Bestselling national author Gary Ferguson will tie the elements of our conference theme together in a keynote speech. Beyond his literary accomplishments, Gary was deeply involved in the creation of the Beartooth Front Community Forum (BFCF) in Red Lodge, MT. The BFCF led the City of Red Lodge to develop its first master plan, which won Western Planning Resources’ Sheldon Gerber Award for Excellence, and gave the community the confidence to oppose U.S. Postal Service plans to move the post office to the fringe of town. The Red Lodge Post Office remains downtown. Ferguson has been a keynote speaker for a variety of national and international organizations, including the National Conservation Training Center, the Land Trust Alliance, the National Parks Conservation Association, and the Conservation Alliance. His lectures draw from thirty years researching – and more important still, experiencing – the marriage of ecology, cultural history, and psychology. He has lectured at universities around the country, including Washington University, St. Louis, where he served as the 2002 Seigel Scholar. He is also a member of the National Geographic Lecture Series. Gary has written for a variety of national publications, including Vanity Fair and the Los Angeles Times, and is the author of 23 books on nature and science.