BAYFIELD, Wis. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Superintendent Lynne Dominy opened the Apostle Islands 50th Anniversary Resource Stewardship Symposium on Tuesday morning by welcoming everyone to the two-day-long virtual event and thanking participants and sponsors for”making it real” after years of planning and work.
Dominy said organizers thought for a long time about what they wanted to accomplish. She said it all comes down to “resource stewardship,” which she defined as the “careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.”
She drew attention to the slogan on the 50th anniversary logo, “Caring for our place on Gichigami,” saying the whole anniversary of the national lakeshore is about stewardship.
Dominy said the online audience for this online event includes a wide variety of stakeholders: partners, past managers, former legislators, neighbors, treaty rights holders, researchers, resource managers, artists, poets, educators, south shore residents, business owners and community members who all love this place and the lake, as well as people who dream of being here.
She challenged the symposium viewers to think not only about the past and the present of the Apostle Islands, but to also think about the future. “Think about Apostle Islands in 2050 and where we want to be in 2050,” she said. Get out a piece of paper and a pen and think about three questions:
1) How have you influenced the stewardship of this place personally or in your work?
2) Has that changed in the last year due to the pandemic in 2020? Dominy talked about how it caused her to drive less, shop local and reduce her carbon footprint.
3) What do you want to do over the next 30 years to steward this place? What do you want this place to look like in 2050? What does leadership need to look like to get us there? How do we want to inspire our children; what role will they have in the stewardship of this place?
Dominy described her role as Superintendent. “I’m just a caretaker,” she said. “I care for the cultural and natural resources… for the people… and for the relationships now and into the future.”
Dominy’s remarks set the stage for a series of presentations from 26 experts. Together, they are telling the rich stories of the Apostle Islands, from archeology, cultural resources and traditional ecological knowledge to water quality, fisheries, fire, plants, wetlands, birds, amphibians, and mammals to climate change and innovative youth programs.
“Our partners made this symposium possible through staff and funding support,” Dominy said. “Northland College is hosting the event while the Friends of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore (FAINL) is sponsoring it with business and community partners.”
In case you missed the opportunity to register and participate in the free online event, or you want to see some sessions again, many of the presentations will be published on the Friends of the Apostle Islands website following the conclusion of the symposium on Wednesday, March 31. Follow us on Facebook or check back on the website for updates.