Renowned Author, Activist Wendell Berry to Open Forest Conference

April 11, 2013 – Renowned author Wendell Berry will return to Allegheny College on Friday, May 17 to open the second annual Loving the Land Through Working Forests Conference. Conference events are free and open to the public.

The Loving the Land speakers’ program featuring Berry begins at 7 p.m. in Ford Chapel, North Main Street in Meadville near the center of the Allegheny College campus.

Sometimes described as a modern-day Thoreau, Berry has authored more than 40 works of fiction, nonfiction and poetry and is a recipient of the National Humanities Award and the Poet’s Award. He was also the 2012 Jefferson Lecturer. He is an advocate for sustainability and an activist for the environment, which he lives in his lifestyle. His lectures are described as thought-provoking, personal and honest.

The Loving the Land Through Working Forests Conference will continue on Saturday, May 18 with in-the-field sessions at a site north of Titusville off Route 8. Saturday’s sessions cover a variety of topics that will interest anyone who cares about the health of forested ecosystems, as well as forest landowners and land management professionals.

In addition to Berry, Saturday’s presenters include Rich Bowden, professor of environmental science at Allegheny College; Mike DeBonis, executive director of the Forest Guild; Jason Rutledge, director of the Healing Harvest Forest Foundation; Troy Firth, president of the Foundation for Sustainable Forests; Cecile Stelter, district forester with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forests; Suzanne Boyden, assistant professor of ecology at Clarion University of Pennsylvania; Jim Finley, Ibberson Chair in Forest Resource Management at Penn State University; Sarah Sargent, Pennsylvania Audubon; J. Michael Campbell, professor of biology at Mercyhurst University; and several others.

The conference is jointly presented by the Foundation for Sustainable Forests, a land trust and sustainable forestry education and advocacy nonprofit, and the Forest Guild, a professional organization of forest stewards, associated natural resource professionals and affiliates.

Although conference events are free, pre-registration is requested for the Saturday in-the-field sessions.

Conference details and registration information can be found at the foundation’s Web page under the Events/Links page tab or by emailing

A map showing the location of Ford Chapel and nearby parking is available on the Allegheny College Web page.