee in 1989. Dr. Larson is affiliated with such organizations as Ecological Society of America, Society of Wetland Scientists, and Society for Ecological Restoration, to name just a few.

Dr. John Larson will be the featured speaker for the Jan. 18 meeting of the Rock River Chapter, Wild Ones, at 7 p.m. at Burpee Museum of Natural History, 737 N. Main St., Rockford. This meeting is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Virginia Watson at 398-0138.

From the Jan. 17-23, 2007, issue

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