In Memoriam – Lowell Klessig


Lowell KlessigNALMS and lake management lost an important voice and cherished friend with the death of Lowell Klessig on August 8, 2014, following a courageous battle with Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. He died at his beloved New Hopestead Farm in the Town of New Hope, Wisconsin surrounded by family. Lowell’s doctoral dissertation served as the foundation for Wisconsin’s Inland Lake Management Law. He had a long career with the University of Wisconsin-Extension as a Lake District Specialist. He crisscrossed the state to help lake property owners and county boards develop stewardship plans and lake districts. He taught courses at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and at UW-Stevens Point.

While sharing beers with a group of colleagues following a day of presentations at the 1979 North American Lake Management Conference in East Lansing, Michigan, Lowell asked if anyone would be interested in working to create a professional lake management society. As a result of Lowell’s vision and leadership, the steering committee he chaired, the North American Lake Management Society was born the following year at the 1980 International Symposium on Inland Waters and Lake Restoration in Portland, Maine. Lowell served on the NALMS Board for six years.

Lowell was a prolific writer. His essays on lake management, stewardship, conservation, and farming were infused with a common-sense and heartfelt philosophy. You can read his 2010 article for LakeLine entitled, “A Tale of Two Spiritual Lakes” here.