State Natural Areas: The Coming Crisis
Time & Location
About the Event
Presented by ALAS Board Member, Eric Anderson
State Natural Areas: The Coming Crisis -- In 1951, several early conservationists established a first-of-a-kind state-sponsored program to protect natural communities, geological formations, and archaeological sites in Wisconsin. These jewels of Wisconsin’s biodiversity started with the dedication of a 500-acre parcel in Devil’s Lake State Park called Parfrey’s Glen. Since then, the Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program has expanded to 687 sites across Wisconsin that cover more than 400,000 acres. They represent many of the natural vegetative communities of the state, remnants of what Wisconsin looked like prior to settlement by Europeans.
However, in the face of a changing climate, invasive species, external threats like nitrogen deposition and increasing deer numbers, this “refuge” system may not work to save the species they were created to protect. Come hear Eric Anderson talk about how the state is rethinking its State Natural Areas Program and trying to build resiliency into the future of protecting Wisconsin’s natural legacy.
Eric Anderson is an emeritus professor of wildlife ecology from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point and currently serves as the chair of the Natural Areas Protection Council, a body that advises the State Natural Area Program.