“The best time to plant an oak tree was thirty years ago. But the second best time is today.”
October 20 - 22 2017
St. Johns Community Center
8427 North Central Street, Portland, Oregon 97203
The annual North American Rewilding Conference is an Open Space conference. It is a think tank of some of the nation’s most inspiring rewilders and rewilding projects, as well as a social networking opportunity for rewilders. It is a marriage of conservation rewilding and human rewilding as a social and environmental movement away from civilization and the restoration of the wild and the human place therein. Here you will find individuals and grassroots organizations collaborating on a range of rewilding-related fields including ancestral technology, wildlands restoration, ethnobiology, reintroduction of species, social and environmental justice, traditional ecological knowledge, and much more. This event is brought to you by Rewild Portland, a nonprofit organization serving the Portland area and the rural and wild areas beyond. Proceeds from this event will go back into the mission: to promote cultural and environmental resilience.
“Restoration to what?”
We talk a lot about “restoration,” but what are we trying to restore to? What are our actual goals? A certain time in history? A specific ecotone from a specific era? A diet from a specific time and bioregion? If the world has changed with elements like extinction, the introduction of invasive species, and climate change, what then do we mean by restoration? What does it look like? What exactly are we restoring? Do we have commons goals to work toward together? If so, how can we encourage each other's efforts? This theme was inspired by the advanced permaculture course titled Social Forestry with Hazel (Tom Ward) at Siskiyou Permaculture
Opening Night Presentation
Friday October 20, 7pm
Rather than a keynote speaker, we will host twelve different five-minute "lightning round" presentations related to rewilding work, projects, ideas, and/or strategies from twelve individuals. These diverse presentations get us all on the same page, understanding the vast complexities and the multi-dimensional nature of rewilding. It is designed to whet our collective appetite for the deep conversations during the Open Space conference.
Each five-minute talk will focus on three points:
- What is/was the problem?
- What is the project and how does it solve the problem?
- How can people participate in the project?
2017 Opening Night Lightning Round Presenters
Introduction to The Rewilding Conference
Peter Michael Bauer has been writing and teaching about rewilding since 2006. He is the creator of the international web forum www.rewild.com, the author of the book Rewild or Die, the founder of nonprofit, Rewild Portland, and teaches multiple courses on rewilding such as Rewilding 101, Rewilding 121, Rewilding 201, etc.
Reviving the Land, Reviving the People: Wild Food Restoration and Collective Tending Models
Heron Brae is an Oregon-born rewilder, organizer, and educator. She teaches beginning and advanced field studies in botany, ecology, bioregional herbalism, ethical wildcrafting, and her own program Wild Food Tending at The Columbines School of Botanical Studies in Eugene, OR. She also organizes collaborative community spaces for people to relearn belonging with the wild through direct experience with land tending, human connection, and eating wild foods.
Lara Pacheco is a Taína, Latinx mamita that believes that our collective liberation is accessed through decolonizing ourselves by weaving ourselves into the web of ancestral medicine. Lara directly works through ancestral medicine with plants and fungi. When not caring for her family, land and all creatures, Lara runs Seed and Thistle Apothecary, an educational resource, and co runs the Seasonal Wellness Clinic that works to provide access to herbal medicine and massage for marginalized communities and Brown Girl Rise, a youth empowerment program for young femmes of color.
Animist Physics: Rewilding the Science of Everything
Founder of Language Hunters (a non-profit organization that trains communities to revitalize their own endangered heritage languages), host of the Thermodynamics of Emotion Symposium, blogger and podcaster for 13 years at the College of Mythic Cartography, and both a wildlife tracker and Search and Rescue tracker.
PUGS: An alternative to the educational industrial complex.
Douglas Tsoi is the founder of Portland Underground Grad School. Before starting PUGS, he had previous careers as a corporate lawyer, Quaker schoolteacher, and climate change professional. In his spare time, he plays soccer, eats, and naps.
Graze Against the Machine
Ariel Greenwood is a feral agrarian--one who works with domestic species to help landscapes and people become more wild. As a grazier, she is working with herbivores across thousands of acres in northern California to foster tangible improvement in the health of her food- and watershed. Check out what she is up to at her website arielgreenwood.com.
