Dr. Curt Meine Lecture at the Conserving the Future Conference


Uploaded by americaswildlife on 09.09.2011

Transcript:
>> GOOD AFTERNOON. WELCOME, EVERYBODY.
MY NAME IS MITCH ELLIS. I'M THE CHIEF OF REFUGES IN
ALASKA. I'VE BEEN GIVEN THE PRIVILEGE OF
INTRODUCING OUR NEXT SPEAKER. DR. CURT MEINE.
HE'S A CONSERVATION BIOLOGIST, A RENOWNED AUTHOR AND PROBABLY THE
MOST FAMOUS BIOGRAPHER OF ALDO LEOPOLD.
I'M GOING TO READ HIS SHORT BIO HERE TO MAKE SURE I GET THE
TITLES RIGHT. DR. MEINE IS THE DIRECTOR FOR
CONSERVATION BIOLOGY AND HISTORY WITH THE CENTER FOR HUMANS AND
NATURE. HE'S A SENIOR FELLOW WITH THE
ALDO LEOPOLD FOUNDATION. HE IS AN ADJUNCT ASSOCIATE
PROFESSOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN HERE IN MADISON.
HE HAS AUTHORED SEVERAL BOOKS, EDITED MANY BOOKS.
HE WROTE THE BIOGRAPHY "ALDO LEOPOLD: HIS LIFE AND WORK
1988". CORRECTION LINES, ESSAYS ON
LAND, LEOPOLD AND CONSERVATION IN 2004.
HE ALSO SERVES AS ON-SCREEN GUIDE IN THE NEW DOCUMENTARY
FILE "GREEN FIRE: ALDO LEOPOLD AND A LAND ETHIC FOR OUR TIME."
IT IS MY PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE DR. CURT MEINE.
JOIN ME IN WELLING HIM TO THE STAGE.
>> THANK YOU SO MUCH, MITCH. WELCOME TO WISCONSIN, EVERYBODY.
IT'S A NICE DAY. I'M GLAD IT DIDN'T STAY AS HUMID
AS IT WAS YESTERDAY. I HOPE YOU ENJOY YOUR VISIT TO
MADISON AND I HOPE YOU GET OUT A LITTLE BIT.
I KNOW A UM IN OF YOU WERE ABLE TO VISIT THE LEOPOLD LEGACY
CENTER AND THE SHACK YESTERDAY. I HOPE OTHERS WHO WEREN'T THERE
YESTERDAY WILL BE ABLE TO VISIT ON FRIDAY.
SO WELCOME AND WE HOPE YOU GET A GOOD DOSE NOT ONLY OF LEOPOLD
BUT OF THE MANY FIGURES IN OUR HISTORY WHO HAVE BROUGHT US SO
RICH LEGACY OF CONSERVATION IN THIS STATE.
I'M NOT GOING TO BE TALKING MUCH ABOUT THAT, ACTUALLY.
I'M NOT GOING TO BEWARING MY HISTORIAN'S HAT.
IT'S NICE TO COVER DOUGLAS BRINKLEY.
HE COVERED A LOT OF THIS. IT KIND OF MAKES A NICE
CONNECTION BECAUSE HE TALKED A LOT ABOUT THE FOUNDATION, THE
WORK OF THE FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE AND THE CONSERVATION
MOVEMENT IN GENERAL. WHAT I'M DOING IS REALLY TAKING
OFF FROM THAT AND LOOKING FORWARD.
SO I HOPE THIS WILL MAKE A NICE PAIRING WITH THAT.
SO WELCOME. WELCOME, WELCOME.
I'M GOING TO IMMEDIATELY BREAK A FEW RULES OF PUBLIC
PRESENTATIONS RIGHT AT THE BEGINNING.
FIRST RULE I'LL BREAK IS TELLING YOU RIGHT AWAY YOU ARE GUINEA
PIGS. I AM GIVING A FIRST DRAFT OF A
LECTURE. I WON'T TELL YOU AND EMBARRASS
MYSELF BY TELLING YOU HOW LATE LAST NIGHT I STAYED UP PREPARING
THIS ROUGH DRAFT OF A PRESENTATION.
SO IT'S A LITTLE SPOTTY, A LITTLE THIN AND RAGGED, BUT I
LOOK FORWARD TO GETTING FEEDBACK AT THE END OF THIS.
THE REASON I'VE PUT THIS LECTURE TOGETHER IS I WANTED A MORE
FORMAL PRESENTATION THAT WOULD ACCOMPANY THE DOCUMENTARY FILM
THAT MITCH MENTIONED, "GREEN FIRE: ALDO LEOPOLD AND THE LAND
ETHIC FOR OUR TIME." WHICH WILL BE SCREENED TOMORROW
EVENING AT THE ORPHEUM THEATER A COUPLE BLOCKS AWAY.
SO YOU ARE GUINEA PIGS. SECONDLY I'M VIOLATING THE RULE
BECAUSE THAT IS SHAMELESS PROMOTION TO COME SEE THE FILM.
ANYBODY HAD A CHANCE TO SEE GREEN FIRE YET?
GREAT. WONDERFUL.
THANK YOU FOR WATCHING IT. AGAIN, YOU'LL SEE THAT THIS
LECTURE IS AIMED AT KIND OF PROVIDING THE BACKGROUND FOR --
ESPECIALLY FOR MORE PROFESSIONAL AUDIENCES OR STUDENT AUDIENCES
ON THE THEMES IN THE FILM. I SAY SHAMELESS.
IT'S NOT SELF-PROMOTION BECAUSE THERE'S A WHOLE TEAM OF PEOPLE
WORKING ON THE FILM BUT I WILL DO SOME SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION
AND MENTIONED AS WELL BECAUSE THEY TOLD ME TO I WILL BE
HANGING OUT HERE TOMORROW WITH THE WILD READ GANG I HAVE BEEN
WORKING WITH OVER THE LAST COUPLE MONTHS AND BE SIGNING
BOOKS. SO THERE'S MY MOMENT OF
PROMOTION. FINALLY, WHEN I WAS PUTTING THIS
TALK TOGETHER, THERE'S NOT MUCH NEW HERE.
I'M NOT GOING TO PRESENT NEW DATA.
THERE'S NOT A CONCEPTUAL BREAKTHROUGH.
BUT FOR SOME REASON I FELT COMPELLED TO PUT THIS TALK
TOGETHER. IT SEEMS TO ME, I'M EMBARRASSED
TO SAY, ALMOST COMMON SENSE. IT'S CONNECTING DOTS.
NOTHING RADICALLY NEW. BUT A GROWING CONVICTION IT'S
TIME TO DO IT. SO I HOPE YOU'LL FEEL THE SAME
SENSE AS I DO BUT WE'LL SEE HOW IT GOES.
LET ME BEGIN BY SAYING THAT BOTH PERSONALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY
IT'S BEEN A SEASON OF LOSS FOR ME AND FOR ME OF MY FRIENDS.
BUDDY HUFFAKER FROM THE LEOPOLD FOUNDATION THIS MORNING I THINK
PRESENTED A LITTLE TRIBUTE TO OUR FRIEND NINA LEOPOLD BRADLEY
WE LOST IN MAY. MANY OF YOU WILL KNOW HER AS THE
PRIME CARRIER OF THE LEOPOLD TRADITION.
THERE HAVE BEEN OTHERS WE'VE LOST IN OUR CIRCLES.
SO THERE'S A DEEP SENSE OF THE TORCH BEING PASSED AND AN
OBLIGATION TO PREPARE THE NEXT GENERATION AS BEST WE CAN.
SO WE LIVE IN HARD TIMES. HARD ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL AND
ENVIRONMENTAL AND POLITICAL REALITIES.
BUT AMID THAT HARD TIME AND WITH THESE LAWS -- LOSSES IN MIND, I
WANT TO SAY IT'S NOT A TIME TO SHRINK OR BE TIMID IN OUR
THINKING. IT'S A TIME TO BE BOLD, IT'S A
TIME TO THINK BIG PICTURE AND LONG TERM.
IT'S TIME TO MAKE CONNECTIONS AND OVERCOME CYNICISM.
SOME OF YOU FROM OUTSIDE WISCONSIN MAY KNOW THAT WE HAVE
BEEN A BIT OF A CIVICS LESSON IN THIS STATE IN RECENT MONTHS.
SO I MIGHT SAY, TOO, AS A CITIZEN OF WISCONSIN IT IS ALSO
TIME TO RECLAIM COMMITMENT IN POLITICAL TERMS TO THE GENERAL
WELFARE, THE COMMON GOOD AND THE PUBLIC INTEREST.
I'LL SAY IT AGAIN, IT'S TIME TO RECLAIM COMMITMENT TO THE
GENERAL WELFARE, THE COMMON GOOD AND THE PUBLIC INTEREST.
YOU JUST HEARD DOUGLAS BRINKLEY HOLD FORTH FOR AN HOUR ONE OF
THE GREAT CHAMPIONS OF OUR HISTORY WHO MADE THAT POINT, AND
WE ARE ALL BENEFICIARIES OF IT. IN CONSERVATION TERMS, IT'S TIME
TO REASSERT OUR OBLIGATIONS TO FUTURE GENERATIONS AND TO OUR
HUMAN AND NATURAL COMMUNITIES. SO WITH THAT LITTLE EDITORIAL
OUT OF THE WAY, HERE'S WHAT I'M GOING TO DO.
