Precision conservation, the science and philosophy of targeting conservation practices to places on the landscape where they most effectively reduce erosion and water pollution, will be the subject of a conference hosted March 29 by the Freshwater Society and a number of co-sponsors.
Dave White, chief of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service and a strong proponent of targeting, will give the keynote address.
David Mulla, a University of Minnesota scientist who has been a national leader in researching technologies to aid such targeting, will give an overview of new and emerging tools and strategies. Many of those new tools are derived from Light Detection and Ranging, or LiDAR, mapping.
The goal of precision conservation is to dedicate scarce resources – time, money, energy – to identify places where pollution and erosion are disproportionately severe and the potential for improving water quality and reducing soil loss are disproportionately great. The goal of the conference is to promote that kind of decision-making in both rural and urban settings.
Other speakers will describe targeted conservation projects under way in the Red River Valley, in the Twin Cities and in southern and southeastern Minnesota. Mae Davenport, a University of Minnesota professor who focuses on the human dimensions of natural resources and the environment, will present research on what motivates land owners to practice conservation.
The conference will be from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Thursday, March 29. It will be held at Silverwood Park, 2500 W. County Road E in St. Anthony, Minn. To learn more and register, go to www.freshwater.org.
The Freshwater Society, the conference's major sponsor, is a 44-year-old Minnesota nonprofit organization dedicated to educating and inspiring people to value, conserve and protect water resources. Co-sponsors include: the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts; the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, the University of Minnesota Water Resources Center, the McKnight Foundation, Three Rivers Park District and the Minnesota Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society.