Explore the many exciting things happening this year!

 Help us Write the Shack’s Next Chapters

Leopold Week  •  Virtual Programming


Conference to Explore Urban-Rural Divide

We’re excited to announce Bridging the Urban-Rural Divide as the theme of our 2017 Building a Land Ethic Conference. Held every other year in Baraboo, WI, the conference convenes educators, conservation professionals, students, and everyday people who are working to advance a land ethic in their communities by embracing diverse views, values, and backgrounds.

The 2017 conference will take place June 22-24, 2017, and will include keynote addresses from urban farmer Will Allen, Vermont conservationist Peter Forbes, and a special performance by TV’s Survivorman Les Stroud. It will also include two panel discussions exploring different aspects of how urban and rural communities are connected. The first panel will be moderated by Stan Temple and focuses on water issues, featuring Nancy DeLong, Eduardo Santana, and Steve Laubach. The second panel will be moderated by Curt Meine and focuses on food and agriculture, featuring Mary Berry (daughter of famed writer Wendell Berry), Michael Howard, and Jay Salinas. An evening reception at the Leopold Center will feature Estella Leopold and other Leopold family members, and will focus on sharing remembrances of Nina Leopold Bradley, who would have turned 100 this August. The schedule also includes concurrent session presentations offered by attendees.

Seeking Common Ground in Conservation

As we’ve been planning this June’s event, we’ve been drawn to the idea of exploring the (real or perceived) urban-rural divide in our nation and how this relates to conservation. Aldo Leopold himself was a professor in an urban setting (Madison, WI) who spent his weekends in the rural Sauk County countryside. He also worked effectively with all kinds of people, from his fellow university scientists to farmers.

Although today’s city dwellers and rural residents may talk about conservation issues differently, approach them from different perspectives, and face different challenges as they carry out their own land ethic, both groups clearly care deeply about conservation.

The 2017 conference will explore how we can break down communication barriers, see common threads, and fight against growing efforts to polarize and divide people who have so much common ground.

More Information

To stay informed about the latest news and announcements about the conference as they are released, check the main conference page on our website, subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter, and RSVP to the event on Facebook.

The Aldo Leopold Foundation’s vision is to weave care for people and the land into the fabric of our society. The Building a Land Ethic Conference provides a unique opportunity for the foundation to work toward achieving this vision, because our staff cannot do this alone – in fact, just the opposite. We rely on a network of committed “ambassadors” who have the knowledge, skills, relationships, and abilities to pick up the thread and help connect the many weavers of Leopold’s land ethic.

Join land ethic ambassadors from around the nation and the world, and help us weave care for land and communities into the fabric of our world.