Screening of Documentary on Legendary Conservationist Aldo Leopold Leads Earth Week Celebration

Tuesday, April 5 2011


MOSCOW, Idaho – The University of Idaho's College of Natural Resources and Sustainability Center will co-host a free screening of a new film called “Green Fire,” the first full-length, high-definition documentary film ever made about legendary conservationist Aldo Leopold.

The film will be shown on Wednesday, April 20, at 7 p.m. in the University Auditorium in the Administration Building, and is one of the highlights of Earth Week.

A public seminar entitled, “Aldo Leopold, Phenology and Climate Change in Wisconsin,” by Stanley A. Temple, Beers-Bascom professor emeritus in Conservation Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology and Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will precede the film on Tuesday, April 19, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. in the Idaho Commons Aurora Room. A free public reception will immediately follow the seminar.

“Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time” is a production of the Aldo Leopold Foundation, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Center for Humans and Nature. The film shares highlights from Leopold’s life and extraordinary career, explaining how he shaped conservation in the twentieth century and still inspires people today.

Although probably best known as the author of the conservation classic “A Sand County Almanac,” Leopold is also renowned for his work as an educator, philosopher, forester, ecologist and wilderness advocate.

“Aldo Leopold’s legacy lives on today in the work of people and organizations across the nation and around the world,” said Buddy Huffaker, Aldo Leopold Foundation executive director. “What is exciting about 'Green Fire' is that it is more than just a documentary about Aldo Leopold; it also explores the influence his ideas have had in shaping the conservation movement as we know it today by highlighting some really inspiring people and organizations doing great work to connect people and the natural world in ways that even Leopold might not have imagined.”

"Green Fire" illustrates Leopold’s continuing influence by exploring current projects that connect people and land at the local level. Viewers will meet urban children in Chicago learning about local foods and ecological restoration. They’ll learn about ranchers in Arizona and New Mexico who maintain healthy landscapes by working on their own properties and with their neighbors, in cooperative community conservation efforts. They’ll meet wildlife biologists who are bringing back threatened and endangered species, from cranes to Mexican wolves, to the landscapes where they once thrived. The film portrays how Leopold’s vision of a community that cares about both people and land – his call for a land ethic – ties all of these modern conservation stories together and offers inspiration and insight for the future.

“The making of 'Green Fire' has been a process of discovery,” says Curt Meine, the film’s on-screen guide. Meine’s doctoral dissertation was a biography of Aldo Leopold, published as “Aldo Leopold: His Life and Work” (University of Wisconsin Press, 1988). To give the film its modern perspective of Leopold’s influence in the conservation movement today, Meine was charged with conducting hundreds of interviews with people practicing conservation all over the country.

“Meeting all those people has really yielded new connections between Leopold and nearly every facet of the environmental movement, including ocean conservation, urban gardening and climate change – issues that Leopold never directly considered in his lifetime but has nonetheless affected as his ideas are carried on by others,” said Meine.

“Aldo Leopold is one of our nation’s most beloved nature writers,” said environmental historian Susan Flader. “His 'A Sand County Almanac,' published posthumously in 1949, has become a catalyst for our evolving ecological awareness and a classic in American literature. Leopold is regarded by many as one of the most influential conservation thinkers of the 20th century, and the film highlights the ways his legacy continues to encourage us to see the natural world “as a community to which we belong.”

The Aldo Leopold Foundation is distributing the film to communities and will be released on public television in early 2012. The Foundation is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization based in Baraboo, Wis. The foundation’s mission is to inspire an ethical relationship between people and land through the legacy of Aldo Leopold. Leopold regarded a land ethic as a product of social evolution. Learn more about the Aldo Leopold Foundation and the Green Fire movie at www.aldoleopold.org or visit www.uidaho.edu/cnr.
# # #

About the University of Idaho
Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s land-grant institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year. The University of Idaho is classified by the prestigious Carnegie Foundation as high research activity. The student population of 12,000 includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars, who select from more than 130 degree options in the colleges of Agricultural and Life Sciences; Art and Architecture; Business and Economics; Education; Engineering; Law; Letters, Arts and Social Sciences; Natural Resources; and Science. The university also is charged with the statewide mission for medical education through the WWAMI program. The university combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities and focuses on helping students to succeed and become leaders. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. For more information, visit www.uidaho.edu.

Media Contact: Sue McMurray, College of Natural Resources, (208) 885-6673, suem@uidaho.edu; or Mike Scott, Wildlife Resources, (208) 885-6960, mscott@uidaho.edu