In today’s episode, Rick and Sam are joined by Beth Conover to discuss conservation in the context of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Through their conversation they discuss two approaches to conservation, the more traditional approach and a more collaborative approach. Furthermore, they consider challenges and successes of engaging seemingly disparate groups of people, building trust within communities, practical approaches to conservation efforts and establishing common ground to more effectively accomplish the various goals of conservation. 

Beth Conover has spent her entire career working at the intersection of environmental policy and community development. Beth is currently the Executive Director of the Salazar Center for North American Conservation, which works to support and advance the health and connectivity of the natural systems and landscapes of North America. Prior to joining the Salazar Center, Beth served as the Senior Vice President for Natural Resources and Community Development for the Gates Family Foundation. She has worked on community conservation program development in diverse places including Providence, Rhode Island; Zimbabwe, Southern Africa; and the Colorado Plateau. Born in Denver, she was Director of Parks and Environment for the redevelopment of the former Stapleton International Airport and a senior advisor and founder of Greenprint Denver for Mayor John Hickenlooper. She is the editor and co-author of How the West was Warmed: Climate Change in the Rocky Mountain West. 

For further reading:  Weaving the Strands Together: Case studies in inclusive and equitable landscape conservation

Sam Scinta is President and Founder of IM Education, a non-profit, and Lecturer in Political Science at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and Viterbo University.

Rick Kyte is Endowed Professor and Director of the DB Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership at Viterbo University. 

Music compliments of Bobby Bridger- “Rendezvous” from A Ballad of the West.