The presentation was a celebration of 50 years of the Wilderness Act, a federal bill that protected over 9 million acres of land.
“That’s what this is all about. In 1964 on September 3, it was signed into law our highest form of natural land protection, our wilderness preservation system,” Fielder said.
The 75 minute presentation was hosted by the Warner College of Natural Resources.
“This is a great way to kick off this tour. CSU has such incredible history,” Fielder said.
Presenting the evening before Earth Day, Fielder wanted to give his audience a personal perspective on the 50 year Wilderness Act celebration. Doing much of his work in Colorado, Fielder expressed his desire to keep Colorado’s wilderness in a sustaining condition.
“We have to draw the line somewhere,” Fielder said. “Having all the gas and infrastructure in our back yards is not the reason we came to Colorado. So, we have to think about that; the economy versus the ecology.”
Audience members agreed that more action is necessary to protect the environment.
“We have a responsibility towards our environment,” Shaklee said. “My father was a geologist so he would have thought about how there is lots of oil out there and yet we also would have appreciated the beauty. It’s a balance.”
The overall presentation included a history of wilderness acts, personal stories, and a challenge for members of the audience to be active in supporting the environment.
“It was absolutely inspirational. I liked his bits of the political with the responsibility and the history,” Said Poudre wilderness volunteer, Margaret Shaklee.
Fielder sat on a couch before the event to sign books and meet with audience members.
“I found his book at my grandma’s house when I was 10,” said junior environmental engineer student Haley Heinemann. “This is the first presentation I’ve been able to go and see him and meet him.”
For many Fielder’s work was inspirational.
“He kinda inspired me to go out and do nature photography myself,” Heinemann said.
Collegian Reporter Stephanie Mason can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org