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Conservation efforts earn retired professor statewide honors

With a passion for protecting streams and wildlife dating back to his days growing up in Eau Claire, Dr. Ronald Koshoshek has spent decades championing conservation in Wisconsin. 

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire professor emeritus of philosophy and religious studies' conservation work will be celebrated when he is inducted into the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame this spring.

Koshoshek, who taught at UW-Eau Claire from 1969-1999, will be one of three people inducted in to the hall of fame during a May 2 ceremony in Stevens Point. 

When announcing his induction, WCHF leaders said Koshoshek's conservation efforts reach far beyond the classroom to advance major environmental laws affecting Wisconsin and the nation. 

The WCHF said the following about Koshoshek when announcing his induction:

"With a strong interest in protecting streams and wildlands since his youth in Eau Claire, he championed concerns for environmental justice, public health and citizen rights. To do so, he harnessed the power of citizen-advocacy groups, local and county governments, scientists, the Citizen Advisory Committee, and the Office of Public Intervenor to influence environmental policies, laws and regulations. Highly interested in the balance between private land rights and the public good, he used his understanding of ethics and the legal system to advance Wisconsin's Public Trust Doctrine. As a citizen and later as Chair of the Citizen Advisory Committee, working with the Public Intervenor, he promoted the use of test court cases to better protect streams and fisheries, help prevent road and construction site erosion, protect groundwater from landfill contamination, regulate local pesticide applications, require mining permits and reclamation efforts, and help to protect air quality and public health from frac sand mining in Wisconsin. He is still working with local citizen groups, local governments, and state agencies to resolve the sand mining controversy in Wisconsin." 

The Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame, a cooperative venture of 20 statewide conservation organizations, was established in 1985 to advance the conservation legacy of Wisconsin and now recognizes 86 leaders who have contributed significantly to it.