Green Fire, one of the most significant conservation films of the year to be shown at Kiehle Auditorium at the U of M, Crookston on Thursday, December 8, 2011, at 7 p.m. in Kiehle Auditorium

The University of Minnesota, Crookston and the Crookston community are in for a treat Leopoldphoto.jpgthis Thursday evening, December 8, 2011,  when the U of M, Crookston Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society will sponsor the showing of Green Fire - Aldo Leopold and a land ethic for our time. A documentary of the life of Leopold, the father of wildlife management, the film also tells the story of the national wilderness system and the science of ecological restoration. He also had a key role in integrated land use which led to what is now the Natural Resources Conservation Service. The film is free and open to the public and commences at 7 p.m. in Kiehle Auditorium. Student chapter representative, Kelsey Kaiser, can provide further information and can be reached at kaise233@umn.edu


"Aldo Leopold is considered the most important conservationist of the 20th century,' according to Dan Svedarsky, U of M, Crookston wildlife professor, "because his ideas are so relevant to the environmental issues of our time. I've been a Leopold disciple since my college days in the 60's but seeing the synthesis of his life in this film was a powerful, moving experience." Leopold founded the first wildlife management program in the nation at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

His classic book A Sand County Almanac still inspires us to see the natural world as a community to which we belong. Green Fire explores Leopold's personal journey of observation and understanding, It reveals how his ideas resonate with people across the entire American landscape, from inner cities to the most remote wild lands. The film challenges viewers to contemplate their own relationship with the land.

"Green Fire" is the first feature documentary about Aldo Leopold's life and contemporary legacy. It features commentary from conservation leaders including scientists, ranchers, scholars and three of Aldo Leopold's children--Nina, Carl, and Estella. Curt Meine, history professor and Leopold's biographer, serves as the on-camera guide, making connections between Leopold's ideas and their expression in the conservation movement today.  
 
Leopold's notion of an evolving land ethic provides the backbone of the narrative. It was the organizing idea that defined not only his personal, intellectual, and spiritual growth but in many ways the development of the American conservation and environmental movements over the last century. In particular, Leopold sought to resolve the long-standing (and often divisive) tension between the preservationist and utilitarian strains of conservation thought, policy, and advocacy.

"Green Fire" also examines the theme of community--both within the natural world and in the social context of conservation. The related themes of sense of place, stewardship, and responsibility derive from Leopold's notion of community and connect his story to creative contemporary expressions of an environmental ethic. His personal journey is part of a still larger, longer-term, and unfinished journey of Americans (and indeed people around the world) as their relationships to the natural world continue to evolve. The contemporary stories woven into the film illustrate Leopold's continuing influence today, while also demonstrating a diversity of human relationships to nature.

Central to the film is the image of the "fierce green fire" that Leopold saw in the eyes of a dying wolf.  In his famous essay, "Thinking Like a Mountain,"  Leopold reveals a transformation in his own basic values.  His journey to a new way of looking at the world provides the narrative arc of the film as Curt Meine sets out to explore both the man and his contemporary legacy.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 26 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 36 concentrations, including 10 online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,600 undergraduates from 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

Contact: Dan Svedarsky, director, Center for Sustainability, 218-281-8129 (dsvedars@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, communications, University Relations, 218-281-8342 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

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