Press Release: Inaugural Leopold Lecture to feature noted author Barry Lopez

Barry Lopez, an author whose writings are recognized for their humanitarian and environmental concerns, will be the keynote speaker at the inaugural Leopold Lecture on Sunday, April 23.

The lecture program, inspired by the work of environmentalist and conservationist Aldo Leopold, will be held 2 p.m. at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, 1701 4th St. SW, Albuquerque. Admission is free but donations to support the nonprofit Leopold Writing Program are appreciated.

Lopez, who lives on the upper McKenzie River in Oregon, is the author of 14 works of fiction and non-fiction, and has traveled through more than 80 countries in the course of his work. His books include “Of Wolves and Men,” a finalist for the National Book Award, and “Arctic Dreams,” a National Book Award winner.

He is the recipient of numerous literary and cultural honors, including Guggenheim, Lannan, and National Science Foundation fellowships.

“We are especially honored to have Barry Lopez, a National Book Award-winning author give the inaugural Leopold Lecture,” Anthony Anella, founder and president of the Leopold Writing Program, said. “The mission of the Leopold Writing Program is to create an intergenerational network of leaders who, by virtue of their writing talent, have the potential to change the cultural story about the relationship between humans and nature.”

Anella noted that in celebration of the program’s intergenerational mission, Lopez will present awards to the four winners of the Aldo Leopold Writing Contest for students in grades 6-12 prior to his lecture.

Aldo Leopold, who had close ties to New Mexico, was an author, philosopher, scientist, ecologist, forester, conservationist, and environmentalist who lived from 1887 to 1948.

He is the author of “A Sand County Almanac,” in which he asserts his land ethic: “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.”

The Leopold Writing Program builds on his legacy as a writer by inspiring the next generation of leaders to participate in the evolution of environmental ethics through the written word.

The Leopold Writing Program consists of educational initiatives that support writers in three different stages of their development:

  • Aldo Leopold Writing Contest for New Mexico students in grades 6-12;
  • Aldo & Estella Leopold Residency Program, where mid-career professional writers spend a month at Mi Casita in Tres Piedras, the Leopolds’ first home;
  • Leopold Lecture, for nationally and internationally distinguished writers, seeks to raise the cultural awareness of Leopold’s lifelong philosophical search for how humans could “live on the land without spoiling it.”

The Golden Apple Foundation coordinated the Aldo Leopold Writing Contest, which asked students to answer this question: “How is the way people treat each other related to the way people treat the land?” Award winners will receive cash prizes and books.

The 2017 winners are:

Grades 6-7: Tigerlily Warner, a sixth-grader at Aldo Leopold Charter School in Silver City, teacher Mark Cantrell;

Grades 8-9: Isabella Clark, an eighth-grader at Mandela Independent Magnet School in Santa Fe, teacher Nevada Benton;

Grades 10-12: Abygail MacCurdy, a senior at Albuquerque High School, teacher Lisa Martinez, 12th grade;

Overall Best Essayist: Isabella Clark, an eighth-grader at Mandela Independent Magnet School in Santa Fe, teacher Nevada Benton.

Sponsors of the Leopold Lecture are: The Leopold Writing Program, the Golden Apple Foundation of New Mexico, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, the Aldo Leopold Foundation, Bookworks and Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm.

For information about Lopez, visit his website barrylopez.com. For more about the Leopold Writing Program, visit LeopoldWritingProgram.org.

[NOT FOR PUBLICATION: Anthony Anella may be reached at (505) 265-8713 or anthony@anella.com.]