UWSP conservationists chosen for Hall of Fame February 23, 2023 Byron Shaw and Mike Dombeck are among those named to the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame this year. All three men being inducted into the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame this spring have ties to UW-Stevens Point and have spent their lives protecting natural resources. Inductees are: Byron Shaw, soil and water science professor in the College of Natural Resources, who was among the first in the nation to recognize that pesticides used on farm fields could leach through the soil to contaminate groundwater. Michael Dombeck led America’s two largest land management agencies: the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service. He received degrees in biology and teaching from UW-Stevens Point. Mark Martin and Susan Foote-Martin have protected, restored and enhanced appreciation of natural resources during their careers and volunteering. Mark Martin graduated from UW-Stevens Point in 1971 with a degree in wildlife management. The Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame was established in 1982 to encourage the growth and practice of a conservation ethic. Past inductees from UW-Stevens Point include Christine Thomas, dean emeritus of the College of Natural Resources, in 2017; and George Becker, biology professor and fish expert, in 2010. “I am especially pleased to see Byron Shaw and Mike Dombeck inducted this year,” Thomas said. “They are great examples of conservationists who spent both their careers and their personal lives dedicated to making the natural world a better place. These are two men who had the courage of their convictions. It was my personal honor to have been friends and colleagues with both. In the case of Byron, he served on my graduate committee, so he was also teacher and mentor to me.” From his youth, Shaw loved the outdoors and developed strong community-minded values. He earned his degrees from UW-Madison and joined UW-Stevens Point in 1968. He established the Environmental Task Force Laboratory (now the Water and Environmental Analysis Lab) to address soil and water quality problems, train students as water chemists and generate grants to support student research. He was a lead professor for more than 50 graduate students, many of whom helped him make important scientific discoveries in the water lab. In 1980, Shaw documented the presence of aldicarb, a pesticide used on potatoes, in wells in Portage County. This evidence was among the first in the nation recognizing that pesticides used on farm fields could leach through the soil to contaminate groundwater. His work contributed to passing Wisconsin’s landmark groundwater protection law in 1984 and led to state law banning aldicarb. Shaw established the Environmental Task Force Laboratory (now the Water and Environmental Analysis Lab) to address soil and water quality problems, train students as water chemists and generate grants to support student research. Shaw also was the first to find acid rain and acid snow in Wisconsin. He pioneered one of the first major agricultural watershed and reservoir modeling efforts in the nation on the Big Eau Pleine reservoir in Marathon County. The Eau Pleine research and other research on subdivision effects on groundwater quality led to changes in public policy. As a water resource specialist with UW-Extension, he traveled the state to educate citizens about private well water quality and lake management in their communities. Few scientists have contributed more to knowledge about water quality than Shaw, the Hall of Fame induction reads. He died in 2016. Dombeck dedicated 25 years to managing federal lands and natural resources on nearly 500 million public acres. He grew up in Sawyer County and by age 15, was taking tourists fishing. He joined the U.S. Forest Service in 1978 as a fisheries technician and became a primary architect for integrating aquatic and fisheries protection and recreation policies on 193 million acres of national forests. In 1989, he joined the Department of Interior and was science adviser, then acting director of the Bureau of Land Management. He created a long-term vision for advancing ecosystem management and watershed protection and restoration. He became U.S. Forest Service chief in 1997, where he led the development of a national resource agenda focusing on watershed health and restoration, recreation and sustainable forest management. Under his leadership, a long-term forest roads policy was established. The Roadless Rule of 2001 protected 58 million acres of the most remote national forest lands from road building and other development. One of the most respected and renowned conservationists today, Dombeck is recognized for forging partnerships and crafting policies that integrated economics, science and watershed protection to manage federal lands in the long-term public interest. Dombeck returned to UW-Stevens Point in 2001 as a UW System fellow and global conservation professor, sharing his expertise with students, early career scientists and conservation organizations. He has authored and edited more than 300 conservation articles and books. He and his wife live in Portage County. Mark Martin and Susan Foote-Martin have centered stewardship on Goose Pond, a nature sanctuary operated by the Madison Audubon Society in Columbia County. As resident managers and volunteers, they have protected and restored this mesic prairie habitat and helped the sanctuary grow from 100 to 730 acres. Mark Martin worked for the state Department of Natural Resources for 41 years on wildlife research projects and prairie restoration to improve wildlife cover. He coordinated land purchases of more than 30,000 acres for State Natural Areas across Wisconsin. He helped improve public access at Ferry Bluff, establish a cordwalk at Kohler Park Dunes and stairway at Roche-A-Cri Mound. With land trust partners, he wrote grants generating $13 million for State Natural Area land protection and management. Susan’s 30-year career with the DNR included MacKenzie Environmental Education Center in Poynette and the Bureau of Endangered Resources, where she created the Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail. This award-winning, web-based project is a guide to some 350 nature waypoints across Wisconsin. She helped establish Bird City Wisconsin, a nationwide model. She assisted with state-listing Wisconsin cave bats as “threatened” because of white-nose syndrome. The 2023 Hall of Fame induction will be held virtually April 25 afternoon. For more details about the free events, visit https://wchf.org/2023-induction-events/ The hall of fame gallery of inductees and Conservation History Museum are located in the Schmeeckle Reserve Visitor Center on the UW-Stevens Point campus.