I'M GOING TO SET THE STAGE. I'M GOING TO SHOW YOU SOME
IMAGES FROM THE MAKING OF GREEN FIRE THE FILM OF LEOPOLD PEOPLE
AND PLACES TO SET THE STAGE. I'LL THEN TURN TO A LITTLE
BACKGROUND AND COME INTO FOCUS ON THIS THEME OF WHAT I'M TAKING
TO CALLING ACROSS THE LANDSCAPE CONSERVATION.
I'M SURE WE ALL HAVE DIFFERENT WAYS OF PHRASING THAT BUT YOU'LL
SEE A LOT OF RESIDENTS WITH THINGS -- RESONANCE WITH THINGS
YOU'RE WORKING ON. THEN A LITTLE CONTEXT ON THE
REALITY OF OUR RELATIONSHIP IN OUR WORLD AND THE DAUNTING
CHALLENGES WE FACE. I'M GOING TO LAY OUT A LITTLE
FRAMEWORK FOR EXPLORING CONSERVATION CONNECTIONS IN OUR
LANDSCAPES AND THE RELATIONSHIP TO SUSTAINABILITY AND THEN SOME
CONCLUDING THOUGHTS. I DO WANT TO LEAVE AS MUCH TIME
FOR COMMENTARY AT THE END AS POSSIBLE BECAUSE I REALLY DO
VALUE SOME FEEDBACK ON WHAT WE'RE GOING TO SHOW HERE.
THE FILM GREEN FIRE HAS TAKEN US ALL BY SURPRISE IN A SENSE WITH
THE WONDERFUL RECEPTION IT HAD IN THE SPRING AND WE'RE LOOKING
AT A VERY, VERY BUSY YEAR AHEAD, THE SUMMER AND YEAR AHEAD AFTER
THAT, STARTING IN THE FALL. I'LL MAKE A LONG STORY SHORT BY
SAYING I ENDED UP BEING THE NAY IT OR ON SCREEN AND GUIDE FOR
THIS FILM. THERE'S A GOOD LONG STORY ABOUT
WHY I DIDN'T WANT TO DO, WHICH I'LL SPARE YOU RIGHT NOW, BUT
IN -- I DID GET DRAFTED INTO THAT ROLE.
I MADE IT CLEAR I HAD A CERTAIN DESIRE TO PUSH THE THEMATIC
ENVELOPE WITH THE FILM. BUT BEFORE I SAY MORE ABOUT
THAT, LET ME SHOW YOU SOME SCENES FROM THE MAKING OF THE
FILM AND IF YOU DO HAVE CHANCE TO SEE THE FILM OR HAVE ALREADY
YOU WILL RECOGNIZE THESE FACES AND PLACES.
WE'RE GOING TO START, AND YOU'LL SEE A LOT OF THE FILM TEAM IN
THESE PICTURES BECAUSE WHILE I WAS HANGING AROUND WAITING FOR
THEM TO GET SET UP I WOULD SIT THERE WITH MY CAMERA AND
DOCUMENT THEM. HERE WE ARE ON THE EDGES OF THE
GILA WILDERNESS ON THE GILA NATIONAL FOREST.
YOU SEE THE NATIONAL FOREST WILDERNESS SIGN THERE.
HERE ARE SUSAN AND DON FROM THE FOREST SERVICE AT THE SITE OF
THE GREEN FIRE SHOOTING INCIDENT THAT LEOPOLD RECORDED IN THE
ESSAY "THINKING LIKE A MOUNTAIN."
THIS REMOTE AREA WAS JUST OVERTAKEN BY THE BIG WALLOW FIRE
IN EASTERN ARIZONA YOU NO DOUBT HEARD ABOUT.
HERE IS THE ORIGINALLY CO-WARRIOR HIMSELF, DAVE FOREMAN
THE FOUNDER OF EARTH FIRST, THE PASSIONATE CHAMPION OF ALL
THINGS WILD. HERE'S ANOTHER LANDSCAPE WE
VISITED. THIS IS THE CARRIZO VALLEY
RANCH. THIS IS IN CENTRAL NEW MEXICO.
THERE'S OUR FRIEND SID WITH HIS RANCH THAT HE HAS WORKED SO
PASSIONATELY TO RESTORE. THIS IS PRIVATE LAND.
THIS IS WORKING LAND. THIS IS A RANCH.
SAME THING WITH THE GREAT EXPANSE OF THE MALAPAI
BORDERLANDS. OUR FRIEND BILL, YOUR GOOD
COLLEAGUE, WHO HAS BEEN SUCH A KEY PARTNER ON THE BORDERLANDS.
THERE'S THE MALPAI RANCH SIGN. ANOTHER RANCHER FRIEND,
CONSERVATIONIST, BIG MCDONALD, THE LEADER OF THE MALPAI BORDER
LAND. I COULDN'T DO THIS PRESENTATION
WITHOUT INCLUDING AT LEAST ONE PICTURE FROM THE BOSQUE DELL
APACHE. THAT STRETCH OF THE RIO GRANDE
THAT WAS SUCH A KEY PART OF THE ALDO LEOPOLD'S LIFE AND
LANDSCAPE. THERE ARE.
I DON'T KNOW IF CATHY IS IN THE ROOM BUT THANK YOU FOR BEING THE
CARETAKER DOWN THERE. AND THEN UP IN OUR COUNTRY,
ANOTHER PIECE OF WORKING LAND, WILDLAND LANDSCAPE.
THIS IS THE ALDO LEOPOLD MEMORIAL RESERVE PROPERTY AND
THE IMPORTANT BIRD AREA. CURRENT IS HERE.
I HAVE A OTHER LAUGH CARETAKERS IN THE ROOM HERE WHO HAVE HELPED
DEVELOP THE CONSERVATION AREAS THAT WERE KEY IN LEOPOLD'S LIFE.
THE WISCONSIN RIVER THAT GOES FROM OUR WILD NORTH TO OUR
AGRICULTURAL SOUTH AND GOES INTO THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER.
ALONG THERE IS OUR FRIEND GEORGE ARCHIBALD.
MANY OF YOU WILL KNOW HIM FROM HIS WORK WITH THE INTERNATIONAL
CRANE FOUNDATION AND THE WORK TO BRING BACK THE WHOOPERS AND
SANDHILL CRANES. GEORGE IS IN THE FILM.
AND ALONG THE WISCONSIN RIVER THE ICONIC SHACK OF LEOPOLD AND
OUR DEAR FRIEND NINA LEOPOLD. I DIDN'T KNOW IF I WOULD SHOW
THIS PICTURE BECAUSE IT SHOWS ONE OF HER FAVORITE HOBBIES.
BUT THEN I THOUGHT NINA WOULD LOVE THIS.
ABOUT THIS TIME OF DAY SHE WOULD SAY, CURT, ARE YOU GOING TO COME
OVER AND HAVE A GLASS OF WINE? THE FARMS OF WESTERN WISCONSIN
ALONG THE UPPER MISSISSIPPI NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE.
THIS IS COON VALLEY, ANOTHER IMPORTANT LANDSCAPE IN ALDO
LEOPOLD'S LIFE. YOU'LL HEAR THE STORY OF THAT IN
THE FILM, THIS IMPORTANT WATERSHED HISTORICALLY WITH THE
BEAUTIFUL FARMS OF WESTERN WISCONSIN, INCLUDING THE AIM
ISSUE. THERE'S OUR FRIEND PAUL JOHNSON
WHO SOME OF YOU WILL REMEMBER AS CHIEF OF THE NRCS IN THE
1990S, A FARMER HIMSELF. SO WE EXPLORED THE WORKING LANDS
AND THE SMALL TOWNS. THIS IS THE SMALL TOWN OF COON
VALLEY, WISCONSIN. YOU DON'T SEE THE TOWN HERE BUT
THIS IS OUR FRIEND GARY AND PETER, JUST DOWNSLOPE IS THE
LITTLE TOWN OF FACETON VERMONT. WE WENT FROM THERE TO EVEN
SUBURBAN LANDSCAPES. YOU CAN HARDLY SEE THE
DEVELOPMENT IN THE BACKGROUND THERE, BUT THIS IS PRAIRIE GROVE
IN THE OUTSKIRTS OF CHICAGO, ONE OF THE VOLUNTEERS DOING
RESTORATION OF THE PRAIRIES THERE.
OR THE LIBERTY PRAIRIE RESERVE IN THE NORTH SUBURBS OF CHICAGO,
HOME TO AMONG OTHER THINGS THIS VERY INNOVATIVE HOUSING
DEVELOPMENT CALLED PRAIRIE CROSSING, A WHOLE NEW PARADIGM
OF HOW TO DEVELOP LAND IN A MORE SENSITIVE WAY.
WE VISITED CITIES LIKE BURLING TON, IOWA, ALDO LEOPOLD'S
HOMETOWN ON THE MISSISSIPPI. AND LOCAL EXPERT THERE OUR
FRIEND STEVEN BROWER, HISTORIAN. ANOTHER IMPORTANT CITY IN
LEOPOLD'S LIFE, SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO.
