Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Land management’s quiet American revolution

Keynote speaker at this year’s Carbon Farming Conference, Courtney White of the Quivira Coalition, is leading a revolution in land management in America. The former environmental activist abandoned confrontation with ranchers to forge a new community model for creating healthy ‘working landscapes’ by building bridges between ranchers, conservationists, public land managers, scientists and others. In 1997, with two farmers, he co-founded the Quivira Coalition in New Mexico which uses education and collaboration to promote progressive public and private land stewardship. More recently he has been focussed on ‘carbon ranching’ and the new agrarian movement (healthy soil, healthy food, healthy people) in the USA. Mr White is visiting Australia to meet ‘carbon farmers’ and healthy soils activists. Australia is the first country in the world to legislate a carbon offset scheme for farming projects, at a national level.

Courtney will address the topic: “The Carbon Puzzle: Reassembling Land and Livelihoods” at the Carbon Farming Conference (28-29 September, 2011, in Dubbo NSW) He will share his experiences at the forefront of change with the Quivira Coalition. During the Spanish Colonial era in the South Western states, mapmakers used the word 'Quivira' to designate unknown territory beyond the frontier; it was also a term for an elusive golden dream.

Mr White’s writing has appeared in numerous publications, including Farming, Acres Magazine, Rangelands, and the Natural Resources Journal. His essay “The Working Wilderness: a Call for a Land Health Movement” was published by Wendell Berry in 2005 in his collection of essays titled "The Way of Ignorance." In 2008, Island Press published Courtney’s book Revolution on the Range: the Rise of a New Ranch in the American West. He co-edited, with Dr. Rick Knight, Conservation for a New Generation, also published by Island Press in 2008.

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