SIOUX FALLS — The National Wildlife Federation and South Dakota State University announce the upcoming conference: "America's Grasslands: Status, Threats and Opportunities," to be held in Sioux Falls Aug.15-17.
The conference brings together biologists, policy experts, ranchers, federal and state agency staff, representatives of elected officials, and conservationists for two days to discuss the latest information on the status, threats and opportunities related to North American grasslands in order to raise the national profile of this endangered ecosystem and inform those interested in developing a roadmap for its conservation.
The event will be immediately followed by a "Grasslands Policy Summit" Aug. 18, sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation, Ducks Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund.
The conference begins the afternoon of Aug. 15, with an optional field trip to EcoSun Prairie Farm and an evening welcoming ! reception at the Sheraton Conference Center in Sioux Falls. August 16 and 17 are dedicated to a series of symposia discussing selected topic areas including: grazing and grasslands, grassland restoration and management, energy development, climate change and grasslands and federal policy.
The conference is followed by a policy summit Aug. 18. The goal of the policy summit is to brainstorm strategies to elevate national interest in and conservation of North American grasslands.
Anticipated speakers include:
. Alan Knapp - Knapp is a professor of Biology at Colorado State University. Knapp has done grassland research at the Konza Prairie Biological Station in Kansas.
. Kevin Doherty - Doherty is the science coordinator for the Prairie Pothole Joint Venture, one of the six priority joint ventures under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. His discussion will focus on energy development in grasslands.
. David Archer - Archer works for the ! Agriculture Research Service in North Dakota. Archer is contin! uing his research on the economics of agricultural systems to develop more sustainable integrated crop and livestock production systems.
. Jim Faulstich - Faulstich has played an integral part in making the South Dakota Grassland Coalition (SDGLC) a strong non-profit organization and an active producer-led conservation group focusing on voluntary improvement of privately owned grassland.
. Julie Sibbing and Lynn Tjeerdsma - Sibbing with the National Wildlife Federation and Tjeerdsma with Senator Thune's office will be providing a brief preview to the grassland policy summit, to be held Aug. 18, following the formal grassland conference.
. Bob Budd - Budd will provide the keynote presentation Budd is the Executive Director of the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust - a program established to enhance wildlife habitats and the natural resource heritage of Wyoming.
To register for the event, visit the conference Web site at http://www.sdstate.edu/wfs/gras! slandconference/index.cfm or for more information contact Julie Sibbing, firstname.lastname@example.org or Susan Rupp, email@example.com .