2016 Conference: State of the Environment

The Tetons region’s environment — our flora, fauna, and landscape — is the wellspring of all of our essential qualities: our character, our economy, our lifestyle. This fundamental reality begs an equally-important question: What is the state of our environment? As important: How do we know? Without clear answers to these questions, it seems unlikely we can achieve the Comp Plan’s vision to “Preserve and protect the area’s ecosystem in order to ensure a healthy environment, community and economy for current and future generations.”

Since the advent of the Industrial Revolution, no community or region on Earth has simultaneously developed an advanced economy and maintained the health of its surrounding ecosystem. Similarly, there are no examples of a healthy, functioning ecosystem surrounding an area enjoying a flourishing industrial or post-industrial economy.

250 years of history suggest that the traditional approaches to trying to “…ensure a healthy a healthy environment, community and economy for current and future generations” won’t work. But during that 250 years, there’s arguably been no other place like the Tetons region, a place that enjoys not just a thriving economy and a basically healthy ecosystem, but also the knowledge that, going forward, traditional approaches to conservation likely won’t cut it.

More than that, though, the Tetons area also enjoys one additional, vital quality: the passion of those who live here; the passion necessary to animate any great effort. Today – this day, this year, this generation – those who love the Tetons region have the extraordinary opportunity to figure out a new way of interacting with the environment, a way which allows both the humans living here and the environment in which we live to simultaneously thrive.

22 in 21: The State of Our Environment won’t answer all the questions or solve all the problems associated with this vision of “co-thriving.” Indeed, it may only serve to raise a new set of questions. But the opportunity at hand is to take the first step on the path toward developing a new approach to conservation, one as in tune with the 21st century’s opportunities and challenges as were the new approaches to conservation developed during earlier generations by our forebears.

In the words of Margaret Mead, “Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” Thank you for caring, and thank you for being part of 22 in 21: The State of Our Environment.

Jonathan Schechter,
Executive Director,
Charture Institute

Agenda

11:00 – 11:30 Welcome and Opening Remarks – Jonathan Schechter Charture Institute
11:30 – 11:50 Assessing the State of Our Environment
Doug Wachob, PhD University of Wyoming
Siva Sundaresan, PhD Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance
Corinna Riginos, PhD University of Wyoming and Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative
12:30 – 1:15 Lunch
1:15 – 2:15 Interacting with the Environment
Arts – Adam Harris, PhD National Museum of Wildlife Art
Economy – Jeff Golightly Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce
Recreation – Scott Horn Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
Len Carlman Snake River Fund
2:15 – 2:30 Break
2:30 – 4:30 Small Group Exercise – Where are we? Where do we want to be? How do we get there?
4:30 – 5:00 Reports Out and Wrap Up
5:00 – 6:00 Social Hour

 

Videos

22 in 21 2016 State of the Environment: Jonathan Schechter Opening Remarks

22 in 21 2016 State of the Environment: Adam Harris

22 in 21 2016 State of the Environment: Siva Sundaresan

22 in 21 2016 State of the Environment: Corinna Riginos and Chauncey Smith

22 in 21 2016 State of the Environment: Scott Horn

22 in 21 2016 State of the Environment: Jeff Golightly

22 in 21 2016 State of the Environment: Len Carlman

22 in 21 2016 State of the Environment: Doug Wachob

22 in 21 2016 State of the Environment: 1st Panel Discussion

22 in 21 2016 State of the Environment: 2nd Panel Discussion