International League of Conservation Writers

Writing to inspire the love of nature and a passion for its protection
The International League of Conservation Writers is a forum to bring writers together from around the world who are writing to promote wilderness, nature, conservation, or using other means to protect and restore the natural areas, habitats, animals, and plants of our planet. ILCW will present periodic writing awards to authors who excel in this field.

Come write, do research, and be near wild and protected areas in Colorado while working in the David R. Brower Office of Conservation Writing. Sit at the same desk used by Dave Brower.

ILCW Members Are Eligible to Use  David R. Brower Office for Conservation Writing There is no cost for ILCW members to use the office.  For information click  here.

Featured Video

50 Years Ago, This Was a Wasteland

Almost 50 years ago, fried chicken tycoon David Bamberger used his fortune to purchase 5,500 acres of overgrazed land in the Texas Hill Country. Planting grasses to soak in rains and fill hillside aquifers, Bamberger devoted the rest of his life to restoring the degraded landscape. Today, the land has been restored to its original habitat and boasts enormous biodiversity. Bamberger's model of land stewardship is now being replicated across the region and he is considered to be a visionary in land management and water conservation.


Go to all previous Featured Videos here.

“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we aredoing to ourselves and to one another.” 
― Mahatma Gandhi


Have news to share? Click here.

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Wolfpacks Manage Disease Outbreaks

Wolves are known to be lazy hunters. Consequently, they will always choose the easiest prey, meaning young, sick or old animals. This preference for easy prey significantly influences the population dynamics and compositions of the preyed animals, for example deer or wild boar. In particular, during disease outbreaks the wolf plays a crucial role to keep the number of infested animals at bay. Data from Slovakia underlines the wolf’s important position as the doctor of the wild. Read more from the European Wilderness Society blog. Click here.

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Wild and Scenic Rivers: The St. Croix River

By Alison M. Jones

The St. Croix River runs through Wisconsin and Minnesota as a valuable upstream tributary to the Mississippi River, one of No Water No Life’s (NWNL) 6 case-study watersheds. In 1968, the St. Croix River was among the first 8 rivers added to the new Wild and Scenic River System, making this a 50-year anniversary of that designation. (The other rivers added at that time were the Clearwater, Eleven Point, Feather, Rio Grande, Rogue, Salmon, and Wolf Rivers.)

Two other segments of the St. Croix were added to the Wild and Scenic River System in 1972 and 1976. A total of 252 miles of the St. Croix River have been designated under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act: 193 miles for their scenic value and 59 for their recreational value. To read more and to see the photos click here.

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Rewilding at Many Scales: A Book Review Essay

By John Miles

Dave Foreman, in his landmark 2004 book Rewilding North America: A Vision for Conservation in the 21st Century, makes a convincing case that “To make protected areas more effective, conservationists must now (1) work on very large landscapes, probably continental in scope, and (2) undertake ecological restoration based on rewilding.”[1] He advocated a science-based approach to protecting and creating a network of “core wild areas, wildlife movement linkages, and compatible use lands to meet habitat needs of wide-ranging species, maintain natural disturbance regimes, and permit dispersal and reestablishment of wildlife following natural events such as fires.”[2] Dave was thinking big, though of course he was working at all landscape scales. In 2018, he has been working on a local rewilding project in the Sandia Mountains near his Albuquerque home. Since he wrote this book, much thought and action has been invested in pursuing this vision and some progress made on large scale initiatives like Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y), Yellowstone to Uintas (Y to U), and Algonquin to Adirondack (A2A)..

In this essay I address the question of whether rewilding should be seen only as a large-scale effort or whether it should be pursued at many scales… My thinking about this was stimulated by my reading of recently published books: Joe Riis, Yellowstone Migrations (Seattle, Braided River, 2017); Matthew Kauffman, et al, Wild Migrations: Atlas of Wyoming Ungulates (Corvallis, Oregon State University Press, 2018); Ben Goldfarb, Eager: The Surprising Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter (White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green, 2018); and Scott Freeman, Tarboo Creek: One Family’s Quest to Heal the Land (Portland, OR: Timber Press, 2018.) All of these books describe, in my view, rewilding. They may not all involve Foreman’s core wild areas, but they describe work based on science and efforts to enhance wildlife movement across landscapes. They promote land use compatible to the needs of wide-ranging species. Some of these species, like elk, pronghorn, and mule deer in the Yellowstone region, and salmon in the Pacific Northwest, are very wide-ranging. Beavers may not range widely but as a keystone species enhancing habitats, they help the wide rangers and restore natural processes on the land. Read entire article.

