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Speaker series: Green Fire—Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time

Considered by many to be the father of wildlife management and of the United States’ wilderness system, Aldo Leopold was a conservationist, forester, philosopher, educator, writer, and outdoor enthusiast. “Green Fire” is the first full-length documentary film ever made about Leopold. It highlights his extraordinary career, tracing how he shaped and influenced the modern environmental movement.

The Conservancy showed the 72 minute film as part of our 2013 Speaker Series.

It is a beautifully-made piece, and really represents more than a simple documentary about Aldo Leopold. It also portrays how Leopold’s vision of a community that cares about both people and land—his call for a land ethic—ties together a wide range of modern conservation concerns and offers inspiration and insight for the future.

More about the film

Green Fire was produced in partnership between the Aldo Leopold Foundation, the Center for Humans and Nature, and the US Forest Service. The film examines Leopold’s thinking, renewing his idea of a land ethic for a population facing 21st century ecological challenges. Leopold’s biographer, conservation biologist Dr. Curt Meine, serves as the film’s on-screen guide.

Green Fire describes the formation of Leopold’s idea, exploring how it changed one man and later permeated through all arenas of conservation. The film draws on Leopold’s life and experiences to provide context and validity, then explores the deep impact of his thinking on conservation projects around the world today. Through these examples, the film challenges viewers to contemplate their own relationship with the land community.

The high-definition film employs photographs, correspondence, manuscripts, and other archival documents from the voluminous Aldo Leopold Archives, as well as historical film and contemporary full-color footage on location, including landscapes that influenced Leopold and that he in turn influenced.

The film also features commentary and insight from some of today’s most recognized and credible scholars and conservation leaders, including: three of Aldo Leopold’s children (Nina, Carl, and Estella), Leopold scholars, noted environmental writers, scientists, humanities experts, public policy leaders, business leaders, and leaders of non-profit groups inspired by Leopold.