VIDEO: Friday Session 4: Mid-Day Keynote Speaker William deBuys through Closing Keynote Speaker William Kittredge

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Event Date





1:00 p.m. - 1:05 p.m. Reading by Charles Wilkinson: Terry Tempest Williams, "Testimony"

1:05 p.m. - 1:35 p.m. Mid-Afternoon Keynote: William deBuys

1:35 p.m. - 1:40 p.m. Reading by Charles Wilkinson: Wallace Stegner, "The Sound of Western Water"

1:40 p.m. - 2:20 p.m. Panel: The Future of Wilderness Activism

Moderator: Britt Banks

Panelists: Michael Casaus, Julia Guarino, Soren Jespersen

2:20 p.m. - 2:25 p.m. Reading by Charles Wilkinson: Edward Abbey, "Desert Solitaire"

2:25 p.m. - 2:40 p.m. Speaker: Paul Sutter

2:40 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. Poem: Justice Gregory J. Hobbs, Jr.

2:45 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Speaker: Karin Sheldon

3:00 p.m. - 3:05 p.m. Reading by Charles Wilkinson: Billy Frank Jr., "Messages from Frank's Landing"

3:05 p.m. - 3:35 p.m. Closing Keynote: William Kittredge


Charles Wilkinson, Britt Banks

Streaming Media


On September 3, 2014, the National Wilderness Preservation System—established and protected by the Wilderness Act of 1964—celebrates its 50th anniversary. We are gathering on September 4th and 5th to celebrate Wilderness—“ornery old wilderness, scratchy, sweaty, and distant, but sacred every step of the way”—and to commemorate the great law so central to its protection.

This is not an ordinary conference, full of dry presentations or heated policy debates. Instead, this will be a full-throated love song to wild country. We have brought together some of the most inspiring, insightful, and compelling Wilderness luminaries: writers, storytellers, advocates, historians, educators, photographers, and other admirers. The most important invitee of all will be the public—those who make wilderness an important part of their lives, and those who simply take comfort in its existence.

Our goal will be to tell the story of the Wilderness movement over the course of the last 50 years, to rearticulate the ethos of the Wilderness community in light of that history, and to take a short moment to reflect on and appreciate the progress that has been made. On Thursday evening, we begin with a Wilderness talk and slide show by nationally-renowned landscape photographer John Fielder. On Friday, the celebration continues with a series of talks, vignettes, panels, readings, and poems. We’ll hear from some of the early activists who helped to found the Wilderness movement, and from some of the young people who will carry it forward.

In the end, we hope to leave with a fresh appreciation for the Wilderness and the great law enacted to protect it, and a renewed determination to continue to fight to preserve and enhance one of our most precious and sacred assets.