30th Anniversary Celebration and Induction Ceremony
Our 30th Anniversary Celebration and Induction Ceremony held last spring at the Sentry Theater in Stevens Point was a resounding success. Friends and family of the three inductees, Clifford Germain, William Horvath and Jay Reed, enjoyed the festive reception, the induction presentations, and a luncheon at the Holiday Inn. We were especially fortunate to have two of the inductees, Clifford Germain and William Horvath, present to accept their award and to enjoy the tributes of colleagues and the unveiling of the recognition plaques. Legislative citations were also presented to the inductees by state representative, Katrina Shankland.
As part of the celebration, newly elected WCHF President, Joe Passineau, thanked everyone who had contributed to the success of the WCHF, and formally recognized our 23 member organizations, the Board of Directors, and the Board of Governors.
- Photo highlights of the day are on this printable PDF.
- You can also see more photos and view video segments of the event on YouTube: https://youtu.be/OgQu1UF42Yw
Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) names the four peregrine falcon chicks
Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) named the four peregrine falcon chicks that hatched in a nesting box on top of its Blount Generating Station after leading researchers and conservationists that championed the cause of banning DDT.
MGE dedicated its 2014 falcon nesting season to the late Joseph Hickey, 1907 – 1993. Hickey was an acclaimed ornithologist, researcher and UW professor who loved all birds—especially peregrine falcons. Hickey contributed to the 1960s research linking the pesticide DDT to declining bird populations. DDT caused thinning eggshells which reduced reproductive success. The peregrine falcon was near extinction when the United States banned DDT in 1972.
Without the pioneering research by Hickey and his contemporaries, we may not have peregrine falcons nesting in Madison today. Through concerted restoration efforts, we have seen a resurgence of falcons. Though no longer endangered nationally, they remain on Wisconsin’s endangered species list.
The four baby chicks are named as follows:
Joe Hickey: Hickey studied under Aldo Leopold at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the early 1940s. In 1948, he replaced Leopold as the head of the UW’s Wildlife Management Department after Leopold’s sudden death. It was then that Hickey helped complete Leopold’s then unfinished book “A Sand County Almanac,” culminating in the 1949 posthumous publication of Leopold’s famous work. Hickey’s work concerning the use of chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides, such as DDT, was key in the banning of these pesticides. He was inducted into WCHF in 2001.
Lorrie Otto was a Milwaukee conservationist. When she noticed that robins were dying in her neighborhood after DDT had been sprayed on elm trees, she contacted Joe Hickey. The two (an activist and a scientist) joined forces and became key leaders of the effort to ban DDT in Wisconsin. She was inducted into WCHF in 1999.
Lucille Stickel was one of the early pioneers in wildlife toxicology. She published her first contaminant paper (on DDT) in 1946. The early work by Lucille and her colleagues helped form much of the basis of Rachel Carson’s book, Silent Spring. A close associate of Joe Hickey, she directed the laboratory proof that DDT was the chemical that caused eggshell thinning in birds.
Rosalie Edge and Joe Hickey were fellow New York City birders. She was one of the first women to become a national leader in bird conservation. She later became an early and prominent voice in exposing the dangers of DDT for birds. She also championed the protection of wilderness areas.
The falcons that have nested at MGE have hatched four eggs every year since 2010. They hatched three eggs in 2009 when falcons began using the nesting box that MGE installed a decade earlier. Statewide last year, a known total of 98 falcon chicks hatched at 32 successful nest sites. The three-week-old chicks were named while they were banded with identification numbers by peregrine expert Greg Septon.
For more information about MGE’s falcon conservation efforts go to
Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame celebrates 30th Anniversary during 2014
Our Newest Inductees:
Germain, Horvath, Reed are 2014 Inductees.
Ceremonies Set for May 3, 2014, in Stevens Point.
The chief architect and spokesman for the Wisconsin Natural and Scientific Areas Program, a land and water conservationist who helped create the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame and a much loved outdoors writer and journalist who left indelible marks on the environment will be inducted into the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame’s 30th year.
The trio will join 80 other inductees to the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame in ceremonies at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 3, at the Sentry Theater in Stevens Point. The public is invited.
