Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day 2014

Today is Earth Day. Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin was the founder of it back in 1970. This picture was taken in 1990 when I was Exec. VP of the International Soil and Water Conservation Society located in Ankeny, IA.  We in the Society always celebrated the event with some special occasion. One year we dedicated the "David E. Hutchinson" native prairie which was part of the Headquarters site. I am pictured here with USDA Soil Conservation Service Chief, Bill Richards and Iowa SCS State Conservationist, Jeff Vonk. We are standing in front of a painting of Hugh Hammond Bennett, Chief and founder of the Soil Conservation Service. Bennett was a Soil Scientist by formal training and recognized early in his career that while protecting soil from erosion and degradation was a central theme, natural resource conservation and sustainability of agriculture involved a much broader focus. Paul Johnson who became Chief of the SCS during the 90's was instrumental in renaming the Agency, The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). Gaylord Nelson recognized the "interconnectedness" of natural resources with Earth Day. Today we still hear skeptics question man's influence on "global warming" and "climate change" but to me it is just a matter of continuing to broaden the perspective of "all things being connected" and, Yes, man has influenced change of "natural systems".  The destruction has been well documented, but fortunately, I believe we have "turned the corner". With each passing year, there is more acceptance of the need for environmental protection to provide sustainability. 

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