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Know the West

Slip sliding away

  Preventing land from washing into streams, rivers and lakes may not be the sexiest topic around, but for 25 years the International Erosion Control Association has held an annual conference in an attempt to make it so. This year's conference, scheduled for Feb. 15-18 in Reno, Nev., tackles "Sustaining Environmental Quality: The erosion control challenge," and features dozens of presentations by on-the-ground experts. Among them are U.S. Soil Conservation Service scientists from Los Lunas, N.M., who will talk about riparian restoration in that state; two Michigan State researchers, who will discuss alpine trail erosion based on their research in Colorado; and university scientists from Bangkok, Thailand, who will discuss how soil conservation practices can enhance cassava production. The opening session features a presentation by Gary Dyhouse of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the causes, effects and controversy surrounding the summer floods over the Mississippi River watershed. For more information, contact the IECA at 303/879-3010.