8th World Wilderness Congress begins next month

August 1, 2005 (Washington, DC) The 8th World Wilderness Congress (WWC), convening from September 30 October 6, 2005 at the Egan Convention Center in Anchorage, Alaska, is a public forum expected to attract more than 1,000 conservationists and experts from 55 countries. Reporters are welcome to attend.

The Congress has already issued three news releases detailing expected news highlights, available at http://www.8wwc.org/press.htm.

Previously unannounced highlights include:


In a bygone era, many of America's most prominent families, such as the Rockefellers, Mellons and McCormicks, used their wealth to help create public natural areas. That tradition of privately funded parks and wilderness areas largely fell out of fashion until recently. Today, many private American philanthropists are buying private lands for conservation.

Multiple generations of Rockefellers, for example, have been instrumental in creating some of America's most beloved national parks including Great Smoky Mountains and Virgin Islands, and expanding others, such as Grand Teton and Acadia. David Rockefeller, Jr., the former national vice chair of the Alaska Conservation Foundation, an organization dedicated to preserving the Alaskan natural environment and its native cultures, is continuing his family's legacy.

A relative newcomer to the scene is Doug Tompkins, who co-founded the fashion giant Esprit. Mr. Tompkins has helped preserve more than two million acres of land in South America, and plans to transfer his 750,000-acre Pumalin Parque to the people of Chile, which would become one of that nation's most spectacular national parks.

Mr. Rockefeller and Mr. Tompkins will both be in Anchorage to discuss their roles in the re-emerging wildlands philanthropy boom.


Dr. Michael Fay, who gained international renown for hi

Contact: Brad Phillips
Conservation International

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