New Orleans, La — This week, the Land Trust Alliance is hosting the nation’s largest gathering of land conservation leaders in New Orleans, Louisiana, following two years of hosting the annual event virtually. 2022 marks the 40th anniversary of the Land Trust Alliance and the 35th anniversary of Rally: The National Land Conservation Conference.
More than 1,500 people from throughout the United States and beyond will attend Rally 2022, which begins Sept. 15 and concludes Sept. 17. Attendees will hear from multiple keynote speakers of national renown, including Colette Pichon Battle, a generational native of Bayou Liberty, Louisiana, and founder of the Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy (now Taproot Earth). Colette has tirelessly worked to raise awareness on equitable disaster recovery, migration, economic development, climate justice and energy democracy. She was also named a 2019 Obama Fellow for organizing Black and Native climate justice and collaboration in the Gulf South.
Attendees will also hear from a group of panelists who bring a variety of experiences and perspectives to the issue of inclusivity in land conservation. Those panelists include Mavis Gragg, co-founder of HeirShares and Director of Sustainable Forestry and African American Land Retention at the American Forest Foundation; Gabe Sheoships, executive director of Friends of Tryon Creek and the lead facilitator of the Oregon Land Justice Project and chair of Nesika Wilamut; and Raul “Rocci” Aguirre, deputy executive director of the Adirondack Council, regional commissioner of New York State Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation (Saratoga-Capital District) and co-founder of the Adirondack Diversity Initiative.
The Alliance will also honor outstanding leaders in the field of conservation, including Ebonie Alexander, executive director of the Black Family Land Trust and the first person of color to serve on the board of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. Alexander will receive the Kingsbury Browne Conservation Leadership Award.
And the Alliance has partnered with the U.S. Forest Service on our 2022 Scholars for Conservation Leadership program — a career-and-leadership-development program aimed at expanding opportunities for student leaders majoring in environmental studies to pursue careers in natural resource management and conservation. The program was initiated in 2019 to provide undergraduate students from communities historically underrepresented in land conservation an opportunity to participate in a professional development experience here at Rally.
Land Trust Alliance is also proud to be partnering on Rally with local organizations like Land Trust for Louisiana, which soon will hold the conservation easement on Live Oak Farm, a rice farm operating in Vermilion Parish. Operated by the same family for more than 100 years, Live Oak Farm is one of Louisiana’s largest rice farms and the site of the state's first Agricultural Land Easement (ALE). This special place is being managed by a new generation of family members who are cultivating an integrated, symbiotic system with rice production, enhancement of wildlife habitat and responsible protection of the watershed. The ALE easement will help safeguard agricultural production and bird habitat as Louisiana’s coastal marshes disappear. It highlights the important role that conservation can play in building resiliency across our vulnerable coastal ecosystems.
Featuring 85 workshops, 11 seminars, two plenary sessions and seven field trips focused on climate mitigation and resilience in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast, Rally is the nation’s largest annual gathering of land conservation professionals. Attendees will connect with their peers, advance their skills and work to solve some of their greatest professional challenges. More information about Rally is available at www.alliancerally.org.
For additional information on Rally events, field trip coordinators and potential interviews with speakers, etc., contact the Land Trust Alliance’s media relations manager, Corey Himrod, at 571-359-5357 or email@example.com.