For the first time in its 17-year history, Pheasants Forever’s Leopold Education Project National Conference will be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, site of Aldo Leopold’s early career. The conference will be held at the Bosque School July 28-30 and registration is open to anyone interested in learning about Leopold’s land ethic as it applies to today’s natural resources and communities.

Pheasants Forever’s Leopold Education Project is a national network of educators and citizens who work to connect youth and adults to land stewardship and wildlife conservation practices using Leopold’s classic, A Sand County Almanac.

“This conference is unique and exciting because attendees will have the opportunity to explore how Leopold developed his ‘land ethic’ concept during his early years as a forester. We have a dynamic program planned with field trips to historic sites and renowned conservation speakers,” explained Janine Kohn, Pheasant Forever’s National Leopold Education Project Coordinator. “We will also be discovering how Leopold’s land ethic is alive and well in communities throughout the nation. I can’t imagine a more beautiful setting to connect to Leopold’s early work, which included establishing the first wilderness area in our country.”

This year’s keynote speakers include renowned conservationists William deBuys and David Parsons.

Writer and conservationist William deBuys was named a Lyndhurst Fellow for 1986-1988, a Carl and Florence King Fellow at SMU in 1999-2000, and a Guggenheim Fellow in 2008-2009. From 1982 to 1986 he directed the North Carolina Chapter of the Nature Conservancy and from the late 1980s through the 1990s he represented The Conservation Fund in the Southwest. His efforts have led to the permanent protection of over 150,000 acres of wild lands in North Carolina and the Southwest. From 2001 to 2004, under appointment by President Bill Clinton, he served as founding chairman of the Valles Caldera Trust, which administers the 89,000-acre Valles Caldera National Preserve under an experimental approach to the management of public lands.

David Parsons is a professional wildlife biologist, who retired after 25 years from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He led the USFWS’s Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program from 1990-1999 as a Wildlife Biologist for the USFWS. Mr. Parsons has received the New Mexico Chapter of The Wildlife Society’s annual “Professional Award” in 2001, the “Alpha Award” for his “outstanding professional achievement and leadership toward the recovery of Mexican wolves” in 2006, the “Outstanding Conservation Leadership Award” from the Wilburforce Foundation and the “Mike Seidman Memorial Award” from the Sky Island Alliance for his conservation achievements.

The conference will host a special showing of the film, Green Fire, two-day Land Ethic Leaders workshops hosted by The Aldo Leopold Foundation, Leopold Education Project Workshop at the Rio Grande Nature Center and field trip to Mia Casita (home built by Leopold) at Tres Piedras, as well as a wide array of fabulous concurrent sessions presented by professionals from around the country.

Friday evening highlights include a banquet sponsored by Greater American Ribs, wine tasting, and Saturday will culminate with a genuine southwest dinner at the Posada horse ranch and musical entertainment by nationally recognized Illinois conservationists, Curt Carter and Tom Connelly. For more event details, contact Janine Kohn at (651) 209-4971 / Email Janine.

Pheasants Forever, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever, is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 135,000 members and 700 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Chapters are empowered to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation funds are spent, the only national conservation organization that operates through this truly grassroots structure.

 

 

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