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Play Features Hudon’s Writing

Two Roads theater troupe used ILCW member (Canada) Daniel Hudon’s book Brief Eulogies for Lost Animals: An Extinction Primer and the writings from Darwin as the basis for their play Mirabilis: Stories of Wonder and Loss: An Extinction Cabaret, about recent animals extinctions to raise awareness about what we're losing and what we've lost. The performance took place in October in Medford, Massachusetts. Two Roads plans to have a larger production of the play in 2019.

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Planting 1,000 Trees

That's how many trees and other flora ILCW member (USA) Adrienne Ross Scanlan will be planting in the Puget Sound region of Washington state. Call it a personal response to climate change, a logical next step in urban nature restoration, or a much needed kick in the butt against political and environmental despair. So far she’s planted (not quite) 200 native trees, shrubs, and ground cover plants, which means trees will be part of her nature writing and restoration efforts for a long, long time to come. Click here for more information about Adrienne and her many projects.

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Somalia-Call for End of Crimes Against Journalists

Several media groups in Africa denounced the culture of impunity for crimes against journalists in Somalia. At least three journalists have died since July 2018 with little or no explanation by authorities as to the apprehension of those involved. Witnesses claim a policeman was responsible for a murder of a journalist in July. Because of the inaction to bring those accused to justice the media groups called for an International Day to End Impunity (IDEI) for Crimes against Journalists on November 2, 2018. They urged H.E. Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, and his office to prioritize investigations into all attacks against journalists in Somalia and bring the violators to justice. They also hope to support the president’s efforts towards ensuring a safe environment for journalists and the people of Somalia to enjoy their fundamental rights to freedom of expression and human rights both online and offline.

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Lewa Makes IUCN’s Green List

The IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas is the first global standard of best practice for area-based conservation. It is a program of certification for protected and conserved areas – national parks, natural World Heritage sites, community conserved areas, nature reserves and so on – that are effectively managed and fairly governed. The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Isiola, Kenya was recognized by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as one of the top 40 protected areas of the world. Click here for more information.

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Giant Panda Returns to China from San Diego Zoo

Gao Gao the Giant Panda who had been living at the San Diego Zoo for the past 15 years is returning to China per the zoo’s agreement with the People’s Republic of China. While at the zoo, Gao Gao fathered five cubs. When the Giant Panda Conservation Program began in 1996 the number of Giant Panda in the wild was thought to be less than 1,000. The 2014 census revealed 1,864 Giant Pandas in the wild plus 300 more living in zoos and managed habitats in China and elsewhere. Gao Gao will return to the Chinese Center for Research and Conservation for Giant Panda in Dujiangyan, China.

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Camping with European Outdoor Ethics Programme

Verena Gruber (ILCW member, Austria) of the European Wilderness Society points out in her latest blog post the differences in camping in Wilderness between the United States and Europe. Camping in the Wilderness in the U.S. is allowed (as long as Leave No Trace Rules are followed) but that camping in European Wilderness is highly restricted or prohibited in many protected areas. But there are other ways to experience European Wilderness as her post points out. Click here to read more.

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Review of Fire Storm: How Wildfire Will Shape Our Future

Review by John Miles

While I was reading Edward Struzik’s Fire Storm: How Wildfire Will Shape Our Future, the Camp Fire in Northern California roared through 100,000 acres in two days, destroying many structures and killing, at this writing, 80 people with more than a thousand missing. Natural disasters like these are attributable to weather and not necessarily climate change, but warming oceans and extended droughts are causal factors in such events. Reading of the consequences of sea level rise and megafires, I could not help but think about how many of us humans are in denial and cannot summon the will to do anything to mitigate climate change and is effects.

Edward Struzik is a Canadian science and environmental journalist who has lately focused his work on the impact of climate change in Canada and the Arctic. His most recent book, Fire Storm, is a hard look at what seems a new normal for wildfire in the northern latitudes – megafires, which are defined as fires of over 100,000 acres. He opens his book with a riveting account the May 2016 Fort McMurray fire in northern Alberta that burned nearly a half million acres, destroyed 2400 buildings, and required the evacuation of 80,000 people. Luck was with the people of Fort McMurray and its surroundings, and no one died, but this fire is considered the worst natural disaster in the history of Canada. Struzik writes:

The important thing is that no one died in the fire, people keep telling me over and over again. They are right, of course. But they are also wrong, because loss of life is not necessarily the best way of measuring success. Fort McMurray was the worst natural disaster in Canadian history. It could have been much worse if so many things – wind, demographics, safety training, quick and creative thinking, heroism, and luck – hadn’t aligned in the manners they did. The town dodged a lot of bullets. Read more.

