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.

David R. Brower Office for Conservation Writing 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.  To apply click  here.
ALSO To apply for ILCW membership click here.

Featured Video

Can 100% renewable energy power the world?


Every year, the world uses 35 billion barrels of oil. This massive scale of fossil fuel dependence pollutes the earth, and it won’t last forever. On the other hand, we have abundant sun, water and wind, which are all renewable energy sources. So why don’t we exchange our fossil fuel dependence for an existence based only on renewables? Federico Rosei and Renzo Rosei describe the challenges.


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





Water/Ways in US Small Towns

Highlights from Blog post January 29, 2019 by Alison M. Jones

NWNL is proud to have its imagery included in the Smithsonian’s WATER/WAYS
Exhibit traveling across the US as part of their “Museum on Main Street” program. From now until Feb 2020, WATER/WAYS will be shown in small towns that face water availability, quality and usage challenges. Smithsonian believes photography can inspire community conversations about water and how it impacts our lives, as also expressed in the NWNL Mission. The exhibit’s extensive signage explores water issues in our cultures, economies and homes – and the bigger picture of how global environmental issues affect towns of all sizes.

Jones_080418_NJ_4322.jpgAcross the US there are many small towns with their own unique personalities. Each is part of our national web of watersheds that share water with upstream and downstream neighbors and often across state and county boundaries. Therein lies the power of Smithsonian’s Main Street program, which since 1994 has sent exhibits to over 1,400 communities with populations under 10,000.

Canoeing out to the Mississippi River with Quapaw Canoe Co.
Photo © Alison M. Jones

Water use has grown twice as fast as the world’s population over the last century. Even places with sufficient rainfall often find that freshwater resources are spread too thin. Water scarcity is more than just an issue of too little rain – sometimes it is a problem of politics, infrastructure and overuse.
Water is a finite resource. Our environment does not create water – it recycles it. Think beyond your faucet – what is the source for your drinking water? Are there any issues that could impact your access to that water? What are some of the threats to water/ways in your area?
What we discard will eventually be in someone else’s water…. What we eat, what we drink, what we put on our hair and skin, what we wash out in the sink – if it’s on us or in us, it ends up back in the watershed.
Agriculture and its heavy use of irrigation is one of the largest consumers of freshwater in the US…. About 50% of the water used for irrigation is reusable. Much water is lost to evaporation and water leaks.
Everyone lives within a watershed – the surrounding area of land in which water collects and, ultimately, drains into a water source. 19th -century geologist John Wesley Powell … believed that watersheds were a shared interest and governments, residents and new settlers should work together to manage resources properly.
WHERE is Our Water?
Freshwater, the water we need to live, makes up only three percent of the world’s water, and much of it is inaccessible…. Where do you get your water?
Water … is at the source of the things we encounter every day…. Water holds a central place in the origin stories and rituals of many cultures and faiths. Water inspires our art, music, dance and literature.
Up to 14% of the water used in an average home is actually lost in leaks.
Click here to read entire blog and see all photos.

. . . . . . .

Rewilding Tech Challenge closes April 5

Open to any UK-based team, individual or company. For more information and how to sign up, click here

. . . . . . . .

Romanian Fagaras Old-growth Forest is Still Threatened

By ILCW member Vlado Vancura of the European Wilderness Society
Fagras Old Growth Forest threatened © Ondrej Kameniar

The current speed of destruction of the Fagaras primary forest is truly alarming. It is obvious that there is no time for long discussions, because one of the most valuable natural places in the EU is disappearing right before our eyes. Researchers from the Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences, in Prague conclude their several years of monitoring work with the statement that solutions are needed as fast as possible.

Witness of forest destruction

The Fagaras mountains host around 10 000 hectares of the of old growth forest. This is likely the largest area of old growth forests in the entire EU. The Fagaras mountains also host large areas of valuable natural forests connecting the old growth forests into larger complexes of high naturalness. The old growth forests in Fagaras used to be protected by its remoteness, inaccessibility, and steep and rough terrain.

