Aldo Leopold Weekend, Scaled Back Mining Legislation

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This weekend Wisconsin is celebrating its own wildlife preservation hero. Rob Ferrett and Veronica Rueckert explore the life of Aldo Leopold. Then they track new mining legislation that would prevent new local restrictions from affecting existing mines.

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  • Aldo Leopold Weekend Has Its Roots In Wisconsin

    This weekend, people around Wisconsin will be reading “A Sand County Almanac” and holding discussions and community events centered on conservationist Aldo Leopold’s ideas.

    These events are all a part of Aldo Leopold Weekend, a time of year meant to spark a dialogue about what we can do to keep our communities healthy.

    So how did Aldo Leopold Weekend start?

    This weekend marks the 14th anniversary of a community gathering in Lodi, Wis., that was the beginning of this special weekend. It all started in March 2000, when the people of Lodi got together to read “A Sand County Almanac” aloud cover to cover.

    “Just as we look out the window right now, (the Aldo Leopold Weekend founders) wanted to venture outside, but the weather often didn’t cooperate. And so the next best thing, they thought, was to read ‘A Sand County Almanac’ aloud together and have a discussion about it,” said Buddy Huffaker, president and executive director of the Aldo Leopold Foundation.

    The reading became a popular annual event, and Lodi residents brought in celebrity readers (like George Meyer, former secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources) and did service projects. In 2004, Gov. Jim Doyle signed legislation designating the first weekend in March Aldo Leopold Weekend across Wisconsin.

    Now, this holiday is a statewide event and is celebrated in other parts of the country as well. It’s even become an international holiday. Turkey is celebrating Aldo Leopold this weekend, too.

    “It’s very much a kind of community spirit. It takes on the life and the identity of each community, whether they’re building benches, showing a movie, doing a community discussion, cleaning a river, but it’s all kind of rooted in Leopold’s idea of a land ethic,” Huffaker said.

    Why does Aldo Leopold deserve to have a whole weekend dedicated to him?

    “It’s not because he has the answers for us, but that he provokes us to think about the fundamental questions about what our relationship with the natural world is … We continue to deal with these real challenges … what Leopold called the oldest task in human history: How to live on a piece of land without spoiling it,” he said.

  • Aldo Leopold Weekend

    The first weekend of March is officially Aldo Leopold Weekend in Wisconsin, a time when communities come together around Leopold’s idea of a land ethic. The Executive Director of the Aldo Leopold Foundation explains how this official holiday came about and what you can do to celebrate.

  • New Frac Sand Mining Legislation Grandfathers In Current Mines

    A scaled back version of mining legislation that was introduced in November would prevent new mining restriction from affecting existing mines.

Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Veronica Rueckert Host
  • Amanda Magnus Producer
  • Galen Druke Producer
  • Buddy Huffaker Guest
  • Rich Kremer Guest

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