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Science Forum South Africa

More than 3500 participants are expected at the annual Science Forum South Africa, December 12-14, 2018 in Pretoria, South Africa. This is the largest pan-African science gathering dedicated to research and innovation. ILCW member Daud Abdi Daud will attend representing Somali Media for Environment Science Health and Agriculture (SOMESHA). Participants are expected from Africa, and non-African countries from Brussels to Beijing and Toronto to Tokyo. Click here for more information about the conference.

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Second Wolf Pack Found in Austria

About a half-dozen wolves have been spotted via a trip camera near the Austrian-Czech border near Karlstift. There is also evidence that a third pack may be located on the Czech side as well. Wolves were hunted to extinction in Europe but are making their way back. See more at the European Wilderness Society here.

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Stay Positive in Negative Times

The Back to Basics blogs encourages writers to stay positive and resist the fear we are subjected to on a daily basis. Click here to read.

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Extract Lithium from Sea Water?

Due to a new filtering material, lithium could be extracted during the desalination process of producing freshwater from the ocean. The process is being developed by researchers at Monash University in Australia and the University of Texas at Austin. Lithium is an important component in batteries and is currently valued at $100 a pound. The value could offset the cost of desalination. Click here to read the entire article.

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Giant Panda Best Friends Award to Pandas International

GPFriends International gemeinnützige UG announced this year’s Giant Panda Best Friends award to Pandas International, USA; Tiergarten Schönbrunn, Austria; Chengdu Panda Base, China; and CCRCGP China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda, China. The award is given to the selected individuals, institutions, organizations and institutions who are committed to the protection of nature, wildlife and species, in particular the Great Pandas.

Suzanne Braden is President of Panda International and a member of ILCW

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Why Beavers Matter

Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter

In Eager, environmental journalist Ben Goldfarb reveals that our modern idea of what a healthy landscape looks like and how it functions is wrong, distorted by the fur trade that once trapped out millions of beavers from North America’s lakes and rivers. The consequences of losing beavers were profound: streams eroded, wetlands dried up, and species from salmon to swans lost vital habitat. Today, a growing coalition of “Beaver Believers”―including scientists, ranchers, and passionate citizens―recognizes that ecosystems with beavers are far healthier, for humans and non-humans alike, than those without them. From the Nevada deserts to the Scottish highlands, Believers are now hard at work restoring these industrious rodents to their former haunts. Eager is a powerful story about one of the world’s most influential species, how North America was colonized, how our landscapes have changed over the centuries, and how beavers can help us fight drought, flooding, wildfire, extinction, and the ravages of climate change. Ultimately, it’s about how we can learn to coexist, harmoniously and even beneficially, with our fellow travelers on this planet.

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Green Radio Hour

The Green Radio Hour hosted by ILCW member Jon Bowermaster has been on the air from KWNY 1490 ( since March. Bowermaster interviews figures from the political advocacy, science, and activist worlds like: lawyer/activist/ethicist Karenna Gore, filmmaker Josh Fox, author and poet Eliza Griswold, former New York Times environmental writer Andy Revkin, biologist and anti-fractivist Sandra Steingraber, plastic pollution champion Dianna Cohen and, author Paul Greenberg. Also, check out their archives of past shows here.

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Prairies Book is a Gem

ILCW member (USA) Cathy Morrison has illustrated a beautiful book about the flora and fauna found on the prairie. Written by Marybeth Lorbiecki, The Prairie that Nature Built, is a book that will captivate both children and adults while learning about the prairie’s plants and animals. At the end there is more information and activities that children can do to continue to learn about this amazing ecosystem.











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Hatred of Journalists Threatens Democracies

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has released their 2018 World Press Freedom Index showing growing animosity toward journalists world-wide. Many times the hostility towards the media is openly encourage by political leaders and those with authoritarian regimes. To see an interesting map showing the degree of “hatred” toward journalists, click here.

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Science Magazine Profiles ILCW co-founder Boyd Norton


The American Association for the Advancement of Science just published a story about ILCW member (USA) Boyd Norton and how he went from being a nuclear scientist to an ardent conservationist and photographer. Click here to read.

Boyd Norton and admirer

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A Maasai Steward of the Serengeti

Alison Jones of No Water No Life (and ILCW member, USA) met with Meyasi Mollal of the Serengeti Preservation Foundation (and ILCW member, Tanzania) recently in Nairobi to talk about the Mara River Basin. The Mara River flows from Kenya, across Tanzania and into Lake Victoria providing water to Kenya’s Maasai Mari and Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. Kenya currently has proposals to build several dams on the Mara River. Read the interview here.

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Top 37 US Parks to Visit

The Hiking Blog for Montem Outdoor Gear recommends37 must see US National Parks to explore before you die. Click here to learn more.