Report on forest destruction

The team of Czech researchers has had a focus on research and monitoring in this corner of the Carpathians already for several years. Their project REMOTE (REsearch on MOuntain TEmperate) Primary Forests is a long-term international collaboration based on a network of permanent sample plots in the forests of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe. ‎They recently published a report “Destruction of the largest complex of primary forest in EU: the Fagaras Mts”. This report and their work provide an additional piece to the larger mosaics illustrating the destruction process of the Carpathian forests. Not only in Romania but also in Ukraine and Slovakia. Such work is extremely important as it is based on scientifically sound methodology. The systematic monitoring provides reliable data which can be compared through the years.

Research debunks pro-logging arguments

The report is full of arguments debunking the contra argumentation of the Romanian Forest service. They claim that for example the particular old untouched forest is not subject of protection because their experts did not find elements of virgin forest there. They further argue that there is not enough dead wood and therefore logging can get a green light. The Czech researchers however confirmed that only a couple of years ago, when the permanent study plots were installed, the valleys were nearly untouched, roadless and without industrial logging. Ondrej Kameniar from the research team describes it as Wilderness. Unfortunately, a lot has changed since then. The drastic change deriving from extensive logging of the old growth forests, the construction of roads and large clear cutts significantly impacted the former healthy and wild ecosystem.

The researchers and their ongoing work documented this drastic change and the loss of biodiversity and important habitats. However, their last visit in the Fagaras mountains ended with punctured tires. This shows that there seem to be people who are not happy about their presence and work there. Read more.

. . . . . . . . .

Looking for European Wilderness Volunteer Financed by the EU

Looking for wild adventure and help European Wilderness at the same time? The European Wilderness Society is looking for a wilderness dedicated person between 18 and 30 years old with very good English language skills, and who is willing to express their personal commitment towards wilderness through a full-time voluntary service for a duration of 12 months. The volunteer will start in June 2019.

Deadline for applications is January 27, 2019. Apply here.

. . . . . .


2018 is Good Year for Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

Below are some highlights of accomplishments at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya.

  • 17 Rhino births, zero poaching
  • Winner of Google Impact Challenge to Promote Digital Literacy
  • Make IUCN Green List of Protected areas
  • Ranger Kapuna “Nanyuki” Lepale won Paradise Award for anti-poaching excellence
  • Runner Up for Responsible Business Conduct Award for work with communities
  • Had increase in survival rate of endangered Grevy’s zebra foals
  • 400 students and teachers came to Lewa for classes such as reforestation, water harvesting, wildlife protection and more..

. . . . .

Warda Sagal Wins SOMESHA 2019 Green Award

Female journalist Warda Ahmed Roble, better known as Warda Sagal, was awarded the SOMESHA 2019 Green Journalism Award for her coverage of social science issues in Somalia. Especially in light of her courageous and dynamic achievement working across the Somaliland territorial zone. Sagal has reported on radio Hargeisa and for Ergo radio at Nairobi, Kenya.
The Somali Media for Environment, Science, Health and Agriculture (SOMSHA) seeks to ensure that information is gathered and presented in a neutral manner, that journalists strive for quality in their reporting, and that press freedom is maintained. For more information contact SOMESHA Secretary General H. E. Rev. Sayed Daud Abdi Daud on +252616349997 and Email OR Email.


. . . . . . .

Next WILDArt to be in Italy

Last year the European Wilderness Socity hosted the very first edition of the WILDArt Plein Air in Ukraine. Together with 11 artists from different countries, they explored the natural beauty and Wilderness in Synevyr National Nature Park. The event was a great success for the artists, getting inspired in all kinds of ways. The next WILDArt will be in the Majella Wilderness Italy later this year. For more information click here.

. . . . . . .

“We Persist so that Nature Prevails”

The Wild Foundation has released some extraordinary gains for wilderness and people that occurred in 2018.

. . . . . .

Argentina Establishes Iberá National Park

Argentina’s new Iberá Park is located in one of the most biologically diverse areas of the country in northeastern Argentina and covers nearly 395,000 acres. The land was donated through two foundations established by Douglas and Kristine Tompkins, the Conservation Land Trust and Flora and Fauna Argentina. The Argentine Congress ratified the park’s long-term protection. It is estimated that in 10 years, Iberá Park will have more than 100,000 visitors per year. The new national park is adjacent to the 1.3-million acre Iberá Provincial Park combining their areas for a total of nearly 1.76 million acres, that now makes it the largest nature park in Argentina. Read more.

. . . . . . . . 

European Wilderness Resolution Turns 10

On September 3rd 1964 Lyndon B Johnson signed the US Wilderness Act and on February 3rd 2009 the European Parliament issued the first European Wilderness Resolution calling for more Wilderness in Europe. 2019 marks therefore the 10th anniversary of Wilderness in Europe and the 55th anniversary of the US Wilderness Act. The European Wilderness Society will organise several activities, events and launch new initiatives celebrating Wilderness in Europe.
Read the European Wilderness Newsletter, click here.

. . . . . .

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.

. . . . . .

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.

. . . . . . .

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.

. . . . . . .

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.

. . . . . . .


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.

. . . . . . .

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.

. . . . . . .

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.

. . . . . . .



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.

. . . . . . .


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.

. . . . . . .


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.

. . . . . . . .


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

. . . . . . . .


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.

. . . . . . . .

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.

. . . . . . . .

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.











, , , , , , , , , ,

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.

. . . . . . .

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

. . . . . .

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.

. . . . .


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.

. . . . . . .

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.

. . . . . .


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.





. . . . . . . . . .

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.

. . . . . . .


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.
. . . . . . .

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.

. . . . . . .

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.

. . . . . .

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.

. . . . . .

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.

. . . . . .

Restoring Native Forests to Former Coal Site

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.

. . . . . .

Proposed Dams May Damage Serengeti Ecosyste

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.

. . . . .

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.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Have news to share? Click here.

Member News

Jon Bowermaster, ILCW member (USA) reports news from his Oceans 8 Films and One Ocean Media Foundation. Their film “Ghost Fleet” has been showing at film festivals across the US and will have its European showing at the Berlin Film Festival in February. The film talks about those enslaved by the fishing industry. See clip. They have added three more short films to their “Hope on the Hudson” series bringing attention to pollution and other threats to this important river in New York State. The Hudson River Maritime Museum has presented Jon with an award for “significant and sustained contribution and service to the Hudson Valley, its residents and its history…” See more. And Jon has also been conducting radio interviews/podcasts on the environment featuring green talk with environmental activists. Click here to view the archives.

Member Writing

The Four Seasons

By Seamus Shortt (ILCW member, Spain)

A poem by Minerva the Owl from the Montevivo Book Series




Frost snow and ice are the reason
That make Winter a dormant season.
Creatures go into hibernation
As a means to avoid starvation;
Some birds prefer to choose migration
And escape the long dark nights
With the unforgiving cold that bites.

This is the season of rebirth
Life comes to life embracing the earth
With roots of plants, bushes and trees
Nourishing buds, blossoms and leaves.
Newborn hope gives guarantees 
Announced by all the birds that sing;
The countryside is lush in Spring.

So sunnier daylight hours abound,
Flowers with blazing colours astound.
Hotter weather bathes our land;
Everything becomes suntanned.
A better time could not be planned,
When Summer’s over we wait a year
Just longing for it to reappear.

Time to be busy in the fields
Tending crops and harvesting yields.
The wind picks up as if to cheer
At Autumn’s colours that appear,
Which means the cold will soon be here,
With rain and cloud there is less sun;
The annual cycle’s now been run.

. . . . . . .

Pennsylvania’s Secret Lights up the Night

By Mark Hendricks (ILCW, USA)
Published in National Forest Magazine, Winter/Spring 2019

Northwest Pennsylvania holds a secret; it is a firefly wonderland. The deciduous woodlands and watersheds on the Allegheny National Forest (ANF) offer some of the best locations to experience the magical showing of bioluminescence that defines summer evenings in the Appalachians.

For many of us who grew up east of the Mississippi, no summer evening was complete without going out and catching “lightning bugs.” Their fanciful golden glow was mysterious, wonderful, and oh so beautiful. While commonly thought of as a fly these beloved insects are actually a type of beetle.

More than 2,000 species of fireflies are thought to exist worldwide with 125 found in North America. Over 15 make their home in the ANF. There’s the Photuris versicolor, or the Chinese lantern, which as its evocative name suggests, hypnotically “floats” near the Forest’s Tionesta Creek. Imagine tiny galaxies wafting in the night breeze. Then there’s the orange flicker of Pyractomena angulate as well as the recognizable Photinus pyralis, the most widespread of the eastern fireflies. Additionally five species found in the Forest are diurnal and do not glow at all. However, one species is particularly special and was only confirmed in the Forest in 2012.

“Late one night in the summer of 2011, a group of campers in the Kellettville area of the Allegheny National Forest had let their campfire burn low when they noticed unusual flashing fireflies near their campsite,” says Bruce Parkhurst, who serves on the board of the nonprofit Pennsylvania Firefly Festival. The display of these fireflies was unusual, as it was a complex pattern of pulsed flashes that occurred over multiple intervals, similar to the famous synchronous fireflies found in the Smoky Mountains. Read more, see photos.

. . . . . . .

Persimmon Tree

By Elizabeth C. Herron

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.


. . . . . . .


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.


. . . . . . .

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.

. . . . . . .


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.

. . . . . . . .

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.

. . . . . .


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.

. . . . . . . .


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.

. . . . . . .


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..

. . . . . .

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

. . . . . . .

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.

. . . . . .


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.

. . . . . .


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

 . . . . . . .


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.

. . . . . . .

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.

. . . . . .

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.


. . . . . . .


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


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
Birding Tour to the Po Delta, Italy
Slender-billed gulls and pygmy cormorants. Plus urban birding and culture in historic Ravenna and Comacchio. ILCW member David Lindo is the Urban Birder. Click here for more information.

May 5-12, 2019
Birding Tour to Estonia
Great Snipe and Woodpeckers. ILCW member David Lindo is the Urban Birder. Click here for more information.

May 11-18, 2019
Birding Tour to Latvia
Owls, Woodpeckers and Spring Migration. ILCW member David Lindo is the Urban Birder. Click here for more information.

June 8-16, 2019
Birding Tour to Slovenia
Beauty and Beasts Spring Tour. Bears, Beers, and Birds. ILCW member David Lindo is the Urban Birder. Click here for more information.

June 10-16, 2019
Birding Tour to Speyside and Environs, Scotland
Celebrity guided wildlife holiday with the Grant Arms Hotel. ILCW member David Lindo is the Urban Birder. Click here for more information.

August 31-Sept. 14, 2019
Birding Tour to Peru
From the Concrete Jungle to the Amazon Jungle. ILCW member David Lindo is the Urban Birder. Click here for more information.

Sept. 29-Oct. 6, 2019
Birding Tour -- Estonia Autumn Migration Tour
Migrants, migrants and a few more migrants! ILCW member David Lindo is the Urban Birder. Click here for more information.

Oct 5-11, 2019
Birding Tour – Extremadura Autumn
Bustards, Sandrouse and Vultures! ILCW member David Lindo is the Urban Birder. Click here for more information.

Dec 1-5, 2019
Birding Tour – Northern Serbia 2019 Winter Tour
Long-eared Owls. ILCW member David Lindo is the Urban Birder. Click here for more information.

And more, click here.

. . . . . . .


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

. . . . . . .


August 24-30, 2019
Retreat to the River – Creative Adventure for Women on the Colorado River, Westwater Canyon, Utah
A 6-day writing and sculpting float trip down the Colorado River featuring sculptor Roxanne Swentzell of the Santa Clara Pueblo. Six day, five nights. Led by ILCW member Page Lambert. For more information click here.

. . . . . .

Late 2019

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


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



“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.

ILCW now on Facebook  ILCW facebook

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


. . . . . . . .



Home Members List Bios Application Links Reviews Blog Awards Facebook
+ S ======