Author to speak on citizen activism in Stevens Point
Submitted by Sue Hall
STEVENS POINT — Fifty years ago, Wisconsin citizens helped to change the world. They put the pesticide DDT on trial in an administrative hearing in Madison for the damage it was doing to the environment.
Join author and longtime Stevens Point resident Bill Berry at 7 p.m. Jan. 16 at the Lincoln Center for an inspiring program about citizen activism and the modern environmental movement. Some of the first to notice the impact of DDT were residents in cities where it was sprayed in an effort to control Dutch elm disease.
People became alarmed when they noticed dead and dying songbirds. Soon, scientists like Joseph Hickey at UW-Madison were piecing together a picture of how the chemical was wreaking ecological havoc, including devastating several bird species. The Citizens Natural Resources Association of Wisconsin and the Environmental Defense Fund brought the Wisconsin action, and the hearing stretched over six months, drawing national media attention.
The citizens’ efforts were supported by the National Audubon Society and numerous local bird and garden clubs, whose members pitched in to mount the legal battle. Berry’s presentation puts the spotlight on how it all came together, including the work of central Wisconsin citizens who were involved in the effort. Berry has been covering the environment as a journalist, writer, communications specialist and researcher for five decades. He lives in Stevens Point with his wife, Nick Schultz.
Audubon programs are free and open to the public.