Western State Colorado University to Host Headwaters Conference

Mountain Flowers
GUNNISON, CO – In a world where resources as basic as water and food are becoming increasingly scarce, Western State Colorado University is convening some of the greatest minds in the West to solve looming natural resource challenges that threaten our region.


Western State Colorado University is hosting the 24th annual Headwaters Conference Sept. 20 and 21 in Gunnison. The theme of the conference, “Home/Land Security,” seeks to help solve fundamental problems that challenge our own survival in the face of climate change, including:

·     How can we find secure ways of feeding each other and heating our homes?

·     What kind of security can we build into the land to sustain the homes and homelands of the headwaters of the West?

·     How might a more secure home and land in the Headwaters of the West help support security in places like the Indian Himalayas, which emit fewer pollutants than the US but suffer the worst consequences of global carbon pollution?

“The Headwaters Conference will look with hope to the solutions and partnerships necessary to building food, energy, cultural, economic, and ecological security in the face of environmental disturbance,” says Western State Colorado University Environment and Sustainability Professor Dr. John Hausdoerffer. “An array of influential writers, community leaders, scientists,scholars, poets, builders, ranchers, cooks, farmers, musicians, teachers,activists, students and citizens will lead this conversation.”

The event’s keynote address will come from Walter Echo Hawk, who will share perspectives from his new book: In the Light of Justice: The Rise of Human Rights in Native America and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Mr. Echo Hawk is a prominent attorney who works for Native American rights. He’s the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Kickapoo Tribe and was a staff attorney for the Native American Rights Fund.

Western's "Headwaters Project" is part of the university's effort to serve the mountain valleys of this region as a resource and rallying-point, as the region's communities attempt to both retain unique cultural identities and still thrive in a globalizing and homogenizing world. The Project reaches out into the region interactively through the annual Headwaters Conference every autumn.

This year’s conference includes panels on energy and food security and tours of food security efforts in Gunnison’s remote mountain valley and of a housing project using straw-bale construction.

Registration for the Headwaters Conference is still open. To learn more, visit western.edu/headwaters.

About Western State Colorado University

Located in Gunnison,Colorado, Western is a public university unlike any other in Colorado and unique nationwide - with the faculty focus and feel of a private college; a commitment to access, excellence, and student success; and a strong tie to the land, our local natural resources, and our surrounding community.  With an enrollment of 2,300 students, Western offers over 50 undergraduate and graduate academic programs and unlimited opportunity to shape your identity, customize your education, and chart your course for a meaningful life. To learn more,visit western.edu. 


Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - 3:15am