Clifford E. Germain was born in 1924 in Merrill, Wisconsin and received a BS in Zoology in 1949 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While serving in a variety of position with Wisconsin conservation Department (WCD), he inventoried and purchased thousands of acres of wetlands on behalf o the state including some that would become State Wildlife Areas. The data collected and the analyzed by Mr. Germain and his employees formed the basis of the natural community portion of the Wisconsin Natural Heritage Inventory Database, Wisconsin’s part of a nationwide system that houses information on locations of rare plants, rare animals, and natural communities. Under Mr. Germain’s guidance, the State Natural Areas program grew with purpose, from 48 sites comprising 10,000 acres in 1966 to 211 natural areas totaling more than 50,000 acres upon his retirement after 37 years of service.
William John Horvath was born on a farm without electricity and plumbing in 1938. He graduated in 1961 from what is now University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a degree in Conservation, followed by a Master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. In 1972 Horvath went to work for the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) as the first Midwest Regional Director with responsibility for coordinating the work in conservation districts in eight mid-western states. He retired from the NACD in 2002, and promptly went back under contract directing the organization’s forestry programs office. He retired for a second time in 2005. Over his many decades of conservation work, he has been involved with education, training, research, public policy legislation, and leadership with respect to wise use and management of natural resources of the State of Wisconsin and across the nation.
Jay Reed was born in Nelson, Wisconsin in 1928 and was an avid outdoorsman from the time he was in grade school. After his discharge from the US Army after World War II, he began his career in journalism in Rockford, Illinois. During the years, his career as an outdoors journalist with the Milwaukee Journal was interrupted when he was recalled to active duty during the Korean War or attached as a journalist to combat units in Vietnam. Through his writing, he played the role of a mediator and interpreter on behalf of hunters, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts. He articulated the goals, concerns and aspirations of the millions of Wisconsin citizens for whom outdoor activities were important. In all he wrote hunting and fishing columns for a total of 39 years for millions of Wisconsin citizens.
Tributes to the inductees
Tributes to the inductees will be given at 10 a.m., at Sentry Theater, located at the Sentry Insurance Headquarters, 1800 North Point Drive, Steven Point, WI 54481 ~ Get Directions / View Map. A 9 a.m. coffee will precede the program. A luncheon at noon at the Holiday Inn concludes the day’s activities. Luncheon reservations cost $25 and can be made by calling 715-346-4992, the telephone number for the Schmeeckle Reserve Visitors Center, where the Conservation Hall of Fame is located.
Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame Welcomes New President
The Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame (WCHF) is pleased to announce that Joe Passineau has taken over the reins as its next President. Joe has spent most of his 70 years as an explorer, university professor, environmental educator, author and WCHF Board member on the trail of the great Wisconsin Conservationists and others worldwide. In doing so, he has traveled and worked internationally with national parks, wildlife conservation, and environmental education in Africa, Europe, Latin America, Japan, etc. Other work includes efforts to secure recognition and protection of the John Muir Boyhood Home at Fountain Lake, near Montello, as a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service. This story along with tributes to Aldo Leopold, Sig Olson, Gaylord Nelson, and Rachel Carson are featured in an award winning book “Teaching Kids to Love the Earth: Sharing a Sense of Wonder” that he and friends published in 1991.
As a youth in Wisconsin Rapids, he enjoyed Boy Scouts and other outdoor adventures including a Canadian wilderness canoe trip, his first of many into Sig Olson’s beloved BWCA. After his Ph.D. in Ecology, Environmental Education and Natural Resources from Utah State University in 1975, he spent his early career working for resource management agencies including the Bureau of Land Management in Utah and, as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Africa for five years, working for Departments of Wildlife and National Parks in Botswana and Lesotho.
As an educator, he has, for over 35 years, worked with two Environmental Education Centers and with three universities including Utah State University (Environmental Studies), South Dakota State University (Park Management) and after returning to Wisconsin in 1988, at UW-SP, as Professor of Environmental Education and Resource Management and as Director of the Central Wisconsin Environmental Station. He retired as an Emeritus Professor in 2011 and now enjoys birding and other outdoor adventures near his home among the rolling glacial hill east of Stevens Point.
He has served on the WCHF Board and Executive Committee for 23 years and as Vice President for the past 3 years. Please join us in welcoming Joe as President of Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame.
As the WAEE representative for 23 years since returning to Wisconsin in 1988 and as Vice President for the past three years. Please join us in welcoming Joe as President of Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame.
He has been a university teacher and administrator for over 3at three universities including Utah State University (Environmental Studies), South Dakota State University (Park Management) and since 1988 as Professor of Environmental Education and Resource Management at UW-SP and as Director of the Central Wisconsin Environmental Station.
He has served on the WCHF Board since returning to Wisconsin in 1988 and as Vice President for the past three years. Please join us in welcoming Joe as President of Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame.
