ROCK SPRINGS – Western Wyoming Community College, in collaboration with Professor of Biological Sciences Sandy Mitchell, Ph.D., Sierra Club Wyoming Chapter and the Biodiversity Institute, will host conservation author and photographer Dave Showalter at the Rock Springs campus on Tuesday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m. for the multimedia presentation “Sage Spirit,” which looks at the beauty, diversity and ecological importance of the sagebrush ecosystem in Wyoming and Colorado. This event will be held in Room 1302 and is free and open to the public.
The “Sage Spirit” presentation is gleaned from Showalter’s book, “Sage Spirit: The American West at a Crossroads,” which features spectacular photographs and compelling essays by Showalter, along with contributions from other noted conservationists. The book represents six years of Showalter’s fieldwork and profiles westerners who are working to protect both the landscape and the livelihoods of the American West. The book is published by independent book publisher Braided River, an imprint of Mountaineers Books, in collaboration with Sierra Club Wyoming Chapter, Audubon Rockies, and the Wilderness Society.
“These sagebrush lands hold a promise,” Showalter states in the book. “Simply take that first step, then another, and keep going until you find the Sage Spirit waiting for you. Roll sagebrush leaves in your fingers and breathe in the aroma, be surrounded by birdsong harmonies, hear the huff of a pronghorn attending a nearby faun, surprise a badger, listen to the chorus of coyotes as you feel the chill under a diamond-filled sky.”
In his multimedia presentation at Western, one of a series of programs at college campuses in Wyoming, Showalter will “present his work through a stunning slide show and compelling narrative about the values of western sagebrush habitats to a myriad of wildlife species, and to the people who live here as well as those who visit the state,” said Connie Willard, who is the organizing representative for Sierra Club Wyoming Chapter. “With dynamic audience participation and discussion, Dave will explore the threats facing these landscapes and the wildlife that depend on them, and will discuss how citizens who own our public lands can be involved in their management.”
It is the hope of Showalter and the event’s sponsoring organizations that the “Sage Spirit” tour will help students and the general public understand the ecological values of sagebrush landscapes in Wyoming, appreciate the multitude of values provided by these landscapes to Wyoming citizens, and recognize their own potential role in preserving the state’s public lands heritage.
“The preservation of this ecosystem is within our reach,” Willard said. “We have a remarkable opportunity to determine the future of our public lands in the American West and pass on a lasting legacy to future generations.”
The Western Wyoming Community College Cultural Affairs Committee and Prof. Mitchell are proud to partner with Sierra Club Wyoming Chapter and the Biodiversity Institute to present “Sage Spirit” with Dave Showalter, on Tuesday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m. in Room 1302 of the Rock Springs campus. This event is free and open to the public.