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Town hall meeting to follow showing of 'Echoes' documentary March 25

In the late 1960s, Swift County Minnesota resident Bob Hartkopf inspired thousands of young ecologists with his documentary, "Cry of the Marsh." According to a promotion of the piece, the documentary presents "a startling witness to the devastated wildlife and plant life sacrificed in the name of modern farming."

Forty years later, Hartkopf's story is revisited with a more in-depth documentary, "Echoes of Cry of the Marsh," produced by the University of Minnesota, Morris. "Echoes" explores the issues of land management, ecology and the impact of large-scale agriculture on the environment.

A panel of experts in agriculture, biology and political policy will assemble for a town hall meeting to discuss wetland preservation, ecology and the environmental impact of humans on wetlands. The one-hour meeting will be broadcast live from the Black Box Theatre on the campus of the University of Minnesota, Morris on Pioneer Public Television at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 25. The meeting will also be Web cast live on the Internet at the Web site

"Echoes of Cry of the Marsh," which will provide a basis for the town hall discussion, will be shown prior to the town hall meeting in a special screening to begin in the Black Box Theatre at 6:45 p.m. The program will also be shown on Pioneer Public Television beginning at 7 p.m.

The public is invited to participate in the town hall meeting in any of three ways:

• Attend the meeting in person in the Humanities Fine Arts Black Box Theatre on the Morris campus;

• Submit questions or comments via e-mail to this address:;

• Call the toll-free number (800) 726-3178 from 8-9 p.m. during the town hall meeting on March 25.

Bob Hartkopf is a retired high school science teacher and a lifetime ecologist and environmental activist. Growing up on his family's farm near Appleton, Hartkopf read the works of other ecologists like Aldo Leopold and Rachel Carson. Inspired by their ideas, Hartkopf became a one-man activist as one of the earliest voices for wetland restoration in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest.

Though living and teaching in Fargo, N.D., Hartkopf noticed drastic environmental changes during his visits to the family farm in Swift County. Hartkopf decided to record these changes in "Cry of the Marsh."

For more details about these events and Bob Hartkopf, visit