MLR Webinar Series

During the time of social distancing, MLR is offering a series of free webinars for anyone who wants to learn more about lakes, lake living and ways to protect our shared lake and river heritage. Click on the titles below to register for any one of these virtual events. Check your MLR emails for future webinar presentations as we will be adding more in the days to come.

MLR Summer Book Club - Online Book Club with MN Historical Society Authors:

Hijinx and Hearsay: Scenester Stories from Minnesota's Pop Life, with Marty Keller and Greg Helgeston, Friday May 29th, 1:00pm Central Time


Minnesota Monthly magazine recently picked Hijinx & Hearsay: Scenester Stories from Minnesota’s Pop Life as a book to read during quarantine in its Best Of issue. So we are excited to feature photographer Greg Helgeson and writer Martin Keller to our book club May 29!

The self-described “fragmented memoir” with 140+ Helgeson photos, H&H is all about that pre-digital era of the '70s and '80s that still resonates across popular culture today: The wild rise of both the new wave and comedy scenes; the strum and hang of West Bank Folkies and Bluesers; the Purple Reign of Prince’s Paisley Kingdom, and the last stand of the truly alternative press (with the ghost of Twin Cities native and The New York Times stellar media critic, David Carr, appearing in many “chapters” – plus a host of other Scenesters and Movers, from Bonnie Raitt to First Avenue's Steve McClellan). As the magazine notes, “a couple Twin Cities journalists took it upon themselves to document the comings and goings of musicians, comedians, and other big-name talents. Minnesota-tethered stars like Prince, Bob Dylan, Hüsker Dü, Louie Anderson, and Lizz Winstead join a parade of Paul McCartney, William S. Burroughs, Jerry Seinfeld, Bob Marley, James Brown, and so many others".


Register HERE for Hijinx and Hearsay:

Wild and Rare,Tracking Endangered Species in the Upper Midwest, Author Adam Regn Arvidson

Friday, June 5th, 1:00pm Central Time

The elusive Canada lynx bears kittens in Minnesota's northeastern woods. In the far southeastern part of the state, the succulent Leedy's roseroot clings to cold cliffs. On the northwestern grasslands, the western prairie fringed orchid grows only on ancient glacial beach ridges. In the rivers of the Twin Cities metro area, the snuffbox mussel snaps on a fish’s nose to give its larvae a temporary home. These species and fifteen others living in Minnesota are on the federal Endangered Species List.

Adam Regn Arvidson, a talented science reporter and genial guide, uncovers the stories of these plants and animals, providing compelling views of the state's northern pine forest, deciduous forest, and prairie landscapes. Readers learn how beach driving in Texas affects Minnesota's northernmost bird; how ranchers feel about prairie minnows; how urban runoff affects rivers and therefore mussels; how the wolf ended up in court. Scientists, orchid-hounds, lawyers, and nature lovers weigh in on the value and benefit of rare species–and their right to exist.

This book is an entertaining and educational journey through Minnesota's diverse landscapes, one wild and rare inhabitant at a time.

Register HERE for Wild and Rare:

Climate Interactions of Minnesota's Shoreline and Near Shore Vegetation with Dr. James Cotner, Friday, June 19th, 1:00pm Central Time

Dr. Jim Cotner contacted MLR this spring with an interest in partnering with MLR to study the role of the land-water interface in mitigating climate change and water quality degradation.

Methane is a greenhouse gas that is increasing faster than carbon dioxide and also has a warming
potential that is over 20 times greater than carbon dioxide. Many of the sources of methane on terrestrial
landscapes are well-constrained, such as agricultural sources (livestock production, rice paddies, etc.),
industrial production (oil and gas production and refining). Yet, there is great uncertainty in quantifying
individual sources and sinks. This is especially true in freshwaters due to great variability in terrigenous
influence by way of organic carbon and nutrient inputs, productivity, and variation in plants found in
these systems, from phytoplankton to various kinds of submersed, floating and emergent plants
(DelSontro et al 2018). The role of plants in either mitigating or increasing methane fluxes is little
quantified nor understood. Here, we will collaborate with lake property owners to collect data from varied
littoral regions to fill this gap in knowledge.

Register HERE:

From the Archives - Recorded Webinars

Lake Steward Program with Dorothy Whitmer

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better.  It’s not.”  Dr. Seuss

This spring MLR member Dorothy Whitmer emailed me and wrote, "A few years ago a quiz dropped into my mailbox called 'Rate Your Shoreland!'  I took it because I was certain I’d get a high score: our property (my husband and I) was neat and tidy, what could go wrong?  Well, I tanked, and in many ways.  I think this was the beginning of my realizing that I was responsible for the water quality of my chain of lakes."

So Dorothy took action to make sure that her shoreline not only protected the water quality of her beloved Gull Lake, but also provided habitat for birds, fish and other critters. Then she worked with the Gull Chain of Lakes Association to create the Lake Stewards program to help others restore their shorelines to protect water quality, ecological systems and by extension, property values.