A native of Wisconsin Rapids, he earned his Ph.D. in 1975 in Ecology, Environmental Education, and Natural Resource Management from Utah State University (in 1975). Early in his career, he worked for several natural resource agencies including the Bureau of Land Management in Utah and, as a Peace Corps volunteer for five years, working for the Departments of Wildlife and National Parks in Botswana and Lesotho, Africa.
For over 35 years, he has been a university teacher and administrator at three universities including Utah State University (Environmental Studies), South Dakota State University (Park Management) and since 1988 as Professor of Environmental Education and Resource Management at UW-SP and as Director of the Central Wisconsin Environmental Station.
He has served on the WCHF Board of Directors since returning to Wisconsin in 1988 and as Vice President for the past three years. Please join us in welcoming Joe as President of Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame.
WCHF Inductee Robert LeRoy Hunt Passes
Wisconsin Hall of Fame Inductee Robert LeRoy Hunt passed away on April 11, 2013. Bob, sometimes called “Mr. Trout” or “Mr. Gideon,” was known as a humble, kind man of integrity, wisdom, and faith who dedicated his life to being a fisher of trout and a fisher of men. He was inducted into the WCHF in 2012. Bob’s obituary can be found athttp://host.madison.com/news/local/obituaries/hunt-robert-leroy/article_2d694bdb-088c-5b95-8dc1-e05e49baa97d.html
WALCE and WLWCA have Merged
Last year, two of our member organizations agreed to merge into one organization. The Wisconsin Association of Land Conservation Employees (WALCE) has joined with the Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association (WLWCA), creating a more complete and direct voice for land and water conservation efforts. Since the WALCE organization has dissolved, we have lost a long time Board member in Dan O’Connell. WLWCA’s representative, Tom Rudolph, has served on the Board of Directors for many years, and will continue to serve. In notifying me of this change, Dan stated, “The last 14 years have been a very educational experience for me. I will miss being a part of the Board of Directors. I know I will continue to follow this very worthwhile organization and their efforts.”
100th Anniversary of the Last Passenger Pigeon
Along with the celebration of the 30th Anniversary for WCHF, it is fitting that we also remember the 50th for the Wilderness Act, and tragically, the 100th since the extinction of a bird that gladdened the heart of such early inductees as John Muir and Aldo Leopold. Stan Temple recently remembered this lost bird in an article for the Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine. He wrote, “As a precocious young birdwatcher paging through my nature books, I discovered fascinating birds that I would never see because they had gone extinct before I was born. Passenger pigeons, Carolina parakeets, ivory-billed woodpeckers and many other species would never make it into my life list, and I felt saddened and cheated. Why had previous generations let these species disappear, and why hadn’t they done more to prevent these irreversible losses?”
Stan goes on to write that there will be many commemorative events during the year. One of the events will be the rededication of the Passenger Pigeon Monument at Wyalusing State Park. The original dedication on May 11, 1947 included the installation of a bronze plaque which featured a drawing of the passenger pigeon by Wisconsin bird artist Owen Gromme and an inscription composed by Bill Schroger which reads “Dedicated to the last Wisconsin passenger pigeon shot at Babcock, Sept 1899. This species became extinct through the avarice and thoughtlessness of man.” For the dedication the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology (WSO) published a booklet entitled Silent Wings which included two essays – one by Bill Schorger and the other by Aldo Leopold, which later appeared in his A Sand County Almanac. In honor of this year’s centennial of the Passenger Pigeon’s passing, WSO has reprinted Silent Wings which can be purchased through wsobirds.org.
Temple concluded with “Although the passenger pigeon’s extinction was one of the prime catalysts for the emergence of the 20th century conservation movement, since 1914 many more birds have gone extinct, and the rapidly growing list of endangered birds suggests that we have yet to heed the lesson of the passenger pigeon. Today, 12 percent of the world’s birds, over 1,200 species, are threatened with extinction. Now, 100 years later, Wisconsin will again reflect on the passenger pigeon and its tragic demise.”
It is Stan’s hope that we will develop a better understanding of the current extinction crisis, the need for more effective conservation efforts and hope for positive change in the future. By increasing awareness, knowledge and reflection during this centennial period, the hope is to stimulate citizens and organizations to act. Hopefully through our efforts and the efforts of the many conservationists throughout the world, we’ll be able to stem the rate of extinction of our wildlife through positive change in the 21st century.
To see the complete article by Stan Temple go to http://dnr.wi.gov/wnrmag/2014/04/Pigeon.htm.