February 1, 2021, LWV UMRR will host talks on how local actions can improve soil and water quality in a watershed. This Zoom meeting will take place at 1pm CST. We hope that you can join us for this meeting, either by participating in the Zoom or watching it on Facebook Live. The Zoom link will be sent to our contacts in member Leagues, LWV UMRR Board members and those who request it by emailing us email@example.com .
Our speakers will be Heidi Keuler from Farmers and Fishers, Clark Porter from the Blackhawk Creek Soil and Water Coalition and Faith Luce, Watershed Coordinator for Blackhawk Creek . Heidi will describe the work - and success - that Fishers and Farmers is having with their new outreach campaign. We had a blog post on Fishers and Farmers in October; in this meeting Heidi will tell us all about their efforts and give us all a chance to ask questions and gain a good understanding of their work.
Clark Porter will then bring the big discussion down to particulars, talking about his work in the Blackhawk Creek watershed. This post from Farmers and Fishers describes the work that Clark has done to build a partnership of people and organizations in his watershed to further water quality improvement. Clark will be accompanied by Faith Luce, a recent graduate from the University of Northern Iowa. and Watershed Coordinator for Blackhawk Creek.
Here's a quote from the post about the Blackhawk Creek Soil & Water Coalition:
Clark Porter sat finishing lunch with a farming neighbor at a recent celebration opening a new Crop Production Services facility in Grundy County, Iowa. Their conversation turned to Blackhawk Creek and the Blackhawk Creek Water and Soil Coalition, a group Porter established just a year ago – in February 2017.
The neighbor asked if it helped that Porter farmed in the watershed too. Porter said he believed it did. “It gives you credibility,” observed the neighbor.
Porter hopes to rely on that credibility as he works to build a sense of community in a watershed with both rural and urban stakeholders – a condition that has led to past conflict in his state. Advocates in the city, where Porter lives, have told him he could serve as a “bridge” across the watershed.
Read biographic info on our speakers by clicking the READ MORE link below:
Biographies of Speakers:
Since 2010, Heidi Keuler has been Coordinator for the Fishers & Farmers Partnership for the Upper Mississippi River Basin, a member of the National Fish Habitat Partnership. The Fishers & Farmers Partnership is a self-directed group of non-governmental agricultural and conservation organizations, and state and federal agencies working "to support locally-led projects that add value to farms while enhancing aquatic habitat and native fish populations." Fishers & Farmers Partnership works in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin.
Heidi graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a B.S. in Biology and Wildlife Management and a minor in Environmental Law Enforcement. She began her career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2002 as a fish biologist at the La Crosse Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office in LaCrosse, WI. While working for the Service, she received a M.S. from UW-LaCrosse in Aquatic Science.
Heidi grew up in the heart and hills of the Driftless Area of the Coon Creek Watershed in southwest Wisconsin. Though she didn’t grow up on a farm, Heidi comes by her farming heritage honestly. She learned about farming and gardening from her parents, family and neighbors. Throughout her childhood, she explored the farms and went fishing in the creek behind her home. She also spent time hunting in the hills and valleys or “coulees” as the locals say. In college, she discovered that Aldo Leopold had worked in her watershed, and that her own community had benefitted from many local conservation projects.
Heidi and her husband have three children and are active in school, church, music, and sports. The family loves camping, fishing, hunting, kayaking, hiking, baseball, soccer, basketball, football, ski jumping and especially taking trips out west to see the National Parks.
Clark Porter works as an Environmental Specialist for the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. He is charged with recruiting farmers and landowners to implement conservation practices in targeted areas of the Middle Cedar River Watershed. Prior to working in this position, Clark founded the Black Hawk Creek Water and Soil Coalition. Clark also manages his family’s farm near Reinbeck, IA. He and his family received the Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award in 2018. Clark and his wife Sharon are former teachers and reside in Waterloo, IA.
Faith Luce (in her own words)
I am a recent graduate from the University of Northern Iowa with degrees in Geology, Earth Science and Environmental Science. While at the University of Northern Iowa I got involved with doing research, including a hydrology, hydrogeology and geologic analysis of a local watershed, Dry Run Creek watershed, through doing this it spurred on a desire to become a watershed project coordinator I grew up along the Mississippi River where I spent my time hunting, fishing, kayaking and camping. As well as helping my family on their dairy farms. I got interested in water quality once I learned about how Midwest agricultural practices, specifically Iowa’s, influence on the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico and the degradation it’s caused our waterways.
|LWV Upper Mississippi River Region