As Dorothy said, "Who could care more for our lakes than the people who love them and live on them?  That someone is you!" Dorothy has offered to work with MLR to share this program with all lake associations and lake home and cabin owners in Minnesota. Said Dorothy, "I have a dream of having Lake Stewards and Lake Steward signs on shorelines all over Minnesota."

The program not only provides support for owners, but also connects with One Watershed One Plan efforts/funding, Soil and Water Conservation District Programs and other programs and grants.

View the recording of the Lake Stewards Program HERE:

Secrets of the Loon with Charles Dayton and Laura Purdi Salas

This is the first young adult title in our Summer Lake Lovers Book Club series, so make sure to invite your children and grandchildren to view.

Below white pines, at water’s edge, in guarded nest of mud and sedge, squeezed inside an olive egg, bill meets wing meets folded leg.

With these few words, the scene is set for the hatching of Moon Loon. During her first summer with her parents and brother in the northland, Moon Loon has a lot to learn. Mom and Dad teach essential lessons, like how to catch and eat fish, how to avoid becoming a snack for snapping turtles, and what songs to sing and when. Moon Loon also discovers her secret skills, like how to float, how to dive, and— eventually—how to fly.

Laura Purdie Salas’s poetic recounting of a loon’s adventurous first summer celebrates the piney northern landscape and features the gradual development and occasional drama that fills Moon Loon’s days. Supplementary back matter by Chuck Dayton highlights fascinating details of loon biology and ecology, gleaned from expert sources as well as observation. Dayton spent five summers photographing loons from his kayak on a northern Minnesota lake, capturing key moments in the lives of these iconic birds.

Combining imaginative language and striking photography, Secrets of the Loon introduces readers to the sights, sounds, and survival strategies of Minnesota’s state bird.

View the recording for Secrets of the Loon Here:

Canoeing with the Cree: 75th Anniversary - by Eric Severeid - with Jon Lurie

In 1930 two novice paddlers—Eric Sevareid and Walter C. Port—launched a secondhand 18-foot canvas canoe into the Minnesota River at Fort Snelling for an ambitious summer-long journey from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay. Without benefit of radio, motor, or good maps, the teenagers made their way over 2,250 miles of rivers, lakes, and difficult portages. Nearly four months later, after shooting hundreds of sets of rapids and surviving exceedingly bad conditions and even worse advice, the ragged, hungry adventurers arrived in York Factory on Hudson Bay—with winter freeze-up on their heels.

First published in 1935, Canoeing with the Cree is Sevareid's classic account of this youthful odyssey. The newspaper stories that Sevareid wrote on this trip launched his distinguished journalism career, which included more than a decade as a television correspondent and commentator on the CBS Evening News.

Jon Lurie is the author of the memoir Canoeing with José, a book that retraces Eric Sevareid’s 1930 journey to Hudson Bay. He is also the coauthor, with Clyde Bellecourt, of The Thunder Before the Storm, a Minnesota Book Award finalist. Lurie has worked as a wilderness guide, a flight instructor, a teen adviser at a Native American journalism program, and an editor at the Anchorage Press and the Rake. His journalism has been published in a wide range of publications, including Metro magazine. A graduate of the MFA program in creative writing at the University of Minnesota, Lurie has taught creative writing at Macalester College and the University of Minnesota, where he currently teaches experiential learning. He serves as director of the Mother of Waters Project, a cultural outreach program that combines experiential learning with arts education, focusing on the health of Minnesota’s freshwater resources.

View the recording of Canoing With the Cree/Canoing with Jose Here:

Long Way Round; Through the Heartland by River by John Hildebrand 

All rivers are connected…
So begins an unforgettable journey through America’s heartland in a small boat.

Long Way Round shows us the Open Road as a river with possibility around the next bend.
John Hildebrand is the author of four previous books: Reading the River: A Voyage Down the
Yukon, Mapping the Farm: The Chronicle of a Family, A Northern Front: New and Selected
Essays, and The Heart of Things: A Midwestern Almanac. His essays have appeared in Harper’s,
Audubon, and Sports Illustrated. He occasionally teaches at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire.

View the recording of Long Way Round HERE:

Lost in the Wild, with Cary Johns Griffith

True survival odysseys of two wilderness trekkers who entered the woods in search of tranquility but found something else entirely.

In the wilderness, one false step can make the difference between a delightful respite and a brush with death.

Enduring days without food or shelter, these men faced the full harsh force of wilderness, the place that they had sought out for tranquil refuge from city life. Lost in the Wild takes readers with them as they enter realms of pain, fear, and courage, as they suffer dizzying confusion and unending frustration, and as they overcome seemingly insurmountable hurdles in a race to survive. You can buy a copy of Lost in the Wild here.

