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Time to Make Reservations for
Third Annual Aldo Leopold Banquet

RELEASED: Feb. 8, 2008

EAU CLAIRE The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's Environmental Adventure Center will host the third annual Aldo Leopold Banquet from 6-9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, in the EAC, located in the basement of Hilltop Center. The banquet honors the conservation legacy of Aldo Leopold and aims to further foster the idea of developing a land ethic.

Items on the banquet's rustic-themed menu include elk stew, duck medallions, pan-fried walleye, vegetarian lasagna and all the trimmings. Cost is $18 per person. The event is expected to sell out quickly, so early reservations are requested.

The predinner program features five guest speakers: Buddy Huffaker, executive director of the Aldo Leopold Foundation in Baraboo; Tex Hawkins, watershed biologist; Duke Welter, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Board secretary and Trout Unlimited leader; Dr. Sean Hartnett, UW-Eau Claire professor of geography; and Dr. John Hildebrand, UW-Eau Claire professor of English. Hartnett and Hildebrand teach the Aldo Leopold land ethic in their UW-Eau Claire classes.

Huffaker joined the Aldo Leopold Foundation in 1996 as an ecologist. He has been the executive director since 1999 and directed the foundation's growth from an operational budget of $100,000 in 1999 to an annual budget of $1 million. Among Huffaker's most important achievements was his considerable involvement in the design and construction of the Aldo Leopold Legacy Center in Baraboo, which opened in spring 2007. In October 2007, the U.S. Green Building Council awarded the center a 61-point Platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification, recognizing it as the greenest building in the world.

Hawkins is a watershed biologist for the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. His collaborative efforts help reduce flooding, sediment and nutrient impacts to the Mississippi backwaters and the Gulf of Mexico by protecting or restoring critical upstream habitats. Hawkins spent a year alone in Central America conducting a white-winged dove research project, as well as five years in Costa Rica as a Peace Corps volunteer, training consultant and national park and refuge adviser. At the banquet, Hawkins will discuss some of his father's early work with Aldo Leopold.

Welter currently serves as chair of Trout Unlimited's National Leadership Council and has been a member for 25 years. He received Trout Unlimited's National Conservation Volunteer of the Year award in 2002. Welter has been a leader at the local and state levels on resource issues including mining impacts, groundwater legislation, wetlands protection and watershed restoration. Welter is co-founder of the Driftless Area Restoration Effort, a four-state collaborative effort to expand watershed restoration in the coulee region of southwestern Wisconsin, southeastern Minnesota, northeastern Iowa and northwestern Illinois. Appointed to the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board by Gov. Jim Doyle in May 2003, Welter presently serves as secretary and chair of its stewardship committee and its forestry, parks and recreation subcommittee.

Dr. Sean Hartnett
Dr. Sean Hartnett

Hartnett has research interests in historical geography, cartography, Global Positioning Systems, geographical information systems and the geography of the marathon. Hartnett's expertise lies in bathymetric mapping; he has developed a set of integrated GPS surveying, GIS surface generation, and cartographic visualization techniques used in the production of more than 20 lake maps. Hartnett also is an internationally recognized expert in the marathon and has published more than 100 articles in Track & Field News and The Kenyan Athlete.

Dr. John Hildebrand
Dr. John Hildelbrand

Hildebrand is the author of three nonfiction books that deal with a variety of environmental issues: "A Northern Front," "Mapping the Farm: The Chronicles of a Family" and "Reading the River: A Voyage Down the Yukon." Hildebrand received the Maxwell Schoenfeld Distinguished Professorship Award and the Excellence in Scholarship Award from UW-Eau Claire. He also has been awarded a Bush Artist Fellowship, a Wisconsin Arts Board Fellowship, the BANTA Award from the Wisconsin Literary Association and a Friends of American Writers Literary Award.

Aldo Leopold Weekend is a collaborative effort of The Aldo Leopold Foundation, select faculty at UW-Eau Claire, the Wisconsin and Minnesota departments of natural resources and Friends of the EAC. To make reservations or for more information, contact Dan Langlois at 715-836-3616 or langlodt@uwec.edu.

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NC/NW

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