• Mississippi National River and Recreation Area

    Mississippi

    National River & Recreation Area Minnesota

Mississippi River Forum Workshop, May 18, 2012

Presentations and Documents

Where Will the Eagles Nest? MNRRA Floodplain Forest Failure
Suzanne Sanders, National Park Service

Trees within the floodplain forests of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (MNRRA) are not successfully regenerating. In a natural (undammed) river, the age and distribution of floodplain forest species are controlled largely by the pulses in stream flow that floods provide. Dams result in significant changes to the makeup of floodplain forests. In sites monitored within MNRRA, cottonwoods (characteristic of our floodplain forests) exist only as large individuals and at very low densities, indicating they are not successfully regenerating-and raising questions about the future of the species once these older individuals die off. Green ash is among the species that is found within the smallest class sizes, suggesting they are regenerating successfully. What will our floodplain forests look like when our old cottonwoods begin to die off, and once the emerald ash borer becomes fully established in our area? Knowing that large trees like cottonwood are important to nesting eagles, how can resource managers along a dammed river ensure diverse floodplain forests that support a healthy ecosystem in the future?

Ms. Sanders' presentation (PDF, 5.09 mb).

Perspectives on Asian Carp: Insights from Both Sides of the Planet
Brian Ickes, U.S. Geological Survey (Upper Mississippi River Restoration-Environmental Management Program) and The Nature Conservancy (Great Rivers Partnership).

As several species of Asian carp have become established and spread throughout the Mississippi River basin, natural resource agencies are faced with making many profound, expensive, and perhaps long-lasting decisions on how best to manage these invasive species. Using lessons learned from Chinese researchers-where communities are trying to restore their Asian carp populations-as well as from our own long-term monitoring efforts, U.S. researchers are getting a better understanding of what we do and do not know about these species. Come learn about the distribution and spread of Asian carp throughout the Mississippi River basin, as well as findings about their habitat and fish community composition, and results from early modeling efforts that attempt to quantify their potential impact on U.S. aquatic ecosystems.

Mr. Ickes' presentation (PDF, 8.47 mb; Video from Slide 32, 1.65 mb; Video from Slide 43, 8.45 mb; Video from Slide 44, 10.0 mb)

A Water Ethic: Building on Leopold's Legacy
Curt Meine, Aldo Leopold Foundation

Our region is dealing with many water management issues that are urgent and which require quick decisions based on limited resources; we also face a number of enormous challenges that are the result of decades of practices and decisions. We know we will always have constraints within which our land and water management decisions are made, but what is the "big picture" ethic on which our decisions are based? Aldo Leopold biographer and conservation biologist Curt Meine will explore the idea of a "water ethic" and ask the audience to step back and reflect on what future we are contributing to in a very deep yet basic way.

Mr. Meine's presentation (PDF, 6.25 mb)

Keynote Address
Commissioner Dave Frederickson, Minnesota Department of Agriculture

Dave Frederickson was appointed as Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture by Governor Dayton in January 2011. After beginning his career as a teacher, Commissioner Frederickson served in the Minnesota State Senate in the 1980s and 1990s, representing constituents in Swift, Yellow Medicine, Lac Qui Parle, Chippewa, and Redwood Counties. Frederickson has served as president of both the Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU), and the National Farmers Union (NFU). In both organizations, he worked on federal farm policy and other issues important to farmers and ranchers. From 2007 to 2010, Frederickson worked as agricultural outreach director for U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, talking frequently with Minnesota farmers, ranchers and rural residents about the federal issues that mattered most to them.

Did You Know?

Mussels, One being in a person's hand

Certain freshwater mussels can live to more than 100 years in the right conditions. This lifespan is one of the longest for any creature on earth.