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The Forces of Nature:
Environmental Elders Speak


The Forces of Nature is a Council of Elders project that is comprised of retired and active resource managers, scientists, citizen activists, and environmentalists. RRI’s goal is to inspire and empower environmental professionals, educators, and citizens to better manage and protect natural resources. The online library contains more than one hundred interviews and ultimately will expand to at least 250 interviews. Promoting the website to universities, schools, libraries, grassroots groups, and professional associations will ensure the project’s continued growth and success.

RRI is seeking funding to support all phases of the project: research, interviewing, production, and outreach. Please contact us if you would like to make a contribution, recommend an interview subject, host a screening, or have questions or comments.

Problem

The knowledge and experience of those who defined the modern environmental movement offer vital lessons to future generations, but this wisdom is being lost with the passage of time.

Opportunity

Resource Renewal Institute’s online video library contains exceptional fi rst-person accounts of men and women who dedicated themselves to defending and protecting our nation’s natural heritage and human health. In digitally recorded interviews, activists and policymakers discuss the strategies, tactics, and insights behind key decisions that have shaped the environmental movement for more than fifty years.

RRI’s small research team identifi es environmental elders for the project and digitally records and edits each interview. The videos are available at no cost through an open source website: theforcesofnature.com. The intended audience includes environmental and political leaders, natural resource managers, students, teachers, researchers, activists, and nature lovers.

There are many ways to view and interact with the transcripts, biographies, photographs, and links related to each interview, which are searchable by name, subject, theme, geography, date, and lessons learned. Visitors can create a “playlist” of videos of interest, post videos through links to social media sites, and share them via email. RRI also provides DVDs on request.

Our archive metrics have captured data illustrating the project’s overall reach on the Internet. In total, our Forces of Nature collection has accessed by a whopping 475,000 people from over 140 countries since its inception 4 years ago this June.

Next Steps

We are currently developing a shortlist of new interviewees to include new themes of environmental justice and climate change.

Recent interviewees:
Elaine Brown (former chairwoman of the Black Panthers)

Mike Dombeck (served as Acting Director of the Bureau of Land Management from 1994–1997 and was the 14th Chief of the United States Forest Service from 1997 to 2001)

John Levinson (former employee with the Trust for Public land)

Charles Wilkinson (environmental lawyer and author whose work focuses on Indian and tribal law; currently teaching at University of Colorado Boulder)

Marilyn Price (founder of Trips for Kids)

John Leshy (emeritus law professor at U.C. Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco; advised both the Clinton and Obama administrations and served as the Solicitor for the U.S. Department of the Interior during the Clinton administration)

John Echohawk (Native American rights lawyer)

The late Michael Frome (life-long wilderness and national park activist and author)

RRI is seeking funding to support all phases of the project: research, interviewing, production, and outreach. Please contact us if you would like to make a contribution, recommend an interview subject, host a screening, or have questions or comments.

NEWS

Huey Speaks for the Trees

“In 2001, Huey Johnson received the United Nations Environmental Programme’s prestigious Sasakawa Prize. When he got the letter, he read it, then tossed it on his desk with the other hundreds of papers requesting his attention. It took a full two days until someone in the office called the U.N. and confirmed that, yes, he was the year’s sole recipient of the $200,000 prize and would be honored at a ceremony in Washington, D.C….” Read the 10-20-14 Bohemian profile here




     
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