Front Range dates include April 19 in Denver, April 22 in Fort Collins
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Just in time for Earth Day, the Wildland Awareness and Education Institute, US Forest Service and The Wildlife Experience will host an April 19 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 explores Aldo Leopold’s life in the early part of the twentieth century and the many ways his land ethic idea continues to be applied all over the world today.
Leopold’s many achievements included developing the first comprehensive management plan for the Grand Canyon, writing the Forest Service’s first game and fish handbook, and proposing Gila Wilderness Area, the first national wilderness area in the Forest Service system.
“I hold Aldo Leopold in the highest regard and most relate to his efforts advocating for the need for wilderness preservation, which ultimately led to our first National Forest Wilderness Area,” said John Fielder, preservationist and nature photographer. “My most recent work mirrors his ethic that shines light on our private land stewards, the agricultural community, and most recently to show the necessary link to the land that we must embrace in order to maintain a healthy society and healthy economies for the future. We are at our best when connected to the land as Leopold noted over half a century ago.”
Fielder also received a prestigious and first-ever individual award from the Aldo Leopold Foundation at an event sponsored by the Arthritis Foundation in Denver last month.
Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time is a production of the Aldo Leopold Foundation, the US 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.
The film is being shown in community screening venues like this one throughout 2011. It will then be released on public television in early 2012.
“Aldo Leopold has been a strong influence in my life as I dedicate to conserve and protect our nation’s forests,” said Rick Cables, Regional Forester, U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region. “This film is an insightful glimpse into Leopold’s vision of a community that cares about both people and land—his call for a land ethic— and offers inspiration and insight for the future.”
“The making of Green Fire has been a process of discovery,” said 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 twentieth 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 community screeners, and is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization based in Baraboo, Wisconsin. 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. “Nothing so important as an ethic is ever ‘written,’” he explained. “It evolves ‘in the minds of a thinking community.’” Learn more about the Aldo Leopold Foundation and the Green Fire movie at www.aldoleopold.org.
Premier, Tuesday, April 19 at the Wildlife Experience, Denver, Colorado
Friday, April 22 – Earth Day – at the Lory Student Center Theater, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado