Former MU professor discusses issues at envrionmental summit

Saturday, January 28, 2012 | 6:54 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Susan Flader tells people why they should care about Missouri conservation.

That's what brought her to the 10th Annual Environmental Summit held Saturday at the Anheuser Busch Natural Resource Center. As president of the Missouri Parks Association, Flader was one of about 60 activists, scientists and lobbyists who attended the summit to discuss challenges facing the conservationist community.

Flader, 70, has been with the Parks Association since its founding in 1982, but she's championed conservationist causes since her undergraduate days at the University of Wisconsin in the 1960s. She earned her master's degree from Stanford in 1965 and her doctorate from Stanford in 1971.

Besides promoting awareness of challenges facing Missouri's parks, Flader is a retired MU history professor who taught environmental history, along with U.S. Western history and Missouri history from 1973 until 2007.

At the summit, Flader pushed for more funding for the parks association. She urged her audience to increase citizen awareness of environmental problems that could arise from the repair of Ameren Missouri's hydroelectric plant in Taum Sauk Mountain State Park.

"The prime need is to take care of what we have," she said. "The problems are going to get more expensive if we don't deal with them now."

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