Sunday, August 8, 2010

Renowned Conservationist Amy Vedder to Speak Placid

Internationally renowned wildlife biologist Amy Vedder will be the keynote speaker at the 2010 annual meeting of The Nature Conservancy’s Adirondack Chapter and the Adirondack Land Trust. The event, which also features family-friendly activities and field trips, is being held on August 14 at Heaven Hill Farm in Lake Placid. The public is welcome.

Amy Vedder, who has over 30 years of experience in conservation efforts across the globe, has overseen more than 100 different conservation projects in locations ranging from New York State and Wyoming to Mongolia and East Africa. With experiences as a Peace Corps volunteer, the Director of the Living Landscapes program for the Wildlife Conservation Society, and now as the Senior Vice President of the Wilderness Society, Vedder has dedicated her career to balancing wildlife conservation issues with human needs.

She is perhaps best known for the Mountain Gorilla Project, an innovative approach under taken with her husband, Bill Weber, to conserving habitat in war-torn Rwanda for one of the world’s last remaining gorilla populations. The resulting ecotourism initiative is the basis of her book, In the Kingdom of Gorillas: Fragile Species in a Dangerous Land, which she co-authored with Weber.

As both an admirer of the Adirondack region and an advocate for conservation issues across the Park, Vedder portrays the Adirondack story from a global perspective. “The Park offers more than a century of important lessons for conservation”, and “there is no question that the Adirondack Mountains qualify as a conservation area of global importance,” she wrote in a chapter of the recently published Great Experiment in Conservation: Voices from the Adirondack Park.

The meeting will also feature a conservation update from Executive Director Michael Carr, delivering the latest news on land protection projects, highlighting the chapter’s report concerning climate change in the Lake Champlain Basin and recapping the land trust’s recent work to protect two local farms.

This year’s meeting offers a unique opportunity for children to learn about wildlife. Wendy Hall of the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge and Rehabilitation Center, with a sanctuary in Wilmington, N.Y., will talk about her work and introduce some of the wild birds she has rescued.

Arrival and check-in starts at 11:30 for those interested in bringing their own lunch to enjoy with trustees, staff and fellow supporters of the Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and the Adirondack Land Trust. The official meeting, which will take place under the cover of a tent, kicks off at 1:00 pm and runs until 3:00 pm. The wildlife “show-and-tell” for children over 5 also begins at 1 pm and will take place at a separate location on the Heaven Hill grounds.

Participants are asked to register in advance. Field trip descriptions can be found online at www.nature.org/adirondacks under “Field Trips and Events.”

To register for this event and the field trips, contact Erin Walkow at (518) 576 – 2082 x133 or [email protected]

Photo: Wendy Hall with a rescued bird, courtesy The Nature Conservancy.

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