EAGLE COUNTY — Fifty years ago this summer, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Wilderness Act, which designated the majestic grounds of uninterrupted wilderness that Coloradans and Americans enjoy today.
“If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it,” said Johnson in this historic designation of wild space.
The Vail Symposium, Walking Mountains Science Center, U.S. Forest Service and the Eagle Valley Library District have partnered to present renowned wildlife photographer John Fielder in a free event to celebrate the Wilderness Act.
Fielder’s photography is featured in galleries all over the United States and hangs on the walls of many Colorado resident homes. Fielder has worked tirelessly to promote the protection of Colorado’s open space and wild lands, and his work has influenced both people and legislation to continue protecting wild lands.
At the event, Fielder will look at the past 50 years as well as the next 50 years of protecting wilderness in the United States.
“John Fielder has done amazing things with his camera and the natural landscape in Colorado,” said Tracey Flower, the symposium’s executive director. “He understands what the Wilderness Act has done in preserving our natural spaces, and having him speak in Vail along with our partner organizations is a privilege.”
The program will be hosted for free at the Battle Mountain High School auditorium Saturday beginning at 6 p.m. Due to parking restrictions with EdFest, those attending are encouraged to park in the BMHS east lot, or teacher lot.
“We live in a place where it doesn’t take a weekend trip to get far away into the wilderness,” Flower said. “We live in a place where the benefits and beauty of wilderness and wildlife are at our back door. It is something we should appreciate and, this Saturday, celebrate.”