25th Headwaters Conference: The Working Wild, Sept. 19 and 20, 2014

Keynote by Gary Snyder

Register Now for the 25th Headwaters Conference; Review the Conference Schedule

                                               “Nature is not a place to visit.  It is home.”
                                                               ~Gary Snyder

Wildness rests upon self-will – the willfulness of land, of people, of specie, and of places. Environmental historians such as Roderick Frasier Nash, and environmental activists such as Dave Foreman, have long reminded us  the Old English word wildeor-ness was based upon “Wil: willful, self-willed; Doer: beast, animal; Ness: place.”  So what does it mean for a place to be “self-willed”?  What kind of human and ecological work cultivates such willfulness, such autonomy and agency, such wildness? What is the human place in producing wildness? Is “the working wild” the path to Headwaters Elder Devon Pena’s challenge that we have and can become a “keystone species?"

This year’s Headwaters Conference, our 25th program, will explore the intersection of wilderness, working landscapes and environmental-justice perspectives on self-willed lands, self-willed species and self-willed communities in the Headwaters. In this year, the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, we will go beyond the wilderness debate to discover how Headwaters communities are innovating upon the concept of wildness, while closing the political, philosophical and geographical gap between work and the wild.

Our keynote speaker this year will be Pulitzer Prize winning author Gary Snyder. Expert panels will include:

  • Center for Humans and Nature
    The Urban Wild: The Center for Humans and Nature (contributing partner for this year’s conference) will assemble leading thinkers from as far as Chicago and San Francisco on the concept of “The Urban Wild."
  • The Private Wild: Dr. Corrine Knapp will moderate a conversation dedicated to merging wildlife and food production.
  • The Common Wild: Dr. Devon Pena will lead a 20th anniversary retrospective on the La Sierra movement in San Luis, Colo., welcoming both acequia farmers and wilderness activists who acted upon diverse but mutually-reinforcing connections with the forests surrounding Culebra Peak

We will also feature tours, and interactive events designed to generate dialog on the intersection

Dr. Devon Pena
of working landscapes, wilderness, and environmental justice.  As always, the Headwaters Conference will look with hope to partnerships rather than divisions.  Our usual array of influential writers, community leaders, scientists, scholars, poets, builders, ranchers, cooks, farmers, musicians, teachers, activists, students, and citizens will lead this conversation.

We hope you can join us!

John Hausdoerffer, director

25th Headwaters Conference Schedule

25th Headwaters Conference: The Working Wild, September 19-20, 2014

Friday Night

7pm: Gary Snyder, Taylor Auditorium (registration opens at 6:00)

Saturday Morning

7:30-8: Continental Breakfast (registration opens at 7:15)

8-9:30: “The Private Wild”

  • Moderated by Corrie Knapp, Western State Colorado University
  • Bill Parker, Parker Pastures, Gunnison
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Ryan Atwell, Cold Harbour Director
  • Local Rancher, TBA

9:45-11am: “The Urban Wild”

  • Moderated by Gavin Van Horn, Center for Humans and Nature
  • Curt Meine, senior fellow Aldo Leopold Foundation and Center for Humans and Nature
  • John Tallmadge, author of Meeting the Tree of Life and Reading under the Sign of Nature
  • Michael Bryson, Sustainability Studies, Roosevelt University
  • Laura Watt, Environmental Studies, Sonoma State University 

11:00-3 Saturday Tours

  • Aspen-season tours of how ecological and human communities produce “the working wild” in the Gunnison Basin (sack lunches provided)

Saturday Afternoon

3:30-5: “The Common Wild”

  • Moderated by Enrique Salmon, Cal State East Bay
  • Devon Pena, Acequia Institute
  • Shirley Romero Otero, Land Rights Council, San Luis
  • Kirsten Atkins, community leader
  • Joe Gallegos, County Commissioner, Costilla County