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Environmental Defense Fund Going to Space

The Environmental Defense Fund is planning to launch a satellite known as MethaneSAT to measure methane leaks from oil and gas operations, many of which could be stopped with easy repairs. Methane accounts for a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. The satellite will produce a snapshot of 80 percent of the Earth every seven days and will detect methane in concentrations of as little as two parts per billion.

The data collected will pinpoint offenders and contributors to global warming so that the leaks can be stopped, as well as provide an accurate account of progress in stopping the methane emissions. The data will also help in prosecuting negligent offenders. The goal of this project is to cut methane pollution 45% by 2025. That would be equivalent to shutting down 1,300 coal power plants. The estimated launch of the satellite is slated for 2021. For more information click here.

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Urban Birder in German

David Lindo, ILCW member (UK) has a new book just out in German. He says it is a compilation of his English title Tales From the Concrete Jungles with additional chapters on German, Austrian and Swiss cities. For more details visit here.




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Scientists say the Mississippi is flooding more than it has in 500 years — and we caused it

In a recent study it was found that man’s best effort to make the Mississippi River more efficient for shipping by straightening it and adding levees to protect against floods may have had the unintended effect of causing higher flooding. Scientists says the river is flooding more now than it has in 500 years. Click here to read the article.

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Hasselstrom wins Sarton Award

Linda M. Hasselstrom (ILCW member, USA) has won the Sarton Women’s Book Award for Memoir for her title Gathering from the Grassland: A Plains Journal. The Story Circle Network, an international nonprofit organization of women writers, recently announced the winners of its 2017 Sarton Women's Book Awards™. The award program is named in honor of May Sarton, who is remembered for her contributions to women's literature as a memoirist, novelist, and poet.Linda M. Hasselstrom is a nature writer, poet, and longtime leader in land steward­ship, and examines several generations of family diaries searching for an understanding of her ancestors and for direction in planning for the future of the plains ranch which has been in the family for over a century. Moving through the days of a year, she is never afraid to show the reader the most difficult thing of all, the truth of her life. The portrait that emerges is of a woman who makes peace with life’s complexities and finds joy in honoring the plains and its people and animals. Ever the nature writer at heart, Hasselstrom crafts miniature essays on plains animals including antelope, owls, badgers, snakes, buffalo, and cattle. She also delves into rural community dynamics, death and aging, family, and the work of a writer. Click here for a short video about her ranch life, writing and teaching career.
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News From WILDvoices

Founder of WildVoices, Tomasz Wiercioch writes: This week, I want to introduce you to two young photographers, Neale Howarth and Alex Basaraba. They've taken over our Instagram to share wildlife and climate change stories. Neale is based out of Pumba Private Game Reserve, in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, and has been developing his own style of wildlife photography over the last few years and contributes behind-the-scenes blog posts to WILDvoices. Alex is passionate about Climate Change, the environment, and empowering human livelihoods. Through his many travels, he has captured and told many captivating stories at the intersection of environmental conservation and human well-being. He recently launched @AClimateLens, an Instagram based platform featuring a collective of photographers documenting Climate Change to infuse hope in global adaptation and resiliency. He also has a great personal Instagram account. For more information about WILDvoices, contact them here.

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Anti-Poaching Success in Mali

Mali Elephants Safe for Past Year

The Mali Elephant Project (MEP), working with grassroots leaders and national government officials, reports that there was no recorded poaching of elephants during the past year. The habitat is the size of Switzerland, 8 million acres (3.24 million ha), containing elephants as well as numerous cultures and ethnic groups who have traditionally managed their lands separately.

Program director, Susan Canney, and field manager, Nomba Ganame, realized that protecting a herd that migrates across such a vast territory could only be accomplished with local support. That is why the Mali Elephant Project brought together eight ethnic groups for the first-time, and worked with them to organize an elder council that jointly manages the land for the benefit of people and elephants. The Mali Elephant Project harnesses the power of working together to achieve conservation outcomes that would be impossible for one group working in isolation to produce on their own.

In 2013, a violent insurgency swept through the elephant habitat and destabilized the entire region (making the elephants susceptible to bandits and poachers for the first time), the Mali Elephant Project was the only NGO project to remain operating in the region. In an escalating climate of fear and uncertainty, it became necessary to unite local leadership with national-level officials for greater coordination. The result of that process was an official decree issued by Mali’s President in early 2016 calling on all of Mali’s agencies to prioritize working together to save this internationally important herd.

The MEP also built the foundation for Mali’s first anti-poaching unit (APU), a bold and unique collaboration between Mali’s Ministry of Environment, the United Nations MINUSMA forces, Chengeta Wildlife, and local communities. The APU was first deployed in January 2016. The Mali Elephant Project is a project of the WILD Foundation. See more here..

