Luther PropstPublic debate over conservation issues can be divisive, often resulting in stalled action on topics ranging from watershed protection to endangered species recovery.

But a thoughtful and inclusive approach to land management could become the foundation for restoring healthy ecosystems and safeguarding the important values and services that they provide to Western communities.

Luther Propst, founder and former director of the Sonoran Institute, will draw on his 20 years of experience to evaluate the state of conservation in the West—and identify approaches for meeting public objectives—during a free public lecture, beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 18, in the ballroom of the 1899 Bar & Grill.

The presentation will include a panel discussion with local conservation leaders Ethan Aumack, conservation director for the Grand Canyon Trust; Flagstaff city councilmember Celia Barotz; and Bill Cordasco, president at Babbitt Ranches.

“We hope that our community and region will draw upon Luther’s experience to advance important conservation efforts,” said Tom Sisk, Olajos-Goslow chair of environmental science and policy at Northern Arizona University. “He has a proven track record as an advocate for smarter land development and an in-depth understanding of the changing shape of conservation in the West.”

In addition to the lecture and panel discussion, Propst will conduct a workshop with NAU graduate students April 19 to develop innovative approaches to landscape restoration work in the West. This lecture and graduate student workshop signals a more systematic approach toward public land conservation that benefits communities and enhances the value of public lands.

Information about the Landscape Conservation Initiative is available online and through Facebook and Twitter.