Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

May 26, 2000

Stewardship focus of national conference

The first national stewardship conference to be held in Canada will take place at the University of Guelph June 3 to 6 and will include an address by federal Environment Minister David Anderson on the pending Species at Risk legislation.

The conference, "Caring for Our Land and Water: Stewardship and Conservation in Canada," is sponsored in part by U of G's Department of Land Resource Science and is open to the media. About 400 national and provincial, non-government and government, stewardship and conservation leaders from local to federal levels are expected to attend.

"This event will serve as Canada's first national land trust gathering and an opportunity for non-government organizations and community groups to meet and network," said Prof. Stewart Hilts, director of Guelph's Centre for Land and Water Stewardship, and conference chair. It is intended to attract people from First Nations, agriculture, forestry, wildlife, water and energy, as well as local land trusts and provincial and national conservation organizations.

"We hope to identify needs and support required for success in conservation and stewardship programs at the municipal, provincial and federal levels with regard to legislation, policies, programs and funding," Hilts said. The goal is to develop new visions and partnerships that promote and sustain land conservation and stewardship. Conference themes include land trusts and community groups in conservation; working with private landowners; stewardship policies and programs; legislative and securement tools; applying science, local and traditional knowledge; building networks and partnerships; and sustaining organizations. There will also be more than 60 displays.

Conference highlights include:

Sunday, June 4

--Luncheon address by Minister David Anderson on the Species at Risk legislation before Parliament and the associated National Stewardship Action Plan, noon.

--Plenary session featuring John Riley, director, science and stewardship, Nature Conservancy of Canada, "Our Coastal and Inland Water, Our Agricultural and Forested Lands, Open and Urban Spaces, Our North," 9 a.m.

--Panel discussion on "The Past, Present and Future of Stewardship Programs," featuring representatives from the Canadian Wildlife Service of Environment Canada, Wildlife Habitat Canada, Nature Conservancy of Canada and Ducks Unlimited, 10:30 a.m.

--Concurrent sessions on conference themes, 1:30 to 3 p.m.

--Open forum on "Caring for Our Land and Water," 7 p.m.

Monday, June 5

--Plenary sessions on "The Role of Non-Profit Organizations in Protecting Wildlife Habitats in Canada." "A Survey of Stewardship Issues and Practices Among Rural Landowners Carried out by Environics." and "International Perspectives," featuring presentations on U.S., Australian, European and other stewardship programs, 8:30 a.m.

--Concurrent Sessions on conference themes, 10:30 a.m. to noon, 1:30 to 3 p.m.

--Dinner discussion, "National Perspectives on Stewardship," 7 p.m.

Tuesday, June 6

--Concurrent sessions on conference themes, 8:30 to noon

--"Mapping Our Future," Briony Penn, ecosystem mapper and author, noon

--Plenary wrap-up, "Where Do We Go From Here?" 3 p.m.

For more information, visit the Web site

Contact: Prof. Stewart Hilts, Department of Land Resource Science (519) 824-4120, Ext. 2702

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 3338.

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