May 1, 2013
WHERE: Temple University Ambler Learning Center, 580 Meetinghouse Road
WHEN: Wednesday, May 8
6:15 to 7 p.m. (Reception)
7 to 8 p.m. (Film)
8 to 8:45 p.m. (Panel Discussion)
In the wake of major wildfires, loss of forests to development, and other conservation concerns stakeholders of all kinds have come to realize that sustainable forest management will play a role in conserving forests for a wide array of values — water resource protection, wildlife habitat, biodiversity, and climate mitigation as well as wood and bioenergy.
A new documentary shows how the work of the Pinchot Institute and Grey Towers National Historic Site are bringing people together to discover solutions to conservation challenges unimagined in legendary conservationist Gifford Pinchot’s day. Produced by PBS affiliate WVIA in Scranton, Seeking the Greatest Good: The Conservation Legacy of Gifford Pinchot highlights the history and continuing value of Pinchot’s philosophy of natural resource conservation through sustainable use.
On Wednesday, May 8, Temple University Ambler and the Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association will host a special screening of Seeking the Greatest Good beginning at 7 p.m. in the Ambler Campus Learning Center. A reception will precede the screening from 6:15 to 7 p.m. This program is free and open to the public.
Following the film, a panel discussion — “Conservation vs. Preservation: Gifford Pinchot’s Legacy and its Lessons for Southeastern Pennsylvania” — will begin at 8 p.m. Panelists will include Carol Collier, Executive Director of the Delaware River Basin Commission; Dennis Miranda, Executive Director of the Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association; Pennsylvania State Representative Kate Harper; Sarah Low, Coordinator of the U.S. Forest Service Philadelphia Field Station; and Dr. Jeffrey Featherstone, Director of Temple’s Center for Sustainable Communities, who will also act as moderator.
The Delaware River Basin plays an important role in Seeking the Greatest Good as well as in Gifford Pinchot’s life; it is also a region of especial concern for the Pinchot Institute through its Common Waters Fund. The Upper Delaware Basin remains, on average, 80 percent forested and predominantly rural. These forests ensure the availability of affordable, exceptionally clean water for more than 15 million people every day.
The Basin, however, is under intense development pressure. Family forest owners and other small landowners who are “land rich but cash poor” are turning to subdividing their land, selling it into a mix of non-forest uses, and fragmenting the forests by new roads, pipelines and utility transmission corridors. The Common Waters Fund is an innovative project of the Pinchot Institute to help forest landowners keep their forests as forests and to improve their management. Seeking the Greatest Good tells the story of the Institute’s efforts to conserve the forests of the Upper Delaware Basin.
Seeking the Greatest Good includes interviews with preeminent historian Char Miller; New York Times contributing reporter and award-winning author Tim Egan; Theodore Roosevelt IV; Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies Dean (retired) John Gordon; U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell; Pinchot Institute president Al Sample; Grey Towers director Allison Stewart; and Pinchot family representatives. Participants in the Pinchot Institute’s research and outreach programs are interviewed to give personal accounts of the value of these programs to their communities and the sustainable management of local resources, from the waters of the Delaware River, to the forests of the Pacific Northwest and Ecuador.
The Pinchot Institute was established in 1963 when President John F. Kennedy visited Milford, Pennsylvania, to accept the Pinchot family’s gift of the family estate to the American people. The Pinchots intended for Grey Towers to provide research and education on emerging conservation concerns, to broaden public understanding of the importance of environmental education, and to provide objective information to policymakers on key conservation issues.
The Pinchot Institute, in partnership with Grey Towers National Historic Site, continues to fulfill this mission today, as it celebrates the 50th anniversary of the dedication by President Kennedy. At Grey Towers, Pinchot’s philosophy of “practical conservation” is carried forward through research that works to ensure the restoration of healthy, resilient ecosystems that can deliver clean air and water, habitat for wildlife, opportunities for recreation, and all the other benefits that people get from forests.
Grey Towers also works to bring people, and particularly children, closer to the environment through interpretive tours and environmental literacy programs. The Pinchot Institute and Grey Towers are developing an educational curriculum to accompany the documentary to provide a tool for schools in Pennsylvania and across the country to teach students about the history of conservation and stewardship of natural resources.
View the trailer and learn more about the documentary at www.seekinggreatestgood.org.
For more information or to register for this event, contact 267-468-8440 or email@example.com.