April 27th, Chat & Chew with Brian Holmes

Join us for a conversation with Brian Holmes to learn about his work, think about mapping, and share knowledge about the Kickapoo Valley.  

Brian will also present April 23rd 1:45-3:00 pm on a panel Let’s Talk About the Environment: Storytelling, Aesthetics, and the Politics of Transformation at the Nelson Institute Earth Day @ Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center.

Brian Holmes is an essayist, researcher, and artist-cartographer. Over the last twenty years, his essays on art and political economy have been distributed, translated and read around the world. Brian is a member of the groups Deep Time Chicago (www.deeptimechicago.org) and Compass (www.midwestcompass.org) and a collaborator of Hau der Kulturen dr Wel, Berlin, for their Anthropocene Curriculum program (www.anthropocene-curriculum.org). For his current work see www.ecotopia.today.

Kickapoo Valley Walk Description:

We will carpool together through the landscape mosaic of forests and contoured fields toward a first stop at Pier County Park, which is a curious mesa formation carved by the meeting of two branches of the Pine River (it’s roughly an hour-and-a-half drive from Madison). Here Nick Brown, whose family owns land in the Kickapoo, will introduce us to the Native American and colonial history of the Valley. We will move from there to the Kickapoo Valley Reserve, a large area that was taken by eminent domain for an Army Corps of Engineers flood-control dam planned in the 1960s. However, the passage of the Environmental Protection Act in 1970 required the filing of one of the earliest Environmental Impact Statements, which set off a growing controversy that ultimately led to the cancellation of the dam project and the preservation of the wild and scenic Kickapoo River. We will meet Marcy West, Executive Director of the Kickapoo Valley Reserve. After an introduction to the Reserve at the Visitor’s Center we will take a roughly two-hour easy-to-moderate hike in the Reserve to one of its most famous landmarks, the mis-named but extraordinarily beautiful Black Hawk Rock, which is part of the Reserve territories managed by the Ho-Chunk Nation. Following that we will continue onward to the property of Tom Lukens, who chairs the board of the Valley Stewardship Network and received the 2017 Conservation Landowner of The Year Award from Vernon County Land & Water. Tom will tell us about the far-ranging conservation and water-quality work of the Valley Stewardship Network and introduce his own practical applications of Aldo Leopold’s “land ethic,” which calls upon inhabitants to act as the caretakers of an environment that they can all too easily damage by ignorance or greed. For those who have never visited the Kickapoo Valley, or those who would like to share their intimate knowledge of it, this promises to be a great day out in the woods!

Time: 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Location: University Club Room 313, 432 East Campus Mall