Animal Tracking and Community Science as a way of Teaching about the Natural World
Teri runs a nonprofit called Cascadia Wild, where she teaches animal tracking and wild plant foraging and runs a community science project that organizes volunteers to carry out carnivore surveys on Mt Hood. Prior to this, she worked as a forester for the Washington Dept of Natural Resources and US Forest Service and holds a MS in Forest Ecology from Oregon State University.
Rewilding & Permaculture
Mulysa Melco is an ecological landscape designer, horticulturist and artist with a lifelong passion for plants and exploring our connection with the land. She has degrees from the University of Minnesota and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. In 2011 she started a community campaign to make her North Portland neighborhood pesticide free. Her landscaping company is called Resilience Design.
Lacy Campbell, self professed "bird nerd" has been managing the Wildlife Care Center for the Audubon Society of Portland for the past 5 years. When she isn't chasing down eagles or wrangling skunks she enjoys trail running, playing bagpipes and musing on rewilding. One day she hopes to know as much about plants as she does about wildlife.
Climate ReInhabitation: Taking Responsibility for the Anthropocene
Jordan Fink was born on the Eastern shore of the Willamette River, near its mouth. He grew up looking for buried streams. He is the Founder and Co-Director of ReInhabit.org, a project to reverse Climate Change through Collaborative Design and Development.
Rewilding Empire Christianities
Rev. Solveig Nilsen-Goodin is ordained in the Lutheran Church (ELCA) and committed to rewilding the church. In 2011 she founded an alternative church here in Portland, the Wilderness Way Community — a community of both Christians and non-Christians — to support the development of "wild" Christian disciples and fearless spiritual leaders to deeply engage the perils and possibilities of this historical moment. Solveig is also a leader within EcoFaith Recovery, author, musician, and spiritual director who sees clients in her backyard yurt.
PROPOSE A TALK FOR 2018
Do you have an idea for a talk? Do you have a rewilding-related passion that you just can’t keep to yourself? Are you part of an organization doing amazing rewilding-related work? To propose a talk, FILL OUT THIS APPLICATION.
Weekend Open Space
Saturday October 21 - Sunday October 22
9am - 5pm
The Rewilding Conference is an Open Space conference. Open Space Technology is a non-hierarchical, organic, social collaboration tool, best used to discuss and create solutions to a specific problem or issue. We have chosen to use the Open Space Technology because it is a way of rewilding a conference. The conference does not operate the way we think of traditional conferences, with presenters or speakers giving lectures or teaching classes. Rather than having a few people talk at you, Open Space is a way of generating discussions between everyone in the field of rewilding, from institutional to grassroots, from "experts" to hobbyists. All the participants arrive in the morning on the first day and create the topics, lead the discussions, and you take part in whatever discussions you want. One of the most amazing things about the Open Space is that it puts the known experts on the same field as the unknowns and lay people. Everyone has things to contribute in a community, and Open Space is a way of pulling ideas out of the zeitgeist of the movement rather than expecting to hear solutions from only just a few "thinkers." At open space, all ideas and people are equal and have an opportunity to be discussed, in real life, face to face with other humans.
Our Open Space Facilitator
Diana Larsen is co-author of Liftoff 2nd ed.: Start and Sustain Successful Agile Teams; Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great; Five Rules for Accelerated Learning; and co-originator of the Agile Fluency(TM) Model. Diana delivers inspiring conference keynote talks and facilitates productive Open Space Technology events. As a volunteer, she contributes as a leader with Agile Alliance, Organization Design Forum, Agile Open Northwest, and the Agile Open Initiative. As a founding partner of FutureWorks Consulting, she leads the practice area for Agile software development, team leadership, and Agile transitions. FutureWorks Consulting contributes to the growth of workplaces where people say, “I love my work; this is the best job ever!” As a founding member of the Agile Fluency Project, Diana delivers ways to chart a course for teams, create alignment with management, and secure organizational support for continuous learning and improvement.
There have been several requests for child care and we are working out how to make this happen. We should have something in place by mid September. Thanks for asking and for your patience as we make this a priority and reality for those with families.
This event is hosted by Rewild Portland, a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit organization. We do not have investors who make money from this event. Any money earned goes back into our mission to create cultural and environmental resilience through the education of earth-based arts, traditions, and technologies.
This is an evolving event. To stay connected and get updates, join our mailing list: