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​Wisconsin Lakes Partnership

2008 Convention Archive

Speakers & Special Events 


Chad Pregracke

Friday, Plenary Session

"From the Bottom Up: One Man's Crusade to Clean America's Rivers"

Come to the Wisconsin Lakes Convention and get inspired by this entrepreneurial environmentalist!  Chad will speak to the group about the trials and triumphs of learning to navigate political as well as physical landscapes, while cleaning up 4 million tons of trash in our nations waterways.
Chad has come a long way from single-handedly pulling garbage out of the Mississippi River in his backyard 11 years ago. He established Living Lands & Waters (LL&W), a nonprofit organization, in 1998, and over the past ten years has grown this effort from one sponsor of $4800 to hundreds of corporate and individual sponsors with funding to run four barges, pay several full-time staff members and clean hundreds of thousands of miles of rivers and watersheds. LL&W conducts community river cleanups, educational workshops, riverbed restoration projects, the MillionTrees Project and Adopt-A-River Mile. Chad believes that individuals can make a difference by cleaning up our earth piece by piece. His commitment to this belief is evident and unfaltering.

Jeff Bode

Friday, Plenary Session

"Protecting in Partnership"

The Wisconsin’s Lakes Partnership is often cited as a national model for successful lake protection.  The model builds on a trusting relationship linking concerned citizens, lake organizations, local municipalities and state agencies and institutions.  Jeff will take us on a journey covering 30 years of learning from lakes and each other.  He will examine the effectiveness of the Wisconsin Lakes Partnership in addressing water quality, invasive species, water levels, stemming the loss of lake shore habitat and water use conflict issues on our inland lakes.  Jeff will remind us why we carry on this strong tradition of our Partnership and how we can continue to preserve and protect our legacy of WI lakes.
Jeff Bode has dedicated his professional and private life to the study of lakes and the people around them. His water studies include Limnology at the University of Wisconsin at the Center for Great Lakes Studies.  Since 1990 Jeff has been Chief of  The Wisconsin's Lakes, Wetlands & Aquatic Invasive Species Section in Madison, for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  Over the past two decades Jeff has worked with the Wisconsin Association of Lakes and the University of Wisconsin-Extension, among others to develop a rich collection of tools such as grants, educational efforts and legislation.  These tools made possible efforts such as:
  • The Citizen Lake Monitoring Network
  • Technical assistance for local lake organizations
  • Lake educational and organizational assistance
  • Lake grants to aid lake communities do lake planning, protection and restoration
  • County Lake Classification for lake protection
  • Aquatic plant management and protection
  • Clean Boats Clean Waters AIS prevention
In 1998, Jeff was recognized for his work on lakes when he received the Wisconsin Lakes Stewardship Award from the WI Lakes Partnership for his accomplishments in community-based lake management.  Jeff says, “ that although he has worked on WI lakes for over thirty years, he never tires because WI lake people are so dedicated and WI lakes are so intriguing.”

Bill O'Connor

Friday, Plenary

The Nature of Lakes

Bill O’ Connor has learned much about lakes and has been caring for Wisconsin Lakes and studying the subtleties of Wisconsin water law for many decades.  This gifted speaker will share his experience and views on the importance of retaining some of the natural lake and shore environment as heritage, habitat and food for the soul.  Join Bill as he discusses the importance of shoreland zoning, boating regulations and other tools that will allow future generations to continue to experience those special qualities of lakes, hopefully keeping them in much the same way  they have been for millennia..  

Matthew J. Frank

Friday, Welcome

Appointed by Governor Doyle in September of 2007, Secretary Matthew Frank brings environmental enforcement experience and a love for the outdoors to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  Among other important issues, Secretary Frank has prioritized developing a statewide water conservation strategy and curbing the spread of invasive species. 

Pat Rivers

Thursday, Lunch

Pat Rivers is the Project Manager for the Midwest Glacial Lakes Partnership.  He has worked with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for the past nine years.  His work experience includes stream trout management in southeastern MN and fisheries management on Leech Lake.  He received his undergraduate and M.S. degrees in Fisheries from the University of Minnesota, St. Paul.  Pat has been a national and Minnesota state member of the American Fisheries Society since 1995 and has served as the Minnesota Chapter Secretary/ Treasurer and Salmonid Technical Committee representative. 

Randy J. Stark

Thursday, Dinner

As the Chief Conservation Warden of the Bureau of Law Enforcement for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Randy Stark, along with his management team, is responsible for crafting policies and overseeing operations of the 208 wardens across the state.  Based on historical trends, Wisconsin-born and raised Stark believes that to protect and enhance our natural resources, we need to incorporate community wardening, coalition building, education and enforcement.  He is a proponent of public involvement, including Wisconsin's youth, when it comes to discussing issues and making informed decisions that impact our environment.
Randy's presentation will focus on some key people, challenges and events that shaped the history of the conservation movement in the United States since early 1800's.  He will tell the conservation story in a manner that he hopes will stimulate appreciation for the foresight, dedication and sacrifice of those who came before us, and provide inspiration to us in our day to tackle current conservation challenges on behalf of future generations.

Garey Bies, 1st Assembly District

Friday, Lake Stewardship Award Lunch

Representative Garey Bies (R - Sister Bay) serves the 1st Assembly District which covers Door and Kewaunee Counties.  He was elected to the Assembly in 2000.  Rep. Bies currently serves on the Assembly Natural Resource Committee and on the Tourism, Recreation and State Properties Committee.  This past legislative session Rep. Bies introduced in the Assembly that would institute a statewide restriction on the use of phosphorus in lawn fertilizer, modeled after Dane County’s successful ordinance. This bill passed the Senate in January. While this bill did not pass the full Assembly, it was strongly supported by lake constituents and the Wisconsin Association of lakes, and received a lot of attention by policy makers.

Update on Wisconsin's Approach to Managing Aquatic Invasive Plants

Thursday, 7:30-8:45pm

This is a great opportunity to learn more  and ask questions of Wisconsin’s aquatic plant professionals regarding our state's evolving strategy to prevent and control the spread of aquatic invasive plants.  DNR and UW Extension staff will be on hand to answer questions and provide updates on the latest in project guidance, AIS grants, administrative rules, monitoring and research, and educational strategies.

Wisconsin Lakes Convention Welcome Reception

Thursday, 8:00-11:00pm
This event is sponsored by the Lake Leaders Institute and Wisconsin Association of Lakes. Everyone is welcome!  Meet Lake Leader Institute graduates, members of the Wisconsin Association of Lakes Board of Directors, and other convention-goers at this informal networking opportunity.

Friday Evening Activities

Friday, 8:00-11:00pm

"I'll take 'Green Things in My Lake' for $500!"  This could be one of the thought-provoking categories in this evening's entertainment, as we will host a Jeopardy-like game show called "Your Final Answer."  Test your knowledge as a contestant or "play from the sidelines" as you cheer on your fellow convention-goers.  Whichever you choose, this evening proves to be fun and entertaining.  It's a great time to network with other convention attendees and presenters in an informal environment.  There will be hors d'oeuvres, free beer and a cash bar.

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