The Prairie Enthusiasts conference Feb. 24

Headshot image of Karen.Karen Oberhauser, director of the UW-Madison Arboretum, gives keynote address during Feb. 24 event.

Monarch butterfly population decline is subject of keynote lecture

Monarch butterfly populations have been declining for the last 20 years.

Karen Oberhauser, director of the UW-Madison Arboretum, will share the importance of moving beyond simple documentation, and toward responding to the challenge posed by monarch/insect conservation during the 31st Annual Conference and Banquet of The Prairie Enthusiasts.

The conference runs from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, at UW-La Crosse’s Student Union. Oberhauser’s keynote presentation is at 9 a.m.  Registration costs are $60 for the conference ($25 for students) and $20 for the banquet. Register online on the TPE website.

Hosted by the Coulee Region Chapter of The Prairie Enthusiasts, the event aims to share what’s new and what’s known about regional prairies. Throughout the day, experts will share information through talks and panel discussions surrounding this year’s theme, “Addressing landscape level issues locally.” Topics cover such things as prairie soils, plants, insects and reptiles, managing large prairies, and private land management.

The event includes a fundraiser raffle and exhibitors. Attendees can pick up tools, books, homemade edibles, artwork and handmade items of cedar, buckthorn and other wood removed from prairies.

An evening banquet provides a chance to connect with prairie people across the upper Midwest. UWL Entomologist Barrett Klein will present “Cultural Entomology: Ant art, fly food, moth music, and termite technology” during the dinner.

Conference parking will be in Parking lot C-12. On-street parking is also available nearby. Learn more about the conference on the TPE website.

TPE is a non-profit environmental organization involved in prairie restorations. This annual conference is typically held in the La Crosse area once every ten years.

If you go —

What: The Prairie Enthusiasts (TPE) 31st Annual Conference and Banquet
When: Conference is from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24. The banquet starts at 5:30 p.m.
Where: UWL Student Union
Registration: Register by Feb. 17 at on the TPE website. Walk-in registration available (late fee applies).
Parking: Conference parking will be in Parking Lot C-12. On-street parking is also nearby.