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Catalog Archive / Fall 2022

Ripple Effects
How We're Loving Our Lakes to Death

“A marvelously thorough synopsis of the many daunting issues surrounding lake management. Rulseh utilizes case studies, interviews, and a storytelling format to frame the issues, making the book an easy and pleasurable read. He also doesn’t leave the reader wallowing in the problems, instead offering sage advice on the many ways we can turn our love of waters into positive actions to protect them. Highly recommended.”
—John Bates, author of Wisconsin’s Wild Lakes: A Guide to the Last Undeveloped Natural Lakes

The go-to resource for lake dwellers and lake advocates of the Upper Midwest

Lakes are among the Upper Midwest’s greatest treasures and most valuable natural resources. The Great Lakes define the region, and thousands of smaller lakes offer peace, joy, and recreation to millions. And yet, in large part because of the numbers of people who enjoy the local waterways, the lakes of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota face numerous challenges. Invasive species, pollution, defective septic systems, inadequate shoreland zoning laws, and climate change are present and increasingly existential threats. We are, quite possibly, loving our lakes to death.

In his engaging and conversational style, Ted Rulseh details each of these challenges and proposes achievable solutions. He draws on personal experience, interviews, academic research, and government reports to describe the state of the lakes, the stresses they are under, and avenues to successful lakeside living for a sustainable future. Ripple Effects will be a go-to source for all who love lakes and who advocate for their protection; its driving question is summed up by one of Rulseh’s interviewees: “We love this lake. What can we do to keep it healthy?”

 

Ted Rulseh. Ted J. Rulseh writes the newspaper column “The Lake Where You Live” and is active in lake-advocacy organizations, including the Wisconsin Citizen Lake Monitoring Network. The editor and publisher of several books on the Great Lakes region, he is the author of A Lakeside Companion. He lives in the lake-rich region of north central Wisconsin.

 

 

Praise

“Illuminates the tight connection between what we do on the land, the health of our lakes, and the health of our economy and communities. This book will forever change how you think about lakes and the Northwoods. And it offers insights into what you can do to protect our beloved lakes, and make them more resilient in the face of environmental change in our rapidly changing world.”
—Jake Vander Zanden, director of the Center for Limnology, UW—Madison

“In Ripple Effects, Rulseh describes in engaging detail the pressures we’re putting on our beloved lakes and offers solutions that are within reach of everyday people. He expertly weaves personal experiences and extensive research into an invaluable lake stewardship guidebook for anyone who loves lakes.”
—Jo Latimore, senior outreach specialist, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University

“Wonderfully researched and richly detailed. At a time when more and more people are searching out our waters for their livelihood, for recreation and relaxation, and for building cherished memories with friends and family, Ted Rulseh’s rich and readable book tells us not only how intimately connected we are to our waters but how the fate of water is our fate as well. In the end, Rulseh’s story is a hopeful invitation, providing those who love lakes and are in a position to protect them the understanding and tools they need to reverse these disturbing trends.”
—Jeff Forester, executive director, Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates

 

Resources

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Table of Contents

Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments

1 A Lake, a Family
2 Cabin Country
3 Paradise Discovered
4 One Water
5 The Trouble with Phosphorus
6 Changing Lakescapes
7 Zoning and Its Discontents
8 Defective Septic Systems: How Big a Problem?
9 In the Wake
10 Stealth Invaders
11 Preventing the Spread: Holes in the Safety Net
12 Changing Climate, Changing Lakes
13 Loons under Stress
14 Pressure Rising
15 Ways Forward: Forging Connections
Epilogue: Toward a Land and Water Ethic

Notes
List of Interviews
Index

 


Of Related Interest


A Lakeside Companion: cover showing a serene photo of a lake at sunset, the title text in delicate, white font hovering in the sky.

A Lakeside Companion
Ted J. Rulseh

The Driftless Reader: cover art of a handful of farms scattered throughout lush, green woods.

The Driftless Reader
Eited by Curt Meine and Keefe Keeley

Ripple Effects: cover showing an arial photo of a speed boat creating a wake in a body of water. The title text hovers above the boat in striking teal font.

Larger images

October 2022
LC: 2021061604 QH
288 pp. 6 x 9
32 b/w illus., 10 tables

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Casebound $26.95
ISBN 9780299339609
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