View the recording of Lost in the Wild Webinar Here:

The Growing Soil Health & Regenerative Agriculture Movement Could Save Lakes - What You Can Do

Farmer Jim Chamberlain has been a leader in the emerging regnerative agriculture and soil health farming movement. In this webinar Jim will present an oveview of these practices, the impact these farm practices can have not only on water quality, but local communities, families and human health. Regenerative agriculture and soil health practices are also changing long established agricultural economic models. Jim Chamberlain will also let you know what lake home and cabin owners and Lake AssociAtions can do to support and advance this new model of agriculture as farmers work to not only raise food, but to do it in a way that protects our precious waters.


View the Recording of The Growing Soil Health & Regenerative Agriculture Movement Could Save Lakes - What You Can Do HERE:

Septic Secrets - 

A healthy septic system saves money and protects water quality. This webinar by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency will cover what you can do as an owner to make sure that your septic system operates at peak efficiency. This will reduce costs and extend useful life of the system. If you love the lake, making sure your septic system is functioning properly is probably the most important thing you can do to protect it for the future.

View the Recording of Septic Secrets Here:

Forest for the Trees, How Humans Shaped the Northwoods

Author Jeff Forester will lead a discussion on his book The Forest for the Trees, How Humans Shaped the Northwoods. It is the ecological history of the BWCA, starting with tribal fire regimes, pioneer logging, industrial logging, US Forest Service fire suppression, designation as wilderness, and a return to setting fires in the area following the 1999 blow down event.

As we head into what will be another fire season, the roots of our catastrophic fires can be found in research done in the BWCA about a half century ago along with potential solutions.

View the Recording HERE:

One Watershed One Plan, How Lake Advocates Can Engage


In this webinar, you will learn about the Board of Water and Soil Resources’ One Watershed, One Plan program, and how you can get involved in developing ten-year plans to restore and protect local water resources.  Through the program, partnerships identify the most important issues and places in the watershed, set goals for the future, and create action plans to meet those goals. While this is a local-government led process, lake associations and others have an important role to play in providing input and in helping implement the plans once they are approved. 

View the Recording HERE:

Enhancerd Wake Watercraft Impact on Lakes

Enhanced wake technology, or wakeboard boats, use massive ballast tanks, a redesigned power train and huge engine to create large wakes that people can surf on. The surfer remains close to the boat and maximum speeds are perhaps 10 knots, so the surfer can talk with the passengers. These watercraft are quicklky becoming the most popular form of lake based recreation and represent one of the fastest growing sectors of the boating industry.

While they are fun, there is also risk. The massive wakes these boat put off can damage sensitive shorelines, docks and boats. They can imperil those in smaller watercraft. The thrust can go down 16 feet, destroying aquatic plants and churning up sediments. This webinar will introduce you to these boats, and cover the issues related to them.

View the recording HERE:


Stop AIS Spread During Fishing Tournaments - An Effective Program from Cass County and Muskies Inc.

A great program that has expanded beyond Cass County - let's take it statewide. Learn how.

Leaving a Lake Legacy - How to Pass the Lake Place to the Next Generation

Looking to plan for the future of your lake home or cabin? Join attorney David Salter in the Cabin Trust Webinar. David is a long time MLR member with a family cabin - he gets family legacy!

"Get the Lead Out" Protect Loons With Lead Tackle Alternatives

Between 100 and 200 loons are killed every year in Minnesota from ingesting lead fishing tackle, and well and many swans and other waterfowl. The MPCA and MLR partnered to present this webinar on what you and your lake associatgion can do to promote using safe fishing tackle alternatives.

MLR Update

Read all the latest in the MLR Update:  MLR Update March 2020

Our Mission

To protect Minnesota's lake and river heritage for current and future generations by forging powerful links among lakes, lake advocates, and policy makers.


  • Lead in efforts to fund and implement a comprehensive statewide plan to halt the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species.
  • Work to reform lakeshore Property Taxes to protect lakeshore from overdevelopment and to keep the lake legacy affordable for future generations.
  • Strive to protect surface Water Quality in Minnesota with information and policy priorities.
  • Work with policy makers to advocate Aquatic Habitat measures, and work with Lake Association members to implement aquatic plant management.
  • Lead in advocating for strong Shoreline and Forestland Stewardship incentives.
  • Offer Legacy Seminars to help ensure the treasured family heritage of time a the lake or in the woods with family can continue for generations to come.


MSRPO has become Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates to reflect our broadening mission and member concerns. We were formed in 1994 to represent recreational property owners at the State Capitol but have since represented all who are not only interested in property taxes but in the overall health and well being of their surrounding environment.

From a few cabins on Lake Vermilion, MLR has grown to represent over 6,000 families that own lakeshore and forestland. Their issues now include not only major tax reform, but water quality, shoreline regulations, habitat protection, forest fragmentation, and shoreline over-development.