Book reading Nov. 16

Visiting authors to read from recently published book, ‘The Driftless Reader’

La Crosse is located in a unique part of the upper Midwest known as the Driftless Region. By accidents of geography and geology, the area was missed by at least the last three rounds of continental glaciation.

A recently published book “The Driftless Reader” gathers writings and art that highlight the unique natural and cultural history, landscape and literature of the Driftless Region — southwestern Wisconsin and adjacent areas.

Authors Curt Meine, a senior fellow at the Aldo Leopold Foundation in Baraboo; and Keefe Keeley, co-executive director of the non-profit Savanna Institute; will read selections from their text from 3:30-5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, in 3105 Student Union.

The authors and artists highlighted in the book range from Laura Ingalls Wilder to modern Hmong truck farmers, from Explorer Zebulon Pike to hometown hero Hamlin Garland.

The event is an opportunity for the UWL’s Environmental Studies Program to showcase the unique environment and cultural history of the Driftless Region. Meine and Keeley bring a wealth of knowledge about the human history and the natural environment of the area. The authors will also discuss ways that people who live in the Driftless are responding to major global environmental challenges including climate change, the consequences of industrial agriculture, mining, petroleum development, water quality, habitat loss, and more.

Driftless Region explained

In contrast to the Driftless Region, the surrounding Midwest was buried under deep ice, which left behind thick deposits of glacial debris known as “drift.” This area was left without those deposits, making it “driftless.”

The Driftless Region has an older landscape, geologically speaking, making it more similar to areas further south that were never impacted by glaciers. That’s why this region has beautiful scenery filled with unique geological features and species not found elsewhere in the state.