North Carolina’s Mountain Treasures
Help Protect the Vulnerable Wildlands of the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests
 

Asheville Citizen-Times: Wilderness Society hosts writers panel

ASHEVILLE – When Brent Martin talks about wilderness, his words take on the passionate urgency of a poem.

So it makes sense that Martin, regional director for the Southern Appalachian office of the Wilderness Society, and also a poet, would convene a panel of equally passionate and knowledgeable writers and scientists to discuss the topic so close to his heart.

The Sylva-based nonprofit will present “Wilderness & The Anthropocene,” an evening of discussion with four of the region’s top environmental writers, April 15, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville. The event includes a wine and beer reception and time for meeting the panel members.

“I feel like the idea of wilderness and the idea of wildness continue to be challenged conceptually and intellectually and all of that trickles down and plays itself out on the land, ultimately,” Martin said. “I want people to come out and understand why wilderness still matters, why we need more wilderness in Western North Carolina and not less, and how this term ‘Anthropocene’ is drilling down the question,” Martin said.

The panel will consider what it means to have wilderness, “where man himself is a visitor who does not remain,” during the Anthropocene, the term being used to describe the current geologic time period as being defined by humans.

The term is “a big idea,” he said. “The geology of the planet is being affected by human activity.”

The panel will also examine the concepts of a healthy environment as a human right, and environmental degradation as a social injustice.

“The writers and scientists on this panel are among the best equipped to consider these questions as we look toward what the future of the Anthropocene may hold. It’s an exciting opportunity to bring them all together for an evening,” Martin said.

The panelists include:

  • John Lane: Teaches environmental studies at Wofford College where he also directs the Goodall Center for Environmental Studies. His latest prose work is “Fate Moreland’s Widow: A Novel from Story River Books.”
  • Catherine Reid: A professor in the Creative Writing Program at Warren Wilson College, where she specializes in nonfiction and environmental writing. She is the author of two works of nonfiction, “Falling into Place: An Intimate Geography of Home” and “Coyote: Seeking the Hunter in Our Midst.”
  • Drew Lanham. A Master Teacher and certified wildlife biologist, and the Alumni Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology in the Forestry and Environmental Conservation Department at Clemson University. He is also a widely published author and poet.
  • Jennifer Frick-Ruppert: The author of “Mountain Nature: A Seasonal Natural History of the Southern Appalachians,” and a professor of biology and environmental science at Brevard College.

“This event is for anyone in the public who values the protection of wild places,” Martin said, “and for anyone who understands we’re living in a world where climate change and human activities are altering this planet in profound, and potentially permanent ways.”

If you go

“Wilderness & The Anthropocene” is 6-9 p.m. April 15 at the  Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville, 1 Edwin Place. A reception starts at 6 p.m. with wine and beer provided by Asheville Brewing Co. and hors d’oeuvres by Strada Italiano. The panel discussion begins at 7 p.m. and a Q&A session and book signing starts at 8 p.m. 

The event is free but RSVP is requested online at wilderness-and-the-anthropocene.eventbrite.com. For more information, call 828-587-9453. 

Bookmark and Share