Telluride, Colorado (January 14, 2014) — In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Wilderness Act, establishing American wilderness as “an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”
In honor of the 50th anniversary of this groundbreaking legislation, which was the first of its kind in the world, Mountainfilm in Telluride will explore a wide range of issues associated with wilderness during its Moving Mountains Symposium, May 23, 2014. The symposium kicks off the organization’s annual four-day festival.
“It’s an exciting topic that we’ve been considering for years,” said Mountainfilm program director Emily Long. “The 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act is a perfect springboard to discuss wilderness, which hasbeen threaded into the DNA of our festival since its inception. As John Muir eloquently expressed: ‘Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.’”
Confirmed symposium presenters represent experts from diverse fields, including science, conservation, journalism, fine arts and education:
Debra Bloomfield: San Francisco Bay Area artist and SFAI professor Debra Bloomfield’s largescale color photographs encompass the breathtaking landscapes of the American continent. Her newest work is a multimedia piece entitled "Wilderness." This work is Bloomfield’s third monograph, which includes photographs, essays (written by Lauren Oakes, Rebecca Senf and Terry Tempest Williams) and a CD soundscape produced with her son, Jake Bloomfield-Misrach.
Jared Diamond: Jared Diamond is a professor of geography at UCLA and the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of five bestselling books about human societies and human evolution: Guns, Germs, and Steel; Collapse; Why Is Sex Fun?; The Third Chimpanzee; andThe World Until Yesterday.
Adam Harris: Since 2000, Adam Duncan Harris has been the curator of art at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He is the author of Wildlife in American Art: Masterworks from the National Museum of Wildlife Art and editor of the award-winning Bob Kuhn: Drawing on Instinct.
Vance G. Martin: Vance Martin joined The Wild Foundation — the only international organization dedicated entirely to protecting wilderness and wild nature around the world — as president in 1984 after 15 years in international business and nonprofit management. An innovative leader known for bridging the interests of people and nature, he has worked in over 45 countries and helped to establish many nonprofits.
David Rothenberg: David Rothenberg has written and performed on the relationship between humanity and nature for many years. He is the author of Why Birds Sing, Thousand Mile Song, Bug Music and other books. He is also a composer and jazz clarinetist and has recorded nine CDs.
M Sanjayan: The lead scientist for The Nature Conservancy, Sanjayan specializes in wildlife ecology, while also focusing on media outreach and public speaking about conservation issues. He holds a doctorate from the University of California, Santa Cruz and has a research faculty appointment with the Wildlife Program at the University of Montana. Sanjayan was recently named science and environmental contributor for CBS News. Hewill act as the emcee of the Moving Mountains Symposium 2014.
Florian Schulz: Born in Germany, Florian Schulz is a professional nature and wildlife photographer with a strong conservation vision. He is the youngest founding member of the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP), and his work has been published extensively and won numerous international awards.
Cheryl Strayed: With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, Cheryl Strayed hiked more than 1,000 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State — alone. Her New York Times bestseller Wild chronicles the story of her impulsive and ultimately healing adventure.
Lynx Vilden: Founder and head instructor of the Living Wild School, which is dedicated to developing wilderness living skills, Lynx Vilden has traveled, explored and researched the nature and traditional cultures of arctic, mountain and desert regions from Hudson Bay to the Red Sea. The film Living Wild documents Vilden and a small group of apprentices as they adapt to prehistoric living conditions for several months.
Tickets and festival passes to Mountainfilm in Telluride, which includes the Moving Mountains Symposium, are currently on sale at discounted prices.
ABOUT THE MOVING MOUNTAINS SYMPOSIUM: The Moving Mountains Symposium at Mountainfilm in Telluride was first held in 1994 to discuss Tibet’s struggle for freedom and, in recent years, has highlighted other important themes, such as sustainability, energy, water, food, extinction, population and climate solutions.