The Missouri River, North America’s longest, is among the most important features of the Great Plains. The river is the subject of a Paul A. Olson Great Plains lecture at 3:30 p.m. Nov. 21 at the Center for Great Plains Studies.
The Friends of the Missouri National Recreational River advocate for the river, focusing on its scenic and recreational opportunities, cultural and historical value, and activities that help sustain its economic viability. At the lecture, representatives from the organization will share insights on why the river means so much to the Great Plains.
The lecture will feature two speakers: Daniel Peterson, chief of interpretation, education and outreach for the National Park Service, Missouri National Recreational River; and Jarett C. Bies, writer and kayaker.
Over the course of the last decade, Peterson has worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a wildlife refuge specialist, visitor services specialist and park ranger at three areas. Before that, he served as an education specialist for the National Park Service at Herbert Hoover National Historic Site in Iowa and a park ranger at Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota, Crater Lake National Park in Oregon and Badlands National Park in South Dakota.
For more than a decade, Bies has supported efforts to get more people on the water as a member and past president of the South Dakota Canoe and Kayak Association. In 2009, he partnered with another association member to found the South Dakota Kayak Challenge, the upper Midwest’s largest paddling event. Held each May, it has attracted paddlers from as far away as Winnipeg, Canada; Chihuahua, Mexico; Oregon and Maryland. More than 170 took part in it last year.
The presentation will include a short documentary film about conservation efforts underway on the Missouri River.
The presentation is part of the Paul A. Olson lecture series and is free and open to the public. Parking is usually available in the Que Place garage, entrance at 11th and Q streets, though there is construction in the area.