Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame

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The Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame is a hall of fame located in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. It is dedicated for those individuals who have significantly contributed to various conservation programs, ideas, and ethics involving of the importance of conservation in Wisconsin.

History

The idea of having a conservation hall of fame first came into place in 1980 by a man named Bill Horvath. At the time, Horvath was the Dean of the College of Natural Resources at the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point. He recommended using a building on the UWSP campus to be used as a hall of fame to display the important conservation work that had been done in Wisconsin. In 1982, his idea came into action as the hall was founded with the support of many statewide conservation groups. The Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame is the only state conservation hall of fame in the whole United States. Due to a long history of important people and actions taken to further advance conservation, Horvath thought it was the perfect idea to honor those who have made Wisconsin a symbol of protecting the wild.[1]

Notable Inductees

1985

The first two members inducted into the Hall of Fame are perhaps the two most influential conservationists of recent times: Aldo Leopold and John Muir, both of which have important ties to Wisconsin.

Aldo Leopold

Although Leopold was born and raised in Burlington, IA in 1887, he had deep roots in Wisconsin. Leopold moved to Madison where he held a chair position in game management at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 1935, he and his family started a restoration experiment on a worn out farm just outside Baraboo, WI. He is mostly remembered through his various books about conservation like his famous book A Sand County Almanac.[2] Not only did he live most of his life in Wisconsin, he also died here trying to put out a wildfire nearby his neighbor's house. See also the article on Leopold.

John Muir

Like Leopold, Muir was not born directly in Wisconsin. He was born overseas in Scotland where he spent his early childhood. He and his family moved to central Wisconsin when he was 11 years old. Muir first discovered his love for the wilderness when he arrived in Wisconsin as he grew up around meadows, woods, and farmlands as he helped out on his father's farm. Like Leopold, Muir also has ties to UW Madison as he enrolled at the age of 22 to study math, geology, botany, as well as other fields. After finishing his studies, he moved out west to California to pursue his love of the wilderness. It was then that he began to grow as one of the most recognized and respected conservationists of recent times. Muir would go on to create the Sierra Club[3] as well as having a hand in the creation of national parks and services. See also the article on Muir.

1992

Increase A. Lapham

Lapham is one of the earliest conservationists to settle and make an impact in Wisconsin. He arrived in the state three days before Wisconsin was even a U.S. territory in 1836. Lapham would become one of the first Wisconsinite Scientists. One of his greatest accomplishments was writing a book that described the geological and climate patterns as well as drawing maps of the Wisconsin area. He made people aware of what the state had to offer and how important the geography of the state was. In his later years, he wrote about weather changes and observed how it affected the environment around him. He was one of the first in the state of Wisconsin to take notes on and observe how nature worked and how it reacted to changes.[4] See also the article on Lapham.

Qualifications for Induction

In order to be inducted into the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame you must first be nominated by either the committee or a friend or family member. This includes having a nomination letter, biography summary, and testimonials. The WCHF board members then review all nominees and select the members who which they feel are the best qualified. In order to be a nominee, one must contribute to a state-wide or nation-wide significance in the field of conservation. Some of these categories include environmental law, resource management, conservation education, or a wide array of other possibilities.[5]The inductees participate in a ceremony held at the hall honoring their achievement.

Importance

The Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame was founded to honor the people who have contributed to helping wilderness thrive whether it be activism or creating ideas to benefit the wilderness. The hall of fame makes people aware of just how important it is to keep striving to make the environment better by inspiring visitors to take action themselves. Many people who have learned about what Leopold and Muir have done get inspired to take action themselves whether it be something small like recycling or even just to take a trip into the wild and appreciate the wild lands we have in the state due to their hard work. The hall is meant to be an inspiration and a gesture of gratitude to everyone in Wisconsin who has made the state a better place for the local environment and every living organism it holds.

References

  1. Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame homepage: [https://wchf.org/
  2. Aldo Leopold Website-Sand County Almanac[https://www.aldoleopold.org/about/aldo-leopold/sand-county-almanac/
  3. Sierra Club Homepage:[https://www.sierraclub.org/
  4. Wisconsin Historical Website:[https://www.wisconsinhistory.org/Records/Article/CS527/
  5. Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame Induction/Nominee Homepage:[ https://wchf.org/induction-standards/.

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