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Another City Sues Fossil Fuel Companies
for Climate Change

Richmond, California became the ninth U.S. community to sue fossil fuel giants over climate change, joining cities like New York and San Francisco. A climate change adaptation study commissioned by the city found that the city’s current levees will not protect it against rising sea levels. It's water supply, sourced from runoff from the Sierra Nevada Mountains, is vulnerable to drought. Source: Thank you to No Water No Life who has followed California drought as a Spotlight.

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Nancy Campbell is Britain’s New Canal Laureate for 2018

Nancy Campbell. Photo by Paul Preece, 2018

The Poetry Society and the Canal & River Trust announce the appointment of Britain’s new Canal Laureate


Nancy Campbell</ Campbell is an ILCW member (UK), Oxford-based poet, and kayaker. She has a keen interest in arctic, marine and water conservation, following on from her winter residency at the most northern museum in the world in Greenland in 2010, and subsequent museum residencies in both Greenland and Iceland over the last seven years. During 2018 she will “seek out and share stories” from the people and places she will encounter during her travels along the 2,000 miles of the nation’s historic canals and waterways looked after by the Canal & River Trust. Nancy begins her role as Canal Laureate this month, taking over from poet Luke Kennard (2016-17) and poet Jo Bell, who became the inaugural Canal Laureate (2013-15). Interested in helping make her poetry accessible to a mainstream audience, Nancy is keen to realise her poems through other mediums such as printmaking and film. Her initial events and collaborations will include: creating a short work about rain to be displayed by the waterways; writing a poem about an unassuming and endangered type of herring – the Twaite Shad; and a collaboration with Nottingham’s ‘Light Night’ event. Established in 2013 by The Poetry Society and the Canal & River Trust, the Canal Laureateship aims to encourage exciting new writing about the Britain’s historic canal network. Previous Laureateships have seen poems stencilled onto canalside walls, carved into newly made lock-beams, translated into short films, and forgotten classic poetry given new life in performances, publication and animations. Canal poetry has been celebrated at venues including the Hay Festival, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Birmingham Literature Festival, National Waterways Museum Ellesmere Port, London’s Southbank Centre and Crick Boat Show, Welshpool Poetry Festival, Market Bosworth Festival, Leeds Liverpool Biennial, and showcased in a dedicated canal edition of BBC Radio 4’s Poetry Please. The project is part of the Arts on the Waterways programme, a partnership between the Canal & River Trust, Arts Council England and Arts Council of Wales to help attract even more visitors to the waterways while surprising and delighting existing communities through innovative art projects.


To read poems by Nancy Campbell and the other New Canal Laureates, please click here.

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Restoring Native Forests to Former Coal Sites

In Appalachia (USA) previous efforts to restore former coal mine sites have left large areas of unproductive land. Now, a group of nonprofits and scientists are working to restore native trees to the region. Read more.

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Proposed Dams May Damage Serengeti Ecosystem

The River Mara is the only permanent source of water for herds of wildlife that migrate between Kenya and Tanzania. Currently Kenya is proposing several dams on the River Mara and its tributaries that would lead to reduced water flows possibly imperiling the lives of many of the animals of the Serengeti in Tanzania. For more information, click here.

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Mexico Creates Largest N. Am. Ocean Reserve

The Guardian reports Mexico’s president Enrique Peña Nieto decreed a protection zone around the Revillagigedo Islands (242 miles / 390 km) southwest of the Baja California peninsula. The protection will ban fishing, mining and the construction of new hotels on the islands.
For more information and to view a short film of these spectacular islands, click here.

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New Books by ILCW members

Reading Nature’s Archives in The Library of Ice Campbell

The Library of Ice: Readings from a Cold Climate
2018, Simon & Schuster / Scribner UK
Hardcover, 336 pages

The book is rich in meticulous detail — it’s a microscope and a dictionary, as much as a library. Less familiar words bloom throughout (‘dioptre’, ‘firn’, ‘philtrum’), and it does well to veer only occasionally towards the abstruse. For all the density of scholarship, it’s a readable account, and highly poetic in places.

Vivid imagery is conjured, whether it’s through Campbell’s words (“The [curling] stone makes me think of a child potentate: everyone’s eyes are on it, and its apparently independent movement is cleverly controlled”) or the words of others (Arctic explorer William McKinley: “As I turned round to face the ship, old Karluk seemed to be doing her best to outdo nature. Her deck covering of snow shimmered like tinsel. Every rope and spar was magnified by a fluffy coating of frosted rime”). Read the entire review by Sally Moss here.

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A Field Guide to Future Conservationists

Second Nature: Saving Tiger Landscapes in the Twenty-First Century by ILCW member Sanjay Gubbi (2018, Rainfed Books) is a “field guide to future conservationists” says Wired magazine. The article goes on to say: The Western Ghats landscape spread across Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala is home to a wildlife corridor passing through Nagarhole, Bandipur, Mudumalai and Wayanad. It hosts the single largest tiger population in the world. This is an area that Sanjay Gubbi is keenly familiar with. Gubbi has documented his conservation efforts in the region, compiled in a new book titled Second Nature: Saving Tiger Landscapes in the Twenty-First Century, published January 2018. The book features the nitty-gritty of wildlife landscape preservation, often far removed from the beauty of hillsides and forestry, the purview of pure ecologists who view applied conservation as “a beast that is far too huge to grapple with.” India’s large human population and the aim to become a ‘developed economy’ has strained forest resources. Policies that facilitate large-scale industrialisation have also resulted in linear infrastructure intrusions like roadways, railway tracks and power lines, which move into natural ecosystems without regard to ecological balance. Click here to read the entire article.

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Did You See This?

NATURE Prevails

Behind every species fighting to survive, are the people dedicated to their protection. We persist, so that nature prevails.

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Rocky Mountain Wolf Project

The Rocky Mountain Wolf Project is committed to restoring the gray wolf to the great National Forests and other public wildlands in western Colorado. After the successful reintroduction of gray wolves into the greater Yellowstone ecosystem, there's just one missing link in the Rocky Mountains—one state whose public lands are still haunted by the missing howl: Colorado. Join our mission and help build our movement by spreading awareness and donating what YOU can to reestablish the wolf in western Colorado. Click here for more information.

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WILD 11 in China, late 2019

The following graphic illustrates why China was chosen for the location of WILD 11 (the 11th World Wilderness Congress). For additional information click here.

Click the image to print this infographic.

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Mineral Extraction in the Great Sand Dunes

Conservation Photographer Boyd Norton submitted this photo of what the Great Sand Dunes National Park could look like if mineral extraction is greenlighted further on public lands. Former Deputy Secretary of the Interior David J. Hayes, who is now the executive director of NYU School of Law’s State Energy and Environmental Impact Center wrote:

“… despite his allusions to Republican President Theodore Roosevelt, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and his team are consciously and aggressively casting aside a long list of environmental, health and safety protections for valued public lands, as well as rules that protect taxpayers from being fleeced by energy companies: They’re repealing oil and gas operator requirements for fracking; rolling back rules that restrict wasteful venting and flaring of unwanted gas; and axing reforms requiring coal, oil and gas companies to pay royalties at an appropriate level. He’s also quashed, midstream, a federal coal program review that already had identified serious improprieties.” Read the entire article here.

If you don’t want to see mineral extraction on our public lands, work to protect them by increasing the awareness of what could happen through your writing, photos, and social media.

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4Ocean Has Removed Nearly 1 Million Pounds of Trash

The founders of 4Ocean love to surf. But on a trip to Bali, Indonesia they were amazed at the amount of trash that washed up on the shore each day and how fishermen had to push their boats through it to make their daily catch. From that sobering experience the two founded 4Ocean an organization that is cleaning up the ocean and recycling the trash collected. In two years they have collected nearly one million pounds of trash. Their efforts are funded by bracelets sold off their website. The bracelets are made of recycled materials, are attractive, and fund the removal of one pound of trash for each bracelet sold. They operate out of multiple countries and employ 150 people worldwide. For more information go to

What does 1 million pounds of trash look like?
1 million pounds = 1.2 billion 10” straws.
That many straws laid end-to-end would circle the equator nearly 7 times.

1 million pounds = 1.3 billion plastic grocery bags
1 million pounds = 36.4 million plastic water bottles
1 million pounds = 2.7 billion cigarette butts

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Global Release of award-Winning Film
BLOOD LIONS on Ecostreamz

Blood Lions, the film that exposes the cruelty for profit of the canned hunting industry by the shooting of captive-bred lions in enclosures, will now be released worldwide on the new streaming platform The film was produced not only to create global awareness around the captive lion breeding and canned hunting industry in South Africa - where thousands of lions are mass bred to be killed each year for large profits - but it is also a “call to action” to tourists and young international volunteers when visiting that country. Jim Branchflower, founder and CEO of Ecostreamz, said, “For some, lions are just a commodity, cruelly abused to make money from cub-petting, canned hunting and selling their bones for traditional Chinese medicine. We are proud to play a role in this important campaign to end their suffering. Any caring person who watches Blood Lions will want to back the campaign to ban the practice.”

To watch the film or the trailer.
For more information:
Ecostreamz and
Showmax for South Africa.
Blood Lions and info.

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Barons Honored at Authors Guild

Bob and Charlotte Baron with Joseph Bruchac at the May 16, 2018 Authors Guild Foundation Event in New York City.

ILCW members (USA) Bob and Charlotte Baron were recently honored, along with their company Fulcrum Publishing (Golden, Colorado), by the Authors Guild Foundation in New York City. They were presented the Award for Distinguished Service to the Literary Community. Bob is also cofounder of the International League of Conservation Writers. Other ILCW members on hand for the presentation were: Joseph Bruchac, who introduced the Barons, Bruchac is the author of many books on Native American stories and culture; Vance Martin, President of the WILD Foundation; Elizabeth Darby, author and contributor to numerous magazines; Larry Schweiger, past president of the National Wildlife Federation; and Patty Maher, author and magazine contributor.
Click here to view events of that evening.

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Nature: one of the most under-appreciated tools for reigning in carbon

A new study shows that better global land stewardship—conserving and restoring wild habitats and practicing more sustainable farming—could get us more than one-third of the way to the Paris climate mitigation targets. Nature may not be the most sexy tool in the shed, but it has tremendous power to move the climate change needle. In principle, the authors say, natural climate solutions could remove 23.8 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent from the atmosphere each year. Read more.
Source: No Water No Life Weekly Drop Newsletter

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Member Writing

Persimmon Tree

By Elizabeth C. Herron

October. Walking the north trail
in the shadow of autumn
I cross a narrow meadow
surrounded by heavy oaks
and redwoods

no house around

In this unlikely spot
a lone persimmon tree

leaves as warm and bright
in the canyon’s twilight
as slices of sun

giving back
summer’s long days
not for us —
there isn’t a single fruit —

only a harvest of leaves
holding the stillness
of completion
the way for a moment
a dancer at the apex of her arc
holds the world
like a keystone

as if all light
were held like breath
before time begins
the slow release
of autumn’s exhale
each leaf a brief and steady flame
against the darkening.

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Protecting Ecuador’s Wildlife and Habitats

CREDIT Dominic Mitchell,

Dominic Mitchell, ILCW Member (UK) is the managing editor for Birdwatch magazine and In a recent article story for the World Land Trust he tells about his trip to the Ecuadorian Andres, the amazing birdlife, and the need to protect their habitats. The sites visited are managed by the World Land Trust’s Ecuadorian partner Fundacion Jocotoco. Not only did he and his party have the opportunity to see the rare Spectacled Bear and the endangered Andean Condor, they also saw new roads coming into these critical forest ecosystems that will surely have negative impacts unless these areas are protected. Read his article here.


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Book Reviews

New Books by ILCW Members

Gathering from the Grassland: A Plains Journal 2017

Linda M. Hasselstrom High Plains Press
Paperback and Hardback, 320 pages

This book is a rumination on the daily lives of an extraordinary writer-rancher, on the folk who raised her, and on the many ways physical and spiritual in which grass has sustained them and their cattle on this daunting South Dakota land. Hasselstrom s new journal, created day by day over an entire year, one blade at a time, unfolds like a new season s grasses. On the horizon, encircling everything she has seen, are echoes from the past. In offering a companion volume to her thirty-year-old Windbreak, Hasselstrom brings her prairie to life and puts her own self, and her forebears, under the microscope and makes sense of what once seemed chaotic.

Linda Hasselstrom’s lyrical journal grows, organically, out of a passionate love for the land, the land s creatures, and the land s people, present and part of her personal past. This enduring, endearing litany of a year in the life of a writer, a poet, and a rancher takes us deep into the heart of what it means to belong to a place, to live a deeply-rooted life to grow old with the land and to remain young with it, too. A precious glimpse into a year richly, uniquely, profoundly lived.
--Susan Wittig Albert: author of Together, Alone: A Memoir of Marriage and Place, and other memoirs, historical fiction, and mysteries, including the China Bayles series

Linda M. Hasselstrom owns a small family ranch in western South Dakota. Her seventeen published books of poetry and nonfiction include Feels Like Far: A Rancher s Life on the Great Plains, autobiographical essays. With the Great Plains Native Plant Society, Hasselstrom dedicated the Claude A. Barr Memorial Great Plains Garden in 2001 to preserve native shortgrass prairie plants on 350 acres of her ranch, and the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies established a riparian protection area on her land along Battle Creek.

