Aside from the obvious outdoor recreational opportunities and inspiring scenery as aspen trees light up the mountainsides, staying in Jackson Hole for the fall has its privileges. Two-for-one dinner specials at local restaurants, the Fall Arts Festival, being a part of giving back to community nonprofits through Old Bill’s Fun Run and meeting world-renowned conservationists who travel here from all over the world to share their work.
Believe it or not, you can be busier than you are in the summer in the offseason if you want to take advantage of it all. One year, Jane Goodall walked my dog in a peace parade. She gave me a hand-written thank you note. Another year, I shuttled E.O. Wilson off the stage at the Center for the Arts. Full disclosure, I was working for Jackson Wild, which was then called the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival.
What most people don’t know is that there are fabulous volunteer opportunities at Jackson Wild and SHIFT, that might give you the same access. Between the two conservation summits, this week kicks off a month-long smorgasbord of intellectual brain candy. So keep your eyes out for the people who are trying to change the world and take advantage of the film screenings and open conversations they are hosting.
Jackson Wild – An industry conference held every two years for the past 25 years where filmmakers, conservationists, scientists and innovators come together to deeply engage in the critical issues facing our planet.
“Taking Jackson Wild to a global stage helps us do what we do best as we elevate conservation issues and the critical work being done to restore and protect our planet through the power of innovative storytelling” says Executive Director Lisa Samford.
The Jackson Wild Media Awards, formerly known as the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, has been called “the Oscars™of wildlife film.”
Most people don’t go to the Jackson Lake Lodge, the hub of the industry conference. But it is worth it to stop in, enjoy the reflection of the fall colors on the lake and see some of the world’s premier wildlife photographers.
This year’s Jackson Wild will be held Sep. 21-27. The Conservation Focus is Living Oceans.
You can also get a day pass to watch screenings and see exhibits
● This Saturday and Sunday filmmakers will be talking about Living Oceans
● A special Lodge Screening pass is available any day for only $50 at the Jackson Lake Lodge Concierge Desk
● Go to Paul Hawkens Legacy Award Keynote Sunday at 7:30 pm. Paul is an entrepreneur, author and the founder of Project Drawdown, which works with over two hundred scholars, students, scientists, researchers, and activists to map, measure, and model the one hundred most substantive solutions that can cumulatively reverse global warming by reducing and sequestering greenhouse gases. His businesses include Erewhon, Smith & Hawken, and OneSun Solar (now called Energy Everywhere).
● Check out and test the large format camera and virtual reality equipment in the exhibitor’s hall
● Have a drink at the Blue Heron Bar and check out local photographer Gary Crandall’s installation
● Review the full schedule of events: https://www.jacksonwild.org/programming.html
This year’s SHIFT will be held October 16-18, 2019. The theme – nature as medicine.
SHIFT (Shaping How we Invest For Tomorrow) – An annual festival, held each autumn in Jackson Hole, that explores issues at the intersection of outdoor recreation, conservation and public health. The Emerging Leaders Program, another aspect of SHIFT trains early career leaders to help develop more engagement in conservation issues facing our country.
On Wednesday, Oct. 16 from 9am-12pm there will be a special $50 rate for a conflict resolution workshop with former National Park Service director and Professor Mickey Fearn. Fearn’s vision to end youth violence in Seattle, led him to develop innovative programs connecting young people with nature.
Day passes are $200 and individual passes are $25 for these events
● Director Sylva Rokab will be here to present her award-winning film “Love Thy Nature,” which explores the idea that a renewed relationship with the earth is the key to personal health.
Thursday Oct. 17, 7pm at the Center for the Arts
● Wade Davis, PhD an ethnographer, photographer, author and filmmaker and Professor of Anthropology and the BC Leadership Chair in Cultures and Ecosystems at Risk at the University of British Columbia. He will speak about reciprocity between nature and humans.
Friday Oct. 18, 7pm at the Center for the Arts