Brown Bag Green Book Gets a Little Wild

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Brown Bag Green Book Gets a Little Wild

Posted: 08/13/2010
The Brown Bag Green Book lunch and learn series continues on Wednesday, August 25, at 12 p.m. in the East Tennessee History Center auditorium, 601 S. Gay St., as Don Barger, Senior Regional Director of the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) presents Rewilding the World: Dispatches from the Conservation Revolution by Caroline Fraser. The popular series is sponsored by the Knox County Public Library and the City of Knoxville.

"Rewilding," as Fraser describes it, aims to save species by restoring habitats, reviving migration corridors, and brokering peace between people and predators. These ideas are directly relevant to Barger's position with the NPCA; he has been actively working to protect natural areas in the southeast, in particular the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. His work has inspired a groundswell of public attention to the issue of air pollution in the park and preservation of the 10,000 acres of the Tapoco property adjacent to the park. More recently he was integrally involved in the recent settlement that ended the threat of the North Shore Road being built through the most remote portions of the Smokies.

With a much beloved and economically significant national park in Knoxville's backyard, a discussion of how to protect and maintain a diversity of wildlife is close to everyone's hearts and pockets. According to Fraser, scientists worldwide are warning of the looming extinction of thousands of species, from tigers and polar bears to rare flowers, birds, and insects. If the destruction continues, a third of all plants and animals could disappear by 2050—and, with them, earth's life-support ecosystems that provide our food, water, medicine, and natural defenses against climate change. Of the more than 70,000 plant and animal species that thrive in the 500,000-plus acres of forest in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 11 are on the Federal register of threatened or endangered species and 20 more are species of concern.

The public is invited to join the conversation, but reading the book is optional.

The series will continue Wednesday, September 29, with Madeline Rogero, Knoxville's Director of Community Development, leading a discussion of Green Metropolis: Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less are the Keys to Sustainability by David Owen.

For more information, please call Emily Ellis at 215-8723.