WHERE ALDO LEOPOLD'S WIFE WAS BORN AND RAISED.
THERE WE ARE RIGHT NOW, MADISON, WISCONSIN.
AN IMPORTANT CITY IN ALDO LEOPOLD'S LIFE AND WORK.
THERE'S THE MONONA TERRACE RIGHT THERE AT THE BOTTOM.
AND OUR FORMER I AM SAD TO SAY, MAYOR, MAYOR DAVE, WHO WAS SUCH
A WONDERFUL CHAMPION OF URBAN CONSERVATION WORK HERE IN
MADISON AND HOME, OF COURSE, TO ONE OF THE GREAT FARMERS MARKETS
IF YOU'RE AROUND ON SATURDAY BE SURE TO TAKE IT, THE LARGEST IN
THE COUNTRY. IF YOU'RE HERE TOMORROW YOU CAN
WALK OUTSIDE THE DOOR AND THERE WILL BE THE MINI-VERSION ON
WEDNESDAY. MILWAUKEE, WE FILMED IN
MILWAUKEE, ONE OF THE GREAT EXPERIMENTS IN URBAN AL CULTURE
IN FARMING LED BY THE WONDERFULLY AMAZING BY WILL
ALLEN. CHICAGO.
CHICAGO PLAYS A KEY ROLE IN THE FILM.
CHICAGO AND JOHN ROGNER IS SITTING HERE, WHO DID SO MUCH TO
MAKE CHICAGO AN EXEMPLAR TO THE WORLD OF COLLABORATIVE
CONSERVATION IN THE LARGE YOU ARE BURN SETTING WITH THE WORK
OF CHILL WILDERNESS. WE TELL STORIES LIKE THIS PLACE
HERE ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF CHICAGO, A LITTLE PLACE CALLED
THE EDEN PLACE NATURE CENTER WITH ITS REMARKABLE SPOKESMAN
MICHAEL HOWARD, A GREAT FELLOW WHO HAS DONE SO MUCH TO SHOW
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU TAKE A LITTLE PIECE OF LAND AND MAKE IT
SPECIAL. ONE LAST ONE I'LL SHOW.
WE DID A LITTLE BIT OF FILMING OUT ON THE OCEAN.
THIS IS LONG ISLAND SOUND, AND THAT'S OUR FRIEND CARL.
I HOPE SOME OF YOU HAVE READ SOME OF CARL'S BOOKS ABOUT
MARINE CONSERVATION. A FANTASTIC RIGHT WRITER.
HAS DONE SO MUCH TO RAISE AWARENESS OF THE PROBLEMS FACING
THE OCEANS. SINCE I HAD THE OCEANS, I HAD TO
REINCLUDE THIS PICTURE FROM THE MALPAI BORDERLANDS TO REMIND US
NOT JUST ABOUT THE OCEANS BELOW BUT THE ATMOSPHERE ABOVE.
SO THAT ENDS THE SNEAK PREVIEW. COME TOMORROW NIGHT TO SEE ALL
THESE PEOPLE IN ACTION. BUT MY MAIN POINT IN SHOWING ALL
THESE SLIDES IS TO POSE THE ESSENTIAL QUESTION: WHAT IS IT
THAT CONNECTS THESE PEOPLE AND PLACES, THE DIVERSITY OF PEOPLE
AND PLACES THAT WE TRIED TO WEAVE TOGETHER IN THIS FILM?
WHAT CONNECTS THEM? IT'S A QUESTION WE ASKED
OURSELVES AS WE WERE PREPARING IT, BUT IT ALSO GETS TO THE
LARGER QUESTION OF THE LECTURE, AND IT BECOMES A BASIS FOR THE
REST OF THE PRESENTATION. WHAT CONNECTS US?
WHAT CONNECTS US ACROSS LANDSCAPES AND BRINGS US
TOGETHER AROUND THESE IDEAS GROWING OUT OF OUR HISTORY AND
LOOKING TOGETHER INTO THE FUTURE?
WHAT CONNECTS US? THAT QUESTION HAS LONG BEEN ON
MY MIND, LONG BEFORE THIS FILM PROJECT FORCED IT TO THE
FOREFRONT. AND IN TRYING TO ANSWER IT I
FOUND MYSELF RETURNING TO A SINGULAR FACT ABOUT ALDO
LEOPOLD. ALDO LEOPOLD IS THE ONLY FIGURE
IN OUR CONSERVATION HISTORY TO HAVE BOTH A WILDERNESS AREA AND
RESEARCH INSTITUTE NAMED AFTER HIM AND ALSO TO HAVE A CENTER
FOR SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE NAMED AFTER HIM.
SO HE IS, OF COURSE, WELL-KNOWN FOR HIS WORK AS A WILDERNESS
ADVOCATE, PARTICULARLY HIS ROLE IN ESTABLISHING THE VERY FIRST
FEDERALLY PROTECTED WILDERNESS AREA, THE GILA, AND ONE COULD DO
AN ENTIRE LECTURE, WRITE AN ENTIRE BOOK ON ALDO LEOPOLD'S
WILDERNESS ADVOCACY. IT'S ENTIRELY APPROPRIATE GIVEN
LEOPOLD'S LIFELONG INTEREST IN ADVOCACY, HIS ROLE AS A WRITER
CONSTANTLY MAKING THE CASE EVOLVING IN HIS OWN IDEAS ABOUT
THE VALUE OF WILDERNESS. IT WAS A LIFELONG PASSION AND
COMMITMENT. AND, OF COURSE, LONG-TIME ACTION
ITEM, TOO AS HERE HE BANDED TOGETHER WITH THE OTHER FOUNDERS
OF THE WILDERNESS SOCIETY. BUT ONE CAN SAY THE SAME THING
ABOUT AGRICULTURE. A LITTLE SCENE FROM IOWA, ALDO
LEOPOLD'S NATIVE STATE, HOME TO THE LEOPOLD CENTER FOR
SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE AT IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY.
SO THIS, TOO, IS A PART OF ALDO LEOPOLD'S LIFELONG PASSION IN --
AS A CONSERVATIONIST. IT'S ENTIRELY APPROPRIATE GIVEN
THAT LIFELONG INTEREST, HIS ADVOCACY OF WISER WAYS OF TAKING
CARE OF PRIVATE LANDS AND, QUOTE, WORKING LANDSCAPES.
AGAIN, YOU CAN FIND THE LONG PAPER TRAIL OF LEOPOLD'S OWN
CHANGING VIEWS AND PRIORITIES. AND I THOUGHT I WOULD ADD --
BEFORE I DO THAT, ONE OF MY FAVORITE PHOTOS OF ALDO LEOPOLD
TALKING WITH FARMERS IS TAKEN ABOUT 15 MILES OUT OF MADISON IN
THE 1930S. LET'S REMEMBER THE OTHER PART OF
THE LANDSCAPE, THE CITIES. REMEMBER, HE WAS LIVING AND
WORKING RIGHT HERE IN MADISON, WISCONSIN, RIGHT HERE IN THIS
CITY, THAT'S HIS HOUSE ABOUT A MILE FROM HERE.
THAT'S HOW MADISON LOOKED IN LEOPOLD'S DAY BACK IN THE
1930S. THAT'S THE CAMPUS OF THE
UNIVERSITY LOOKING TOWARD THE CAPITAL.
AND HIS MARK IS STRONG HERE AS WELL ABOUT THAT I HOPE SOME OF
YOU MIGHT HAVE A CHANCE TO GO DOWN THE ROAD AND VISIT THE
UNIVERSITY'S ARBORETUM, RENOWNED AS THE BIRTHPLACE OF RESTORATION
THROUGH LEOPOLD'S WORK WITH MANY COLLEAGUES OVER MANY YEARS, THE
PRAIRIE RESTORATION SHOULD BE IN BEAUTIFUL BLOOM RIGHT NOW.
HOPE YOU CAN GET OUT THERE. SO, WHAT TO MAKE OF THIS FACT
THAT LEOPOLD'S LEGACY, THAT IT EXTENDS ACROSS THE LANDSCAPE
FROM THE MOST REMOTE WILDLANDS TO WORKING FARMS AND RANCHES AND
EVEN TUTOR BUN LANDSCAPE? IT'S ONE OF THE DIMENSIONS OF
LEOPOLD THAT ATTRACTED ME AS BOTH THE SCHOLAR, HISTORIAN AND
AS A CONSERVATION BIOLOGIST THAT THE LAND ETHIC LEOPOLD PROPOSED
DID NOT AS I'VE SAID DID NOT DO TRIAGE WITH LAND.
LEOPOLD DID NOT SAY THIS PLACE IS WORTH CARING ABOUT AND THAT
PLACE IS NOT WORTH CARING ABOUT. THE CONSERVATION VISION HE
SUGGESTED AND RECOMMENDED TO US WOULD AND SHOULD, AS I SOMETIMES
PUT IT, LEAVE NO ACRE BEHIND. BUT I BEGAN TO FOCUS MORE
SERIOUSLY ON THE THEME OVER THE LAST DECADE, BEGAN, I SUPPOSE
ABOUT THE TIME I GAVE -- ACTUALLY PREDATED THIS WORK FOR
THE QUIVIRA COALITION. LET ME READ ABOUT A FARMER
FRIEND OF MINE. I WON'T GO INTO THE LONG STORY
ABOUT WHY WE WERE IN MEETINGS TOGETHER.
