|The Monona Terrace Convention Center in Madison, Wisconsin, will host the July 2010 Vision Conference of the National Wildlife Refuge System.|
Madison, Wisconsin, to Host Refuge System Vision Conference
In the face of climate change and a host of societal changes, the nation’s largest steward of public conservation lands is reinvigorating its strategic direction for the next decade or more. The National Wildlife Refuge System, part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has embarked on a year-long process to establish a new vision for the 107-year-old network of public lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife and plants.
The process will culminate with a conference to be held during the week of July 10, 2011, in Madison, Wisconsin. Conference organizers call the choice of that location a perfect fit since Madison was once home to author/environmentalist and University of Wisconsin game management professor Aldo Leopold, revered by conservationists as the father of wildlife ecology. Leopold’s classic 1949 book, A Sand County Almanac, has inspired many in the environmental movement — and beyond.
In drafting a new vision, Refuge System teams will focus on conservation design, planning and delivery; science; relevance; and leadership. They plan to build on a 1998 document called “Fulfilling the Promise,” drafted in conjunction with a 1998 Refuge System conference in Keystone, Colorado.Organizers expect some 1,200 people to attend the 2011 Vision Conference and thousands more to be part of an online audience. The Refuge System has pledged the conference will be carbon-neutral.