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Karst, Water Quality and Livestock Forum

An event in northeast Iowa, Tuesday, May 30, will explore issues related to "Karst, Water Quality and Livestock: Finding Balance for a Sensitive Geography." The forum will take place at Luther College in Decorah, in Olin Hall, Room 102.

Topics will include karst geology, research on water quality testing in karst areas of Wisconsin and Iowa, outstanding Iowa waters and their economic value, Iowa’s manure management rules, and Wisconsin’s multi-stakeholder process to address pollution and health concerns in a high-value karst area. The event will also include viewpoints from several livestock producers on balancing the need to make a profit while protecting water quality. 

View the Event Agenda

Register for Forum


Malanaphy Springs, Winneshiek County, Iowa. Photo courtesy of Tim Wagner.

Karst, Water Quality and Livestock Forum Speakers:

  • Dr. Eric Baack, Director of Environmental Studies Program, Luther College, and Students
  • John Beard, Winneshiek County Supervisor & Local Business Owner, Iowa Legislator (2008-2010)

  • Davina Bonness, Department Head Kewaunee County, Wisconsin, Land & Water Conservation Department
  • Dr. Mark Borchardt, Microbiologist, USDA Agricultural Research Service and Adjunct Professor, University of Wisconsin-Extension
  • Tom Frantzen, Chickasaw County Hog Producer for Organic Valley & Leopold Center Spencer Award Winner 2016
  • Chad Ingels, Fayette County Hog Producer for Niman Ranch & Iowa Environmental Protection Commissioner
  • Dr. Robert Libra, State Geologist of Iowa, Iowa Department of Natural Resources
  • Michael Steuck, Iowa DNR Northeast Regional Fisheries Supervisor
  • Gene Tinker, Animal Feeding Operation Coordinator, Iowa Department of Natural Resources
  • David Vetrano, Rotational Grazier & Fishers & Farmers Leader, Bangor, Wisconsin 
  • Ric Zarwell, Ornithological Consultant & Allamakee County Protectors Founder 

Space is limited. Advance registration required by May 22. A $25 fee includes lunch with locally sourced foods. Check-in at the event begins at 8:30 a.m., with the program from 9:00 a.m. - 5:15 p.m. 

If paying by check, please post to arrive by May 30 to Iowa Environmental Council. Registration money will not be taken at the event.

Register for Forum

Thank You to Our Event Sponsors

The Iowa Environmental Council and Mississippi River Network (MRN), the Iowa Groundwater Association, Luther College Center for Sustainable Communities, Bob and Donna Bernard-Trout Unlimited Members. The Allamakee County Protectors – Education Campaign, Practical Farmers of Iowa and Trout Unlimited.

For questions or media inquiries, contact Ann Y. Robinson, Iowa Environmental Council, at Robinson@iaenvironment.org or 515-244-1194, ext. 211.

Directions and Parking

Parking is free in campus lot behind Preus Library and next to Olin Hall: Luther Campus map with parking.


Decorah and the surrounding area have a number of good lodging options. A small block of rooms has been reserved at the Country Inn and Suites, Decorah, on Highway 9 next to the Trout Run Bike Trail. Rooms for the Karst & Water Quality meeting are available for a discounted rate of $95 (plus 12% tax) for up to two nights (May 29 and 30) on a first-come-first-serve basis. The room block expires May 22.  Call (563) 382-9646 to get the discounted rate.

Other lodging in Decorah and nearby.


For the event flyer, click here.