The greater prairie-chicken is the subject of an important meeting next week in Wisconsin Rapids. (DNR photo)
The greater prairie-chicken is the subject of an important meeting next week in Wisconsin Rapids. (DNR photo)

The year was 1972, and I had recently settled into the central Wisconsin university community of Stevens Point. Young and eager to learn, I enrolled in the nationally acclaimed College of Natural Resources and selected wildlife management as my major. I set forth to earn a degree and pursue a lifelong career in the natural resources field and found it was all I expected and much, much more.

Professors Weivel, Trainer, Englehart, Heaton, Lee, Callicott, Payne, Sylvester and several others are among the list of educators that influenced my environmental-thought process. They taught me well, and to this day, I can close my eyes and hear their voices and see them standing behind lecture hall podiums.

From the classroom to the field, they exposed their students to all things wild and free. Our lessons outdoors ranged from green spaces around campus buildings, to a summer camp at the Clam Lake Field Station, to the Sandhill Wildlife Area near Babcock and of course, the nearby Buena Vista and Paul Carson Marshlands. It was there I came to know face-to-face, the greater prairie chicken.

To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of the Portage County Gazette at one of the many newsstands in the area, including gas stations and grocery stores. Or subscribe at paymentwizard.com/OrderForm.aspx?FormID=1406 to have weekly copies delivered by mail.

A website login function to view full stories online will be coming soon. Any current or new subscriber will have access.

For more information or to subscribe over the phone, call 715-343-8045. Please note, to have access to the online version, you will need to provide an email address.