Friends of Allegheny Wilderness and the Allegheny National Forest will honor the Wilderness Act of 1964

- WARREN — On Friday, April 4, the Warren-based Friends of Allegheny Wilderness (FAW) and the Allegheny National Forest (ANF) will honor the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act of 1964 by hosting a free screening of the Emmy Award winning film Green Fire, the first full-length documentary about legendary conservationist Aldo Leopold. The film explores Leopold’s life in the early part of the twentieth century and the many ways his land ethic idea continues to be applied today.

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 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 a philosopher, forester, ecologist, and wilderness advocate – he was a cofounder of The Wilderness Society (TWS) in 1935.

“Aldo Leopold’s legacy lives on today in the work of people and organizations across the nation and around the world,” said Aldo Leopold Foundation Executive Director Buddy Huffaker. “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.”

Green Fire illustrates Leopold’s continuing influence by exploring current projects that connect people and land at the local level. Viewers will learn of ranchers in Arizona and New Mexico who maintain healthy landscapes by working on their own properties and with their neighbors, and wildlife biologists who are bringing back threatened and endangered species, from cranes to Mexican wolves, to the landscapes where they once thrived. Green Fire 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 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 yielded new connections between Leopold and nearly every facet of the environmental movement,” said Meine.

TWS was incorporated on January 21, 1935. The eight founders were Leopold, Bob Marshall, Robert Sterling Yard, Benton MacKaye, Ernest Oberholtzer, Harvey Broome, Bernard Frank, and Harold C. Anderson. TWS, of course, is the organization that under the leadership of Tionesta native Howard Zahniser led the charge to see the Wilderness Act passed, creating America’s National Wilderness Preservation System for all future generations to use and enjoy. There are currently two designated wilderness areas in the Allegheny National Forest at the Allegheny Islands and Hickory Creek Wilderness Areas – both designated in 1984.

If You Go

Friday, April 4th, 2014, 7:00 p.m., Erie, Big Green Screen at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center
For more information, call the Big Green Screen at (814) 838-4123.

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