WE WERE ARGUING IN OUR COMMUNITY OVER THE CLOSING OF A -- THE
CLOSING OF A MILITARY FACILITY ADD ONE TIME WE BROUGHT TOGETHER
A WORKSHOP OF FARMERS TO TALK ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THIS
LANDSCAPE, FARMERS ALONG WITH SCIENTISTS AND EDUCATORS COULD
PERHAPS BUILD A SHARED VISION FOR THE FUTURE.
SO MY FRIEND MARSHA, MARRIED TO A FIFTH GENERATION DAIRY FARMER
JUST DOWN THE ROAD FROM WHERE I LIVE NOW, HAD THIS COMMENT AT
THAT WORKSHOP. ", BEFORE I START, I WOULD JUST
LIKE TO SAY ONE THING ABOUT THESE ENVIRONMENTALISTS.
PEOPLE CALL THEM TREE HUGGERS AND DISMISS THEM BUT THEY ARE SO
INTERESTED IN YOUR FARM AND IN YOUR WORK AND SO EAGER TO TALK.
WE NEED TO KEEP WORKING TOGETHER.
EYEBROWS LIFTED AND JAWS DROPPED IN THE ROOM WHEN MARSHA SAID
THAT. LET ME JUST READ A COUPLE
PARAGRAPHS FROM SOMETHING I WROTE ABOUT THIS.
THAT SUCH STATEMENTS SHOULD MEET WITH ASTONISHMENT IS AN
INDICATOR OF THE IMMENSE CHALLENGE OF ALL WHO CARE ABOUT
LAND AND ITS CONSERVATION. FOR DECADES WEDGES HAVE BEEN
DRIVEN DEEP BETWEEN ENVIRONMENTALISTS AND FARMERS,
RANCHERS AND OTHER RURAL LANDOWNERS.
SOME LIKE SPLINTERS HAVE SLOWLY, QUIETLY WORKED THEIR WAY INTO
THE BODY POLITIC AS SOCIAL ECONOMIC, POLITICAL AND
ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS HAVE GRADUALLY CHANGED.
SOME INDICATE REAL TENSIONS BETWEEN THE PUBLIC AND PRIVATE
INTERESTS WITH THE MOMENTUM BEHIND CONFRONTATION
OVERWHELMING THE NEED FOR CONSENSUS.
SOME OF THE WEDGES REFLECT A FAILURE TO RECOGNIZE THE
DIFFERENCES. STILL OTHERS HAVE BEEN
DRIVEN IMPURPOSELY AND CYNICALLY BY THOSE WITH POLITICAL POINTS
TO SCORE, THE DEMONS OF POLITICAL DISCOURSE,
STEREOTYPES, SCARE TACTICS, POLARIZATION HAVE HAD A FIELD
DAY AND AS ALWAYS THE AMERICAN LANDSCAPE BEARS THE BRUNT AND
THE SCARS OF THE STRUGGLE. THE MOST TRAGIC CONFLICT IN THE
HISTORY OF CONSERVATION WENDEL BERRY AS WRITTEN IS THAT BETWEEN
THE FARMERS AND RANCHERS. IT'S TRAGIC BECAUSE IT'S
UNNECESSARY. THERE IS NO EAR RESOLVABLE
CONFLICT HERE. THE CONFLICT THAT EXISTS CAN BE
RESOLVED ONLY ON THE BASIS OF COMMON UNDERSTANDING OF GOOD
PRACTICES. SO THAT THEME GOT BUILT INTO A
PRESENTATION THAT MY FRIEND RICK KNIGHT, I KNOW SOME OF YOU KNOW
RICK, PUT TOGETHER FOR THE QUIVIRA COALITION WHICH HAS DONE
YEOMAN'S WORK IN THE SOUTHWEST OF BRINGING RANCHERS AND
ENVIRONMENTALISTS TOGETHER, AND IT REFLECTS SOME REALITIES
THAT ARE OUT THERE, THE EVERGROWING PROPORTION OF OUR
FELL OPEN CITIZENS WHO LIVE IN CITIES.
HERE'S ONE DEPICTION. HERE'S ANOTHER.
WE CROSSED OVER A DIVIDE BACK 80 YEARS AGO, 90 YEARS AGO, WHEN
AMERICANS BECOME MORE URBAN THAN RURAL, WHAT THAT MEANT FOR THE
WAY CONSERVATION AND LATER ENVIRONMENTALISM PLAYED OUT IS A
THEME NOT MUCH DISCUSSED BUT THAT WE ALL LIVE AMID.
A LOT OF WRITINGS OVER THE LAST DECADE HAVE REFLECTED RETHINKING
IN CONSERVATION ABOUT LANDSCAPE CONNECTIVITY, THE NECESSITY AT
WORKING AT DIFFERENT SCALES, THE SOCIAL AND CULTURAL DIMENSIONS,
THE CONSERVATION, GROWING CONCERNS LIKE CLIMATE CHANGE AND
FOOD SECURITY, EMERGING CONCEPTS LIKE RESILIENCE OR ECOSYSTEM
SERVICES OR COMMUNITY-BASED CONSERVATION.
SO A LOT IS FEEDING INTO THE REFRAMING OF OUR APPROACH AND
UNDERSTANDING OF LANDSCAPE SCALE CONSERVATION.
AT THE SAME TIME, THERE'S BEEN A GREAT SHIFT IN OUR UNDERSTANDING
OF THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE OF HUMAN IMPACTS ON THE
LANDSCAPE AND ON THE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT.
I KNOW SOME OF YOU MUST BE FAMILIAR WITH AT LEAST SOME OF
THESE BOOKS. RECASTING THE WAY WE THINK ABOUT
HOW WE GOT TO THE WHERE WE ARE, LITERALLY WHERE WE ARE.
AND THROUGH ALL OF THIS, I CERTAINLY HAVE BEEN RETURNING
AGAIN AND AGAIN TO THAT URBAN RURAL DIVIDE THEME.
BUT RETHINKING IT IN NEW WAYS AS OTHERS HAVE DONE.
HERE'S ONE EXAMPLE OF IT. COMES OUT OF A STUDY, ACTUALLY A
PROJECT OF THE WILDLIFE CONSERVATION SOCIETY, WHICH DOUG
BRINKLEY MENTIONED, FOUNDED BY TEDDY ROOSEVELT IN PART, BUT
THEY UNDERTOOK THIS PROJECT CALLED THE HUMAN FOOTPRINT BACK
IN 2006. YOU'LL SEE DOWN AT THE BOTTOM
HERE, THERE IS THE SPECTRUM FROM THE WILD TUTOR BUN IN THIS MAP
AND THEY DID THIS FOR THE GLOBAL SCALE, TOO.
SHOWS DEGREES OF WILDNESS AND URBANNESS IN OUR LANDSCAPES.
IT'S NOT A SIMPLE DIVIDE IS IT? THERE'S A LOT OF COLOR, A LOT OF
DEGREES IN THIS. LATELY THERE HAS BEEN A MORE
SOPHISTICATED APPROACH TO THINKING ABOUT THE BUN-RURAL
DIVIDE ON OUR LANDSCAPE. THIS IS ONE LED BY A FELLOW
NAMED EARL ELLIS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND WHO HAS
DEVELOPED, ALONG WITH COLLEAGUES, A MUCH MORE
SOPHISTICATED ANALYSES OF THE SPECTRUM FROM THE WILD ALL THE
WAY TUTOR BUN AS YOU CAN SEE HERE IN -- DOING IT ON A GLOBAL
SCALE. I REALLY RECOMMEND YOU LOOK AT
HIS WEB SITE IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE THIS IN GREATER DETAIL.
BOILING DOWN WHAT IS REALLY A FASCINATING APPROACH THAT HE AND
OTHERS HAVE TAKEN. THIS IS FROM ONE OF THEIR LATEST
PUBLICATIONS SHOWING AGAIN OVER 300 YEARS THE GRADUAL LOSS OF
THE WILD DOWN TO ABOUT 22% BY HIS ANALYSIS AND REPLACEMENT
WITH THE SEMINATURAL AND, QUOTE, USED LANDS.
SO THESE FOLKS DOING THESE KIND OF ANALYSES ARE KEY CONTRIBUTORS
TO THE DEBATE OVER NOW WHAT IS BEING CALLED THE ANTHROPOCENE.
THIS MEETING WAS JUST HELD IN ENGLAND, BROUGHT TOGETHER SOME
LEADING ANALYSTS OF THIS PHENOMENON THINKING NOW THE
HUMAN IMPACT ON THE LANDSCAPE IS SO THOROUGH THAT IN FACT WE
QUALIFY AS NEW GEOLOGICAL EPIC. HERE'S WHERE IT ALL STARTED WITH
CHEMIST, THE NOBEL PRIZE WINNING CHEMIST PAUL CRUTZEN.
HE IS THE ONE THAT COINED THIS TERM.
ESPECIALLY THIS SPRING IT HAS BECOME A TOPIC OF DEBATE AND
CONVERSATION, THE AGE OF MAN. TWO YEARS AGO AT A SCIENTIFIC
CONFERENCE HE USED THE TERM AS DESCRIBING A RADICAL CHANGE IN
NATURE SAYING MAN'S INFLUENCE ON THE ENVIRONMENT WAS SO
OVERWHELMING IN FACT THIS NEW ERA HAS BEGUN.
HE DIDN'T EXPECT THIS WOULD BE WIDELY USED.
HE KIND OF USED IT AS AN OFFHAND COMMENT.
NOW IT SHOWS UP IN NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC.
THIS IS FROM THE MARCH ISSUE OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC.
THAT'S DO BY, I THINK. THERE IF YOU GO BACK TO YOUR
ISSUE SITTING SOMEWHERE ON YOURSELVES FROM MARCH, YOU WILL
I WILL SEE ELIZABETH KOLBERT WROTE AN ARTICLE IN NATIONAL
GEOGRAPHIC ON THIS THEME. IT EVEN SHOWED UP IN MAY IN THE
ECONOMIST AS A COVER STORY. IT'S ONE OF THOSE MOMENTS LIKE
WHEN COPERNICUS GRASPED THE EARTH MOVED AROUND THE SUN.
IT MEANS THINKING FRESH ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PEOPLE
AND THE WORLD AND ACTING ACCORDINGLY.
ALONG WITH THIS, OF COURSE, COME VERY COOL NEW GRAPHICS, SUCH AS
THIS SHOWING THE ANTHROPOGENIC PLANET.
OR THIS ONE. YOU CAN'T SEE ALL THOSE BUT
THESE ARE TRENDS, LIKE CARBON DIOXIDE CONCENTRATION,
POPULATIONS, DIFFERENT FACTORS THAT SHOW SPIKES THAT INDICATE
WE ARE IN FACT IN A DIFFERENT AGE.
THERE IS A LOT OF DEBATE GOING ON ABOUT THIS.
IN FACT "THE NEW YORK TIMES" HOST AN INTERESTING FORUM ON
THIS, AND THERE ARE INTERESTING THINGS AS A HISTORIAN I COULD
SAY. I WON'T DO THAT NOW.
REALLY RAISES FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS THE ROLE OF PEOPLE,
THE VALUE OF THE WILD, ABOUT WHAT THIS MEANS IN TERMS OF OUR,
QUOTE, MANAGEMENT OF THE PLANET AND SO FORTH.
IN ANY CASE, THE FACT THAT THERE IS, QUOTE, A GREAT ACCELERATION,
AS THE TEXT HERE SAYS GOING ON IN ALL THESE TRENDS DOES SAY
THAT WE LOVE IN A DIFFERENT AGE. AND I'LL SPARE YOU THE LITANY OF
WOE EXCEPT TO LIST THEM AS BULLET POINTS.
YOU HAVE ALL BEEN TO LECTURES. I'VE HAD TO DO A FEW OF THESE
LECTURES IN THE LAST FEW YEARS. YOU TALK ABOUT THE OVERWHELMING
SET OF ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES, AND YOU KNOW ESPECIALLY IF
YOU'RE DOING THIS TALK FOR STUDENTS HOW EYES GLAZE OVER.
WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE COMPOUNDING EFFECTS OF ALL THE THINGS THAT
ARE REALITIES IN OUR AGE OF MAN, THE ANTHROPOCEN.
I WON'T GO INTO THIS. I'LL LET YOU REFLECT ON THE
LITANY OF WOE FOR A MOMENT BEFORE WE TURN FORWARD AND ASK
THE QUESTION: WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN FOR US HUMBLE
CONSERVATIONISTS? AGAIN, I FIND MYSELF RETURNING
TO THAT THEME OF THE URBAN-RURAL DIVIDE.
SO HERE'S THE HEART AND SOUL OF MY LITTLE PRESENTATION.
I'LL JUST WALK YOU THROUGH THIS. THE FIRST STEP FORWARD REALLY IS
IN FACT TO RECOGNIZE THAT THE FRASER BUN-RURAL DIVIDE IS
INADEQUATE TO DESCRIBE THE REALITY OF DYNAMIC CHANGE AND
DEGREES OF CHANGE SO WE CAN MOVE AND START TO THINK IN OUR MOVING
FROM THE RURAL-URBAN DIVIDE TO MORE OF A LAND USE CONTINUUM,
FROM THE URBAN TO THE WILDLANDS. IT'S NOT A DIVIDE.
IT'S A CONTINUUM OR SPECTRUM FROM THE WILD TUTOR -- TO THE
URBAN THAT WE ARE CREATING AND THAT WE WILL PASS ON.
IT INCLUDES ALL KINDS OF OTHER CATEGORIES.
YOU HAVE SMALLER AND LARGER CITIES, RIGHT, SMALLER AND
LARGER TOWNS BUILT INTO THE LANDSCAPE.
SUBURBS ARE NOT UNIFORM. YOU'VE GOT THAT FIRST RING FROM
THE 20S, 30S, SECOND RING FROM THE 40S, 50S, AND THE
RING GOING OUT AS LONG AS THE COST OF GASOLINE COULD SUPPORT
THE LIFESTYLE. OUR RURAL LANDS ARE NOT ALL THE
SAME, THE QUOTE, WORKING LANDS, FARMS, RANCHES AND FORESTLANDS.
AND, OF COURSE, WILDLANDS ARE NOT UNIFORM EITHER.
THERE ARE MANY FORMS OF PROTECTED AREAS AND NATURAL
AREAS, AND THIS, OF COURSE, INCLUDING PROMINENTLY THE FOCUS
OF THIS CONFERENCE, THE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGES.
SO IT'S NOT A SIMPLE DIVIDE. IT'S A CONTINUUM, AND THERE ARE
TRENDS AND FEEDBACK LOOPS WITHIN THEM THIS IS WHERE THE HISTORIAN
HAS TO KICK IN, AND WHEN I DO MORE FULLY DEVELOPED VERSION OF
THIS LECTURE I'LL PLUG IN ALL THE NUMBERS OF THE TREND HERE,
BUT IN GENERAL TERMS WE CAN THINK ABOUT IN OUR OWN
LIFETIMES, OR THE LIFETIMES OF THE LAST, SAY -- SINCE WORLD WAR
II ESPECIALLY, THE MOVEMENT OUT OF CITIES INTO THE SUBURBS, AND
OUT OF THE SUBURBS INTO THE OTHER SUBURBS AND THE EXBURBS,
ENCROACHING ON THE WILDLANDS, FRAGMENTING THE LANDSCAPE,
SURROUNDING -- EVEN OUR MOST REMOTE AREAS WITH DEVELOPMENT.
THIS IS SORT OF WHAT WE ASSUME HAS BEEN THE NATURAL WAY OF
DEVELOPMENT. IT'S WHAT WE GREW UP WITH
WATCHING THE SUBDIVISIONS COME IN, OR WATCHING THE EXSURBS
SPRING UP ON THE HILLTOPS. WE'VE WATCHED THESE FEEDBACK
LOOPS GO ON AND ON AND ON SEEMINGLY WITHOUT ANY HINDRANCE.
WELL, THINGS HAVE BEGUN TO CHANGE, CERTAINLY WITH THE
HOUSING FORECLOSURE CRISIS. WE'VE BEEP GUN TO SEE CHANGES
HAPPENING. BUT LET ME READ YOU A LITTLE
PARAGRAPH I WROTE ON THIS ONCE, TOO, THAT KIND OF SUMMARIZES
THIS. TWO GENERATIONS OF POPULATION
GROWTH, EASY MOBILITY, INTENSIFIED RESOURCE MANAGEMENT,
WIDESPREAD DEVELOPMENT AND LAND FRAGMENTATION, INCREASING WEALTH
AND CONSUMPTION AND HARD ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS HAVE
UNDERMINED WHAT WAS ONCE A CONSENSUS: THE WILDERNESS ACT
PASSED WITH ONE DISSENTING VOTE IN CONGRESS.
RICHARD NIXON SIGNED ALL THOSE GREAT PIECES OF ENVIRONMENTAL
LEGISLATION. THAT CONSENSUS IS LOST.
IT WAS FRAGILE TO BEGIN WITH. SOAP IT IS MY, IN FACT, CASE
THAT WE NEED A COHERENT ACROSS THE LANDSCAPE VISION THAT
REACHES FROM THE INNERMOST CITY TO THE OUTER MOST WILDS AND THAT
RECOGNIZES THESE CONNECTIONS WITHIN THE ENTIRE LANDSCAPE.
HERE'S POINT... FOR TOO LONG THE FEEDBACK LOOPS HAVE ALL WRONG.
PEOPLE HAVE FLED FALTERING CITIES FOR THE NEXT RING OF
SUBURBS, THE SEMIWILD EXSURBS WHICH HAVE CONSUMED LAND WHICH
HAS FRAGMENTED LANDSCAPES, WHICH HAS TURNED EXPANSES OF OPEN
SPACE AND WILDLAND INTO INCREASINGLY ISOLATED AND
THREATENED ISLANDS. WE HAVE TO TURN THE DYNAMICS
AROUND AND TRANSFORM THOSE FEEDBACK LOOPS TO BUILD LAND
HEALTH RESILIENCE AND SUSTAINABILITY BACK INTO THE
LANDSCAPE. WE HAVE TO FIND A NEW WAY.
I ADDED A COUPLE NEW DIMENSIONS OF THIS -- TO THIS AFTER PLAYING
WITH IT TO TALK ABOUT THE TWO GREAT COMMONS WE ALL SHARE
WHEREVER WE ARE ON THE PLANET. SO THE ATMOSPHERE ABOVE US AND
THE OCEANS BELOW US. THE TWO GREAT COMMONS IN WHICH
WE ARE ALL INCREASINGLY CONCERNED AND WHICH WE ARE
ALWAYS AND ALWAYS WILL BE BOUNDED.
SO THE QUESTION NOW IS, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR OUR CONCEPTS
OF SUSTAINABILITY? I'M NOT THE BEST, GREATEST FAN
OF THE TERM SUSTAINABILITY, BUT I'LL USE IT FOR THE SAKE OF THIS
PARTICULAR PRESENTATION ANYWAY. SO JUST GOING TO FOCUS ON TWO
QUICK THEMES. ONE IS EMBEDDEDNESS.
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A SUSTAINABLE CITY OR SUBURB OR
SMALL TOWN OR FARM OR RANCH OR PROTECTED AREA OR NATIONAL
WILDLIFE REFUGE IN A LANDSCAPE THAT IT IS ITSELF UNSUSTAINABLE.
SO WE HAVE TO BE CONSIDERING THE ENTIRETY OF THE LANDSCAPE AND
I'M JUST GOING TO WALK THROUGH THESE A LITTLE MORE CAREFULLY
NOW AND TAKE THEM ONE BY ONE. WILDLANDS... THESE ARE PLACES
WHERE YOU PRIMARILY WORK, NOT ALL OF YOU, I UNDERSTAND, BUT
THIS IS WHAT WE THINK OF WHEN WE THINK OF THE REFUGE SYSTEM, OR
THE NATIONAL PARKS. I TOOK THIS PICTURE THAT SPRING
AFTER THE GREAT FIRES OF YELLOWSTONE IN 1988.
I JUST HAPPENED TO BE THERE THE FOLLOWING MARCH.
I TAKE -- I USE THIS PICTURE BECAUSE IT'S THE SIMPLEST ONE I
HAVE TO SAY, GEE LANDSCAPES HAVE PROCESSES.
AND THE YELLOWSTONE FIRES TAUGHT THAT LESSON TO A GENERATION.
BEGAN TO USHER IN THE UNDERSTANDING THAT NO PROTECTED
AREA IS STATIC. IT IS CONSTANTLY CHANGING AND
THE LANDSCAPE AROUND IT IS CONSTANTLY CHANGING, WHETHER
IT'S A HUGE PLACE LIKE YELLOWSTONE OR A SMALL NATURAL
AREA LIKE WE HAVE HERE IN WISCONSIN.
THE RURAL LANDSCAPE. WE'VE SEEN TRANSFORMATIONS.
HERE WE AGAIN BACK MALPAI BORDERLANDS, THE ANIMUS
MOUNTAINS. WE UNDERSTAND THAT PRIVATE
LANDOWNERS CAN SHARE THE VISION OF RESTORING AND PROTECTING
WILDNESS EVEN AS THEY'RE TRYING TO MAKE A LIVING ON THE LAND.
I'M RECOMMENDING A LOT OF BOOKS IN THIS TALK, ONE OF THEM BY OUR
BOOK NATHAN SAYER, WORKING WILDERNESS, THE TITLE ITSELF
CONVEYING THE LESSON. OR THINK OF THAT SMALL TOWN COON
VALLEY IN WESTERN WISCONSIN. IT'S AT THE HEART OF THE ORGANIC
MOVEMENT IN WISCONSIN. I CAN SHOW YOU A MAP OF OUR
CERTIFIED ORGANIC PRODUCERS, AND THERE'S A BIG SWATH OF THEM FROM
THE TWIN CITIES TO CHICAGO AND COON VALLEY AND THE DRIFTLESS
AREA OF WISCONSIN SIT RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF IT.
SO EVEN THE SUBURBS AND EX, SURBS ARE NOT WHAT WE THOUGHT
THEY WERE. HOW ARE WE GOING TO SUSTAIN
THESE PLACES WHERE HALF A MILLION AMERICANS LIVE.
THERE'S GOING TO BE A REVOLUTION HAPPENING IN OUR LIFETIME.
THERE'S GOING TO BE A SUBURBAN CONSERVATION MOVEMENT.
THERE HAS TO BE. GAS ISN'T GOING TO BE CHEAP.
THE WAY OF LIFE ISN'T GOING TO SUSTAIN ITSELF AND WE'RE GOING
TO HAVE TO, ALL OF US, RETHINK WHAT WE HAVE CREATED OVER THE
LAST 60 YEARS. THAT'S WHERE, AGAIN, PLACES LIKE
PRAIRIE CROSSING THAT I MENTIONED EARLIER ARE TRYING
PROVIDE AT LEAST MODELS, EXPERIMENTS, OF NEW WAYS TO
ORGANIZE OURS SELF ON THE LAND. THERE ARE MANY OTHERS.
THAT PLACE HAS GOTTEN A PARTICULAR AMOUNT OF ATTENTION.
BUT IT'S INSPIRED MANY OTHERS. THEN ON THE URBAN END OF THE
SPECTRUM, I KNOW THAT MANY OF YOU WORK PRIMARILY IN URBAN
AREAS, AND WE ARE SEEING AN EXPLOSION IN CREATIVE ENERGY ON
THE URBAN END OF THE SPECTRUM. SO, WE CAN AGAIN TAKE PLACES
LIKE CHICAGO WHICH HAVE PROVIDED AN EXAMPLE OF HOW TO COORDINATE
CONSERVATION IN LARGER BUN -- EVEN THE LARGEST URBAN AREAS.
SO WE FILMED IN CHICAGO, AS I MENTIONED BEFORE.
OF COURSE, THE ICONIC PLACES LIKE GRANT PARK AND MILLENNIUM
PARK. BUT THERE ARE FASCINATING THINGS
GOING ON, ANOTHER THING OUR FRIEND JOHN HERE AS HELPED BRING
TO THE FOREGROUND. ANALYSIS OF GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE
THAT TAKES INTO ACCOUNT MANY FACTORS, MANY LAYERS OF DATA, I
KNOW, BECAUSE I CONTRIBUTED A COUPLE OF THEM.
WENT INTO THE CREATION OF THIS VISION LIKE ANY MAP IT'S BEST
ATTRIBUTE IS IT PROVOKES CONVERSATION.
IT DRAWS PEOPLE. YOU LOOK AT IT AND YOU JUST WANT
TO TALK ABOUT IT. YOU WANT TO THINK ABOUT IT.
YOU WANT TO SHARE IT WITH OTHERS.
THAT'S WHAT A GOOD MAP DOES. IN URBAN AREAS WE'RE OF COURSE
SEEING A GREAT EXPLOSION OF INTEREST IN GETTING YOUNG PEOPLE
INVOLVED. LOTS OF WONDERFUL RESTORATIONS.
THIS HAPPENS TO BE IN ALBUQUERQUE ALONG THE
RIO GRANDE. A LITTLE RESTORATION PROJECT
DOWN THERE. AND EVEN IN OUR MOST BLIGHTED
NEIGHBORHOODS, DETROIT OF ALL CITIES, HAS BECOME PERHAPSN'T
GREATEST EXAMPLE OF PEOPLE TAKING CREATIVE ENERGY AND
APPLYING IT TO PLACES THAT HAVE BEEN IGNORED, NEGLECTED AND
FORGOTTEN. HERE'S ANOTHER EXAMPLE ON THE
OUTSKIRTS OF CHICAGO. THESE ARE THINGS I'M PULLING
RANDOMLY OUT OF SOME OF MY OWN WORK IN THE RECENT MONTHS.
I WAS VISITING WITH THESE FOLKS TO SHOW THE FILM TWO MONTHS AGO
AND HAPPENED TO BE THE SAME DAY THEY WERE HOSTING SUSTAINABLE
CITIES. THIS IS A SMALL TOWN OUTSIDE THE
TOWN OF CHICAGO. HERE'S A SUMMARY OF ALL OF THIS.
THERE ARE A LOT OF DOTS TO CONNECT, AND ALL OF US HAVE TO
START CONNECTING THEM. SO HERE ARE SOME JUST RANDOM
CONCEPTS, PHRASES, EVEN, THAT HELP US TO SEE WHAT'S GOING ON
OUT THERE. SO IN THE CITIES AGAIN WE HAVE A
WHOLE MOVEMENT, WHETHER IT'S THE NEW URBANISM MOVEMENT AMONG
ARCHITECTS AND PLANNERS, THE URBAN AGRICULTURE MOVEMENT THAT
WILL ALLEN AND OTHERS ALL ACROSS, ESPECIALLY THE
INDUSTRIAL MIDWEST, HAS BEEN A STRONG PUSH FOR THIS.
