Thank You for Joining Us!

5-4-11 Rotary selected bensond15 (2)Thank you for making the Congress an intellectual and spirited success through your contributions.

Colorado’s wonderland has morphed from pleasant early fall weather, snow and frost to end the Congress, with rains in between, and now into “Indian Summer” with temperatures in the 80 and 90s F. My favorite time of year! Hope that you enjoyed your place with the Congress and Colorado Mountains. Enjoy a brief Congress summary video!

Thanks to you, our Congress was successful, so take time for celebrations. I appreciated your work, contributions, and intellectual outcomes. Look amongst your colleagues and networks to critically examine why they were not present and use the videos, which we will edit and produce for you, to multiply the great messages and to stimulate actions on the land.

For me, I too have celebrated, enjoyed my granddaughter for a couple of days, judged the 2014 Federal US Duck Stamp Art Contest in West Virginia, caught up with emails, summarized the great Congress events, and we are starting to get the video production and other outreach tools ready for you to emphasize private and communal needs and contributions to wildlife, tourism, and nature conservation into the future. Some of our sentiments from the Congress are summarized in the release that is attached. Share it with others and media outlets.

We concluded the Congress with business decisions to have a permanent home funded for the International Wildlife Ranching Symposium (IWRS) in South Africa, to hold the 9th IWRS in Zimbabwe, Botswana, or Namibia in 2016, and then in 2018 the 10th event will be held along with The Wildlife Society’s International meeting in South America. We have a more formal international steering committee in the making to guide the process. I want to work with our local representatives to the Congress to elevate our joint communications and actions and to bring more North American landowners and professionals into private and communal conservation.

There is much to be proud of with private and communal management for wildlife and livelihoods, but there are unmet needs and significantly good reasons to get more persons involved. As Aldo Leopold said, we must be cautious of conference oratory because all that matters is what happens on the land.

Some make it happen. Some watch it happen. Some say: what happened?!:

Del Benson
8th Congress Chairman
Professor and Extension Wildlife Specialist
Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology
Warner College of Natural Resources
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523