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Tread Softly

By Diana Woodcock
2018, FutureCycle Press
Paperback and Kindle, 90 pages

After living on the Arabian Peninsula and the Tibetan Plateau, in the Everglades (as a poet-in-residence), in Macau, Thailand, and Chengdu, China—a city so polluted the sun seldom breaks through the smog to shine—Diana Woodcock now follows Christina Georgina Rossetti’s mandate, “Tread softly! All the earth is holy ground.” This, her third collection of poems, was inspired by it. Perhaps for a poet who grew up memorizing nature psalms of the Old Testament and singing “This is My Father’s World,” it was inevitable that her poetry eventually would take a turn toward ecological concerns, merging her spirituality with her love for all earthly beings. For more information, click here.

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The Light Shines from the West
A Western Perspective on the Growth of America

By Robert C. Baron
2018, Fulcrum Publishing
Hardcover, 288 pages

Traditionally the complex history of America’s westward development was told from learned scholars from the eastern US. That was where the major universities were located. Bob Baron, ILCW member/co-founder, breaks tradition by writing about the western expansion of the US through a western perspective. He and five chapter authors cover many aspects of this transition of a country. Page Lambert (ILCW member) writes beautifully about the Rural West. Elizabeth Darby (ILCW member) tells of the many women who were key in the West’s development and they are not ladies of the evening (like many sources portrayed women in the frontier West, if they mentioned them at all). And the medical perspective and innovations that came out of the Western US, and not the East, that are written about by Dr. Bruce Paton (ILCW member). This book is an exploration of the innovations and expansions that have shaped the West and the American landscape from 1800 to today. It provides an overdue and insightful overview of western American history. For more information, click here.


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Words the Turtle Taught Me

Susan Richardson (ILCW member UK) announces her fourth poetry collection, Words the Turtle Taught Me, published by Cinnamon Press. Described by writer Philip Hoare as ‘vital, glorious, salutary’, it grew out of Susan’s recent poetry residency with the Marine Conservation Society Fostering engagement with endangered ocean species, it blends poetry and prose, science and shamanism, contemporary ecological peril and ancient myth. For more information, click here>

“Susan Richardson’s work is a suspended state, caught between the us we presume to be and the species with which we share this watery, fragile planet. Cut and precise, archaic and innovative, transcendent and in-the-moment, she sees the life of the sea as a mirror of ourselves, and vice versa: always changing, always the same. This beautifully written and exquisitely illustrated compendium summons up the sea we always thought it to be, but which now hovers in the balance…Words The Turtle Taught Me comes as a vital, glorious and salutary lesson for us all.”
Philip Hoare
author ofLeviathan & The Sea Inside

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 Upcoming Screenings

The Hudson: A River at Risk

Jon Bowermaster, ILCW member (USA) and filmmaker has set up a series of screenings about the Hudson River and the environmental dangers it encounters. To see if there is a screening near you (or to schedule one) click here.To see the film trailer click here.

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Urban Birder Tours
Note: ILCW member David Lindo is the Urban Birder

March 3-15, 2019
Sri Lanka
– Whales, Rails, and Quails

April 27-May 1, 2019
Spring Around the Po Delta, Italy

Slender-billed Gulls and Pygmy Cormorants

May 4-21, 2019
– Northern Territory and Queensland

May 5-12, 2019
Springtime in Estonia
– Great Snipe and Woodpeckers

And more, click here.

May 27-29, 2019
The European Wilderness Society is hosting Wilderness Academy Days 2019, in the Biosphere Reserve Lungau, Austria. Discussing Wilderness in Europe, Fire Management, Alien Species and more. For more information click here.

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Late 2019

WILD 11, the 11th World Wilderness Congress to be held in Beijing, China.
For more information, click here.

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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
~Mahatma Gandhi



Do you have news?

Let us know if you have won an award, written a new book, or launched a creative endeavor to bring awareness to conservation. Chances are the ILCW membership is not aware of these things, so be sure and tell us. Send items







Limited Edition Prints

World renowned Conservation Photographer Boyd Norton has selected 16 of his favorite prints that are available to make your own. Check out these amazing images from the winner of the Ansel Adams award here.

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ILCW members, please check out the ILCW Facebook page and add content.

Tell us what you are working on, what changes you see in the area of conservation (good and bad) in your area, include news from you: have you recently won any awards or accolades? Have you recently published a new book or article or perhaps finished a piece of art, performance piece, photo that glorifies the natural world? This page is for you, please enjoy and generate interest in ILCW and what we do.


 Looking for Creative People Who Appreciate Nature 

Do you have a friend or a colleague who is passionate about Nature and believes that we should protect what we have for future generations? ILCW welcomes all creative people (not just writers) who use their talent to bring awareness to the plight of our natural world. Have them apply to be an ILCW member at


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