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Story by Jennifer Kobylecky
Published on Wednesday April 27, 2011 - 11:01 AM
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PORTLAND, Oregon - Tonight, April 27 the World Forestry Center in Portland will host the Pacific Northwest premiere of Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time, a new documentary film about Aldo Leopold, best known as the author of A Sand County Almanac. Green Fire is the first feature length (72 min.), high definition documentary film ever made about famed conservationist Aldo Leopold. Emmy-Award winning narrator Peter Coyote lends his talent as the voice of Aldo Leopold, and the film's on-screen guide is Curt Meine, Leopold's biographer. The film explores Aldo Leopold's life in the early part of the twentieth century and the many ways his land ethic idea continues to be applied all over the world today.

Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time is a production of the Aldo Leopold Foundation, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Center for Humans and Nature. The film shares highlights from Leopold's life and extraordinary career, explaining how he shaped conservation in the twentieth century and still inspires people today. Although probably best known as the author of the conservation classic A Sand County Almanac, Leopold is also renowned for his work as an educator, philosopher, forester, ecologist, and wilderness advocate.

More than a dozen major premiere events are being held in during the six months of 2011, including screenings in San Francisco, Denver, New York, Seattle, Chicago, and at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. The Aldo Leopold Foundation has also begun nationwide distribution of the film for small public screenings arranged by community organizers. The film will air on public television in 2012. "Aldo Leopold's legacy lives on today in the work of people and organizations across the nation and around the world," said Aldo Leopold Foundation Executive Director Buddy Huffaker. "What is exciting about Green Fire is that it is more than just a documentary about Aldo Leopold; it also explores the influence his ideas have had in shaping the conservation movement as we know it today by highlighting some really inspiring people and organizations doing great work to connect people and the natural world in ways that even Leopold might not have imagined."

Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time illustrates Leopold's continuing influence by exploring current projects that connect people and land at the local level. Viewers will meet urban children in Chicago learning about local foods and ecological restoration. They'll learn about ranchers in Arizona and New Mexico who maintain healthy landscapes by working on their own properties and with their neighbors, in cooperative community conservation efforts. They'll meet wildlife biologists who are bringing back threatened and endangered species, from cranes to Mexican wolves, to the landscapes where they once thrived. The Green Fire film portrays how Leopold's vision of a community that cares about both people and land—his call for a land ethic—ties all of these modern conservation stories together and offers inspiration and insight for the future.

"The making of Green Fire has been a process of discovery," says Curt Meine, the film's on-screen guide. Meine's doctoral dissertation was a biography of Aldo Leopold, published as Aldo Leopold: His Life and Work (University of Wisconsin Press, 1988). To give the film its modern perspective of Leopold's influence in the conservation movement today, Meine was charged with conducting hundreds of interviews with people practicing conservation all over the country. "Meeting all those people has really yielded new connections between Leopold and nearly every facet of the environmental movement, including ocean conservation, urban gardening, and climate change—issues that Leopold never directly considered in his lifetime but has nonetheless affected as his ideas are carried on by others," said Meine.

"Aldo Leopold is one of our nation's most beloved nature writers," says environmental historian Susan Flader. "His A Sand County Almanac, published posthumously in 1949, has become a catalyst for our evolving ecological awareness and a classic in American literature." Leopold is regarded by many as one of the most influential conservation thinkers of the twentieth century, and the film highlights the ways his legacy continues to encourage us to see the natural world "as a community to which we belong."

The World Forestry Center is working in partnership with the Aldo Leopold Foundation and the USDA Forest Service to organize, host and sponsor the Portland premiere of Green Fire. The Portland premiere is part of each organizations' 2011 International Year of Forests celebration.

The World Forestry Center is a non-profit organization committed to promoting sustainable forestry through research and education. Founded in Portland, Oregon in 1964, the World Forestry Center operates an internationally recognized museum, demonstration forests and outdoor education sites open to the public, a conference center, and residential fellowship program for forest researchers from around the world. Thousands of local, regional, national, and international students and teachers participate in the World Forestry Center's award-winning education programs each year. www.worldforestry.org

The Aldo Leopold Foundation is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization based in Baraboo, Wisconsin. The foundation's mission is to inspire an ethical relationship between people and land through the legacy of Aldo Leopold. Leopold regarded a land ethic as a product of social evolution. "Nothing so important as an ethic is ever 'written,'" he explained. "It evolves 'in the minds of a thinking community.'" Learn more about the Aldo Leopold Foundation and the Green Fire movie at www.aldoleopold.org

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service is a federal agency that manages more than 193 million acres of public lands in national forests and grasslands. The USDA Forest Service is also the largest forestry research organization in the world, and provides technical and financial assistance to state and private forestry agencies. The mission of the Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. www.fs.fed.us

IF YOU GO: Visit www.greenfiremovie.com for venue information and to purchase tickets. You can also access Portland premiere information at www.worldforestry.org

DATE: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 VENUE: World Forestry Center, Miller Hall TIME: TWO SCREENINGS: 3 PM (Doors open 2:30 PM) 7 PM (Doors Open 6:30 PM)

TICKETS: Advance Tickets Only. $6 Students with valid ID/Seniors 62+ $8 Adults To purchase tickets: http://www.greenfiremovie.com or www.worldforestry.org

LOCATION: World Forestry Center, Miller Hall, 4033 SW Canyon Road, Portland OR 97221 Free Parking. Public transportation use Tri-Met MAX Blue or Red Lines to Washington Park Station. Directions and general information: www.worldforestry.org