GWC Events

Upcoming Events:

Celebrating the Great Law:  The Wilderness Act at 50

A gathering hosted by the Getches-Wilkinson Center & The Wilderness Society

Thursday and Friday, September 4th & 5th, 2014

Wolf Law Building, University of Colorado, Boulder


On September 3, 2014, the National Wilderness Preservation System—established and protected by the Wilderness Act of 1964—celebrates its 50th anniversary.  We will be gathering on September 4th and 5th to celebrate Wilderness—“ornery old wilderness, scratchy, sweaty, and distant, but sacred every step of the way”—and to commemorate the great law so central to its protection. 

This will not be an ordinary conference, full of dry presentations or heated policy debates.  Instead, this will be a full-throated love song to wild country.  We will bring together the most inspiring, insightful, and compelling Wilderness luminaries:  writers, storytellers, advocates, historians, educators, photographers, and other admirers.  We’ll even invite some musicians and poets.  The most important invitee of all will be the public—those who make wilderness an important part of their lives, and those who simply take comfort in its existence.

Our goal will be to tell the story of the Wilderness movement over the course of the last 50 years, to rearticulate the ethos of the Wilderness community in light of that history, and to take a short moment to reflect on and appreciate the progress that has been made.  The gathering will begin on Thursday evening with a Wilderness talk and slide show by nationally-renowned landscape photographer John Fielder.  On Friday, the celebration will continue with a series of talks, vignettes, panels, readings, poems and songs.  We’ll hear from some of the early activists who helped to found the Wilderness movement, and from some of the young people who will carry it forward. 

In the end, we hope to leave with a fresh appreciation for the Wilderness and the great law enacted to protect it, and a renewed determination to continue to fight to preserve and enhance one of our most precious and sacred assets.

The images shown here are by renowned Colorado Landscape Photographer John Fielder.

Thursday, September 4th

John Fielder

Renowned Landscape Photographer and Nature Writer

"A Celebration of 50 Years of Colorado Wilderness"


A Reception Honoring our Speakers and Sponsors

Musical Guests: The Haywood Strangers


Friday, September 5th

Our Hosts

Charles Wilkinson

Distinguished Professor & Moses Lasky Professor of Law, CU Law School


Jamie Williams

President, The Wilderness Society

Keynote Presenters

Rick Bass

Author and Environmental Activist

The Ninemile Wolves; Why I Came West

William deBuys

Author and Advocate

A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the American Southwest; The Walk

William Kittredge

Author and Editor

Owning It All; A Hole in the Sky


David Mason

Poet Laureate of Colorado


The Hon. Greg Hobbs

Justice, Colorado Supreme Court

Wilderness Heroes

Stories, yarns, yearnings, and wisdom from some of the best voices for wilderness