Special Online Program

Rescuing the Planet

The Appalachian Trail’s Role in Worldwide Conservation

Join us on June 10, 2021, at 7 p.m. for a conversation with author Tony Hiss and conservationist John Griffin about the important role land conservation has for the future of our planet. As a growing number of voices commit to the idea of “30 by 30” — protecting 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by the year 2030 through science-based decision-making — the importance of land conservation has never been clearer. During this program, we will discuss the key role lands like those surrounding the Appalachian Trail (A.T.)  have in meeting this goal; why protecting the lands around the Trail is vital for ensuring the long-term survival of the A.T. experience; and how a movement started by Benton MacKaye almost 100 years ago today can be a model for collaborative conservation work for the next century and beyond.

Save the Date

What: Rescuing the Planet: The Appalachian Trail’s Role in Worldwide Conservation

When: June 10, 2021, from 7-8 p.m.

How do I join in?

This event will be broadcast online. Click the button below and complete the form to register your attendance and submit two questions to be considered for the Q&A session at the end of the program. Those who register will receive a link to the program 48 hours prior to the event.


Panelist Biographies

Tony Hiss

Tony Hiss is the author of fifteen books, including the award-winning The Experience of Place. He was a staff writer at The New Yorker for more than thirty years, was a visiting scholar at New York University for twenty-five years, and has lectured around the world.

In his latest book, Rescuing the Planet: Protecting Half the Land to Heal the Earth, Tony makes the case for why protecting half the land is the way to fix some of the biggest problems facing us in the next century, including the looming impacts of climate change.

Tony lives in New York with his wife, young-adult writer Lois Metzger.

John Griffin

As Partnership Coordinator for the Chesapeake Conservancy, John works to advance large landscape conservation initiatives in the Chesapeake Bay watershed by convening diverse, multi-disciplinary stakeholders. The Partnership seeks to extend the conservation of large landscapes throughout the region to benefit multiple values, including sustainability; scenic, historic and cultural heritage; working lands; important bio- diversity and wildlife habitat; water quality and supply; and overall quality of life. John is the former Secretary of Maryland Department of Natural Resources under two Governors, the Deputy Secretary of the department, the General Manager of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, and served as Chief of Staff for Governor Martin O’Malley. He brings decades of experience with resource conservation and environmental protection as well as relationships across the Chesapeake watershed. John holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Niagara University and Master of Arts in social work from the Catholic University of America. He has five children and three granddaughters and lives in Annapolis with his wife Michele and their twin boys.

About Rescuing the Planet

“As clear a picture of humanity’s impact on earth’s natural environment as any ever written.” –E. O. Wilson (from the Introduction)

An urgent, resounding call to protect 50 percent of the earth’s land by 2050–thereby saving millions of its species–and a candid assessment of the health of our planet and our role in conserving it, from the award-winning author of The Experience of Place and veteran New Yorker staff writer.

Beginning in the vast North American Boreal Forest that stretches through Canada, and roving across the continent, from the Northern Sierra to Alabama’s Paint Rock Forest, from the Appalachian Trail to a ranch in Mexico, Tony Hiss sets out on a journey to take stock of the “superorganism” that is the earth: its land, its elements, its plants and animals, its greatest threats–and what we can do to keep it, and ourselves, alive.

Hiss not only invites us to understand the scope and gravity of the problems we face, but also makes the case for why protecting half the land is the way to fix those problems. He highlights the important work of the many groups already involved in this fight, such as the Indigenous Leadership Initiative, the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, and the global animal tracking project ICARUS. And he introduces us to the engineers, geologists, biologists, botanists, oceanographers, ecologists, and other “Half Earthers” like Hiss himself who are allied in their dedication to the unifying, essential cause of saving our own planet from ourselves.

Tender, impassioned, curious, and above all else inspiring, Rescuing the Planet is a work that promises to make all of us better citizens of the earth.

Description provided by Penguin Random House