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 willfulness – the willfulness of land, of people, of species, 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 lead a discussion exploring the ecosystem services and wilderness values that private landscapes provide as well as describing several innovative mechanisms to support landowners in providing these complementary functions.
  • The Common Wild: Dr. Devon Pena will lead a retrospective discussion on the La Sierra movement in San Luis, Colo during the mid-1990s., 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 (Taylor Auditorium)

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

Saturday Morning (all Saturday and Sunday events start in the University Center Ballroom)

7:30-8:00 AM Continental Breakfast (registration opens at 7:15)

7:45-8:00 AM: Author Sean Prentiss reads from his new book Finding Abbey

8:00-9:30 AM: “The Private Wild”

  • Moderated by Corrie Knapp, Western MEM faculty
  • Bill Parker, Parker Pastures, Gunnison
  • Stacy McPhail, Director of Gunnison Valley Ranching for Gunnison Ranchland Conservation Legacy
  • Ryan Atwell, Coldharbour Sustainable Living Center Executive Director and Western MEM faculty
  • Bill Trampe, Gunnison Rancher

9:45-11:00 am: “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

          11:00-3:00: Saturday Tours (sack lunches provided)

  • Mountain Roots tour of cold climate local food efforts, with Jessica Zuzack 
  • Coldharbour Sustainable Living Center with Ryan Atwell, Coldharbour ED and Western MEM faculty
  • Forest Ecology tour with Jonathan Coop, Western ENVS faculty
  • Sustainable Building tour, with Dusty Szymanski, Executive Director of Community Rebuilds Colorado
  • Upper Slate River hiking tour of mining and reclamation, Zach Vaughter, Executive Director of Coal Creek Watershed Coalition
Saturday Afternoon

3:00-3:15 PM: Author Aaron Abeyta reads his “Letter from the Headwaters.”

3:14-4:45 PM: “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

4:45-5:00 PM: "25 Years of Headwaters: An Essay by George Sibley, Headwaters Founder."

Sunday Morning

9:00-11:00 AM: "Passing the Gourd," with Art Goodtimes