THE PUSH FOR GREEN JOBS AND GREEN DESIGN.
IN THOSE SPRAWLING SUBURBAN AREAS HOW DO WE RETROFIT THE
SUB SERBS. I WENT GHOUL YOU WILLING ONE DAY
AND THOUSANDTH TERM POPPING UP, AGRI. BURBIA.
THEY COPYRIGHTED THAT WORD SOMEWHERE OUT IN COLORADO.
SO I GUESS THERE IS MONEY TO BE MADE ON THIS.
IN OUR WORKING LANDSCAPES ALL OF US HAVE WATCHED OVER OUR CAREERS
AND LIFETIMES THE EMERGENCE OF SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURAL, FOR
TREE AND RANCHING MODELS, THE INCREDIBLE GROWTH OF THE ORGANIC
FOOD MOVEMENT, LAND TRUSTS, OPEN SPACE PROTECTION.
CHANGING THE WAY WE THINK ABOUT HOST LANDSCAPES WE IN HABIT BUT
THAT WE ALSO SEEK TO CONSERVE. AGAIN MORE ON THE PROTECTED
AREAS, WILDLANDS, AND OF THE THINGS -- THE REVOLUTION OVER
THE LAST 20 YEARS OF THINKING ABOUT LANDSCAPE LEVEL PLANNING,
ALL THE THINGS THAT CONSERVATION BIOLOGY AND LANDSCAPE ECOLOGY
HAVE BROUGHT TO THE FORE THAT YOU'RE FAMILIAR WITH IN THE WAY
THAT YOU ARE -- YOUR PEOPLE WHO HAVE PRECEDED YOU IN THE
AGENCIES DID NOT KNOW. WE HAVE COME A LONG WAY.
BUT WE NEED TO THINK ABOUT HOW WE'VE CONNECTED THOSE DOTS AND
WE NEED TO BE, I THINK, ENCOURAGED BY IT.
WE MAY NOT HAVE SOLVED THE PROBLEMS BUT AT LEAST WE'RE
THINKING IN THE WAY THAT IS NECESSARY TO SOLVING THE
PROBLEMS. AND WE HAVE THESE ACROSS THE
LANDSCAPE CONCEPTS THAT WE ARE ALL FAMILIAR WITH, EVEN AS WE
STRUGGLE TO DEFINE THEM AND IMPLEMENT THEM AND TEACH THEM TO
OUR FELLOW CITIZENS. SO, ANOTHER OF MY LITTLE
PRINCIPLES THAT COMES OUT OF THIS APPROACH IS TO SAY THAT --
REDEFINING EVEN THE TERM SUSTAINABILITY, THAT IT'S
SUSTAINABLE WHEN IT CONTRIBUTES TO HEALTHIER MORE RESILIENT
CONNECTIONS ACROSS THE LANDSCAPE.
IF IT UNDERMINES HEALTHY CONNECTIONS, IT'S NOT
SUSTAINABLE. SO, WHAT CONNECTS US?
WHAT CONNECTS US ACROSS THE LANDSCAPE?
YOU CAN THINK OF IT ON YOUR OWN TERMS.
SOME OF THEM ARE OBVIOUS. SOME LESS SO.
SOME ARE MORE TANGIBLE THAN OTHERS.
CERTAINLY MIGRATION ROUTES CONNECT US ACROSS LANDSCAPES.
I HAD TO INCLUDE A FEW CRANE SHOTS, OF COURSE.
MIGRATION ROOTS CONNECT US. SPECIES RANGES CONNECT US.
ABOVE ALL, WATER CONNECTS US ACROSS LANDSCAPES.
A PHOTO I STARTED WITH, MAKING THE CONNECTION FROM WHERE WE ARE
NOW TO THE MISSISSIPPI AND ALL THE WAY EAST TO THE ATLANTIC
OCEAN. WATER CONNECTS US NO MATTER
WHERE WE ARE AND THERE'S CHICAGO FROM A DIFFERENT ANGLE.
CHICAGO THE WAY YOU DON'T NORMALLY THINK OR SEE IT, RIGHT?
WE'RE CONNECTED BY THE WATERS AND THE SPECIES THAT USE THEM
LYTLE THE PADDLE FISH THAT COMES UP TO THE WISCONSIN RIVER, WRITE
WHERE I LIVE, UNTIL IT HITS THE DAM ON THE RIVER.
WATERSHEDS CONNECT US. WE ARE ALL INHABITANTS OF
WATERSHEDS. WITH ALL THE RISKS IT ALSO
ENTAILS. THIS IS A SHOT I TOOK A FEW
MILES AWAY FROM WHERE I LIVE DURING THE GREAT FLOODS WE HAD
HERE THREE YEARS AGO NOW WHEN THIS CORNFIELD TURNED INTO A
TONIGHT AND DID THIS. THIS IS NOT SUSTAINABILITY.
THIS IS NOT WHAT WE WANT. THIS IS NOT RESILIENCE WHEN WE
SEE THESE KIND OF THINGS HAPPENING IN OUR OWN HOME AND
LANDSCAPES ESPECIALLY. BUT WE RECOGNIZE, TOO, THAT
WE'RE CONNECTED, THAT THE WISCONSIN RIVER FEEDS THE
MISSISSIPPI THAT FEEDS THE GULF OF MEXICO, THAT HAS THE DEAD
ZONE. WE'RE CONNECTED.
WE'RE CONNECTED BY FOOD. AND THE POWER OF THE LOCAL FOOD
MOVEMENT HAS BEEN THAT IT HAS MADE THESE CONNECTIONS AGAIN IN
SUCH A TANGIBLE, DAILY, UNDERSTANDABLE WAY FOR PEOPLE
WHO MAY NEVER THINK OF THEMSELVES AS CONSERVATIONISTS
OR ENVIRONMENTALISTS. WHO KNOWS WHAT REASONS THEY
MIGHT WANT TO EAT MORE HEALTHFULLY OR LOCALLY.
BUT THIS MOVEMENT IS AFOOT. YOU'RE IN ONE OF THE HOT SPOTS
OF IT, MADISON, WISCONSIN, RIGHT NOW, AND IT'S CHANGING THE
LANDSCAPE. I CAN TELL YOU THAT FROM MY OWN
HOME LANDSCAPE AS WELL AS WHAT'S GOING ON ALL AROUND THE COUNTRY.
DO YOU THINK THIS IS PART OF THE CONSERVATION MOVEMENT?
I CERTAINLY DO. SO WHAT CONNECTS US?
ALL THESE THINGS, BUT THEN THOSE LESS TANGIBLE SOCIAL AND
ECONOMIC REALITIES, TOO, THE ECONOMY CONNECTS US.
ENERGY, ITS SOURCE AND NEW SOURCES AND USES CONNECT US, THE
INFRASTRUCTURE WE BUILD CONNECTS US.
THEY DO THESE THINGS IN A SUSTAINABLE MANNER OR NOT?
DO THEY CONTRIBUTE TO HEALTHIER AND MORE RESILIENT CONNECTIONS
ACROSS THE LANDSCAPE OR DO THEY DRIVE WEDGES BETWEEN US?
SO HERE IS MY LITTLE SUMMARY STATEMENT ON THAT.
WE CAN DWELL ON THE THINGS THAT DIVIDE US, BUT WE ALL LIVE
WITHIN LANDSCAPES THAT CONNECT US.
SO HERE'S A LANDSCAPE THAT I NOW LIVE THAT CONNECTS ME.
I LIKE USING THIS SHOT BECAUSE YOU SEE THE PROTECTED FOREGROUND
ONE OUR BEST DRY PRAIRIES IN SOUTHERN WISCONSIN.
YOU SEE THE WORKING LANDS ON THE FLATS BELOW ON THE WISCONSIN
RIVER FLOODPLAIN AND YOU SEE THE RIVER IN THE FAR BACKGROUND.
NOW I'LL CONCLUDE WITH JUST A FEW THOUGHTS WITH THAT LANDSCAPE
IN MIND GOING BACK TO ALDO LEOPOLD.
HE CAME TO FOCUS IN HIS LAST FEW YEARS ON A PHRASE THAT YOU SEE
RECURRING AGAIN AND AGAIN, AND HE PLAYS WITH ITND HE
REDEFINES IT OVER AND AGAIN AND YOU SEE IT IN THESE KEY QUOTES.
THE PHRASE IS LAND HEALTH. HE SAW THIS AS THE TERM THAT
COULD HELP CONNECT IN HIS OWN MIND AND IN HIS OWN WRITING THE
WILD TO THE WORKING LAND TUTOR BUN LAND, THAT CAN CONNECT THE
URBAN CONSUMER AND THE RURAL PRODUCER, THAT CAN INSPIRE
PEOPLE HOWEVER AND WHEREVER THEY ARE CONNECTED TO THE LAND.
SO I'LL LET YOU PONDER THESE QUOTES.
ALE' JUST READ THAT LAST ONE HERE FOR YOU.
LAND HEALTH IS THE CAPACITY FOR SELF-RENEWAL IN THE SOILS,
WATERS, PLANTS AND ANIMALS THAT COLLECTIVELY COMPRISE THE LAND.
THAT WAS THE AIM. THIS WAS TIED TOGETHER WITH THE
LAND ETHIC IN HIS OWN WRITING. HE SAW THE CONCEPT OF LAND
HEALTH AND HE WOULD USE DIFFERENT WAYS OF PHRASING IT,
AS THE ONE THAT COULD BRING TOGETHER SOME UNITY TO THE
CONSERVATION MOVEMENT THAT IN ITS OWN DAY, IN HIS DAY, WAS
ALSO FRAGMENTED AMONG MANY DIFFERENT INTERESTS.
BUT HE ARGUED THAT WE NEEDED TO SHARE THIS CONCEPT OF LAND
HEALTH IN ORDER TO MOVE FORWARD ACROSS THE LANDSCAPE.
SO I'LL LEAVE WITH JUST A QUESTION A COUPLE QUESTIONS AND
A QUOTE. HOW DO WE UNDERSTAND LAND HEALTH
ACROSS THE LANDSCAPE IN THE CONTEXT OF THIS PLACE WHERE WE
ARE, WHERE YOU ARE, WHERE YOU WORK, WHERE YOU LIVE, WHERE YOU
PLAY? HOW DO WE MEASURE AND MONITOR
IT? HOW DO WE UNDERSTAND THE
CONNECTIONS BETWEEN THE HEALTH AND RELATED ISSUES BETWEEN LAND
HEALTH AND RELATED ISSUES LIKE ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY,
RENEWABLE ENERGY AND SO FORTH? HOW DO WE TURN AROUND THOSE
FEEDBACK LOOPS TO ENCOURAGE AND REWARD ACTIONS THAT CONTRIBUTE
TO RATHER THAN UNDERMINE THE HEALTH OF THE WHOLE LANDSCAPE.
HOW DO WE RECONCILE AND INTEGRATE LAND PROTECTION,
RESTORATION AND SUSTAINABLE USE AT ANY AND ALL SCALES?
AND ESPECIALLY FORGING THAT BOND BETWEEN BIODIVERSITY AND LAND
CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINABLE AL CULTURE?
IF YOU FORGE THAT LINK, THE REST WILL FOLLOW, AND I REALLY
BELIEVE THAT. I BELIEVE THAT'S WHAT PEOPLE
LIKE WES JACKSON, WENDEL BARRY, ALDO LEOPOLD HAVE ALWAYS FOCUSED
ON. YOU CAN KEEP THAT CONNECTION
STRONG INSAID OF CYNICALLY FRAGMENTING IT, WE CAN MAKE
PROGRESS. SO I SHOWED YOU THE LITANY OF
WOE EARLIER. WE CAN ALSO LOOK BACK OVER THE
LAST 15, 20 YEARS AND SAY THERE'S ALSO A LITANY OF HOPE.
ALL THESE TRENDS. ALL OF US ARE PARTICIPATING IN
IN DIFFERENT WAYS SHOW THAT WE ARE FINDING WAYS OF MAKING THOSE
CONNECTIONS, COMING UP WITH CREATIVE NEW CONSENTS AND
APPROACHES. NONE OF THESE ARE PROVEN.
NONE OF THESE ARE GOING TO SUCCEED ON THEIR OWN BECAUSE
THEY MAKE A PROFIT OR BECAUSE THERE'S GREAT GOVERNMENT SUPPORT
FOR THEM. THEY WILL SUCCEED BECAUSE PEOPLE
LIKE YOU AND I AS PROFESSIONALS AND AS CITIZENS WILL TAKE THE
TIME TO FORGE AHEAD, AND YOU COULD CHOOSE THE ONE YOU WANT TO
WORK ON, BECAUSE THEY ALL NEED HELP, ALL RIGHT?
SO WE CAN TAKE SOME HOPE IN THE FACT THAT WE HAVE AT LEAST COME
AROUND A CORNER, WHETHER WE CAN GET TO WHERE WE NEED QUICKLY
ENOUGH IS ANOTHER QUESTION. WHILE WORKING ON THIS I FOUND
THIS QUOTE BY MY FRIEND JOHN FOLEY WHO WAS HERE AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN. HE WAS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF
MINNESOTA. IT WAS IN THE "NEW YORK TIMES"
ABOUT THIS MORE HUMANIZED WORLD WE LIVE IN AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR
US. I THOUGHT IT WAS A NICE SUMMARY
OF OUR RESPONSE TO THIS NEW REALITY.
OUR OLD SOLUTIONS, WHICH ADDRESS ONLY ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
OR SHORT-TERM HUMAN GAINS ARE NO LONGER ENOUGH.
WE NEED INNOVATIVE APPROACHES TO GUIDE OUR CIVILIZATION TOWARD A
SUSTAINABLE FUTURE. WE MUST ALSO DEVELOP A NEW ETHIC
AND COLLECTIVE PURPOSE. THERE'S ALDO LEOPOLD SPEAKING
THROUGH A MODERN VOICE. ONE THAT RECOGNIZES US AS
STEWARDS OF HUMAN AND PLANETARY WELL-BEING.
AFTER ALL, EARTH IS THE ONLY KNOWN HARBOR OF LIFE IN THE
UNIVERSITY UNIVERSE. IT IS HOME TO THE ONLY KNOWN
CIVILIZATION IN THE COSMOS. OUR MORAL OBLIGATION IS TO
SUPPORT BOTH OURSELVES AND OUR PLANET.
AND LAST BOOK RECOMMENDATION THAT EMBODIES THIS WONDERFUL
SUITE OF VOICES. I WAS VERY HONORED TO OFFER A
LITTLE ESSAY IN THIS BOOK MYSELF.
IT'S A GREAT DIVERSITY OF VOICES WEIGHING IN WITH ALL OF THESE --
I WAS STRUCK WHEN I WAS READING SOME OF THE ESSAYS IN THIS BOOK
RECENTLY HOW MANY OF THEM ACTUALLY INVOKE THAT TERM
ANTHROPOCENE. THEY SENSE, MANY OF THE VOICES,
PEOPLE YOU WOULD BE FAMILIAR WITH THE DALAI LAMA AND BARACK
OBAMA AND THE POPE HAVE WEIGHED IN ON OUR MORAL OBLIGATIONS.
AND I'LL LEAVE YOU FINALLY IN A PLACE CLOSE TO YOUR OWN
PROFESSIONAL HEART PERHAPS OUT ON THE UPPER MISSISSIPPI.
MY FRIEND TEX HAWKINS, I DON'T KNOW IF HE MADE IT HERE TODAY,
WHO RECENTLY RETIRED AFTER MANY YEARS OF SERVICE, I WAS
E-MAILING HIM IN THE LAST FEW DAYS AND GOT TO THINKING ABOUT
AGAIN ALL OF YOU AS DEVOTED PUBLIC SERVANTS PROTECTING AND
RESTORING THESE BEAUTIFUL AND SPECIAL PLACES.
SO ACROSS THE LANDSCAPE WE HAVE TO FIND A NEW WAY.
YOUR PLACES IN THE LANDSCAPE ARE ANCHORS.
THEY'RE THE SPECIAL SPOTS BUT THEY IN INSPIRE US TO THINK
ABOUT THE ENTIRE LANDSCAPE AND TO CONNECT THEM IN A WAY THAT
SUPPORTS THE VALUES THAT YOU ARE COMMITTED TO PROTECTING ON THE
REFUGES, BUT ALSO TO EMBED THEM IN HEALTHY LANDSCAPES,
LANDSCAPES THAT ARE HEALTHY ECOLOGICALLY, SOCIALLY
POLITICALLY. PART OF OUR OBLIGATION AND OUR
CHALLENGE NOW IS TO ASSUME LEADERSHIP, TO BE WILLING TO
SPEAK ALOUD ABOUT THESE THINGS WE CARE ABOUT.
SO I'LL CLOSE ON THAT NOTE. IT'S TIME FOR US TO PULL
TOGETHER, THE LEADS OF OUR CONCERN AND EXPERIENCE AND HOPES
AND ASPIRATIONS. IT'S TIME TO RESPOND TO THE
PURPOSEFUL FRACTURING AND FRAGMENTING OF OUR WORLD, OUR
COMMUNITIES AND OUR BODY POLITIC.
IT'S TIME TO WEAVE A NEW AND DURABLE VISION OF RESILIENCE,
RESPONSIBILITY, RECONCILIATION, RESPECT AND RESTORATION.
SO LET IT BEGIN WITH US HERE AND NOW.
THANK YOU. YOU HAVE BEEN VERY PATIENT
GUINEA PIGS. >> I THINK WE HAVE TIME FOR ONE
OR TWO QUESTIONS. THERE'S A MIC THERE.
I WOULD BE DELIGHTED AND I WILL BE HANGING AROUND A LITTLE
AFTERWARDS, TOO IF YOU HAVE ANY CRITICISMS AND COMMENTS AND
SUGGESTIONS. >> THANKS FOR COMING.
THANK YOU, DR. MEINE. >> THANK YOU ALL.