Conserving Civil Rights History and Biological Diversity in Alabama


EcoJustice RadioListen to stories of ecological restoration and preservation of places civil rights history in Alabama with Bill Finch and Phillip Howard.
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Alabama biodiversity

Cahaba-Perry Lakes, Alabama. Photo Credit: Beth Maynor Finch

What is now known as Alabama and the environs of the Deep South, boast exceptional biodiversity and capture the imagination with its rich cultural and historical significance. It is the ancestral home of Cherokees, Choctaws, Muscogee or Creeks, and numerous lesser known Native nations and also the place where civil rights activist Stokely Carmichael planted the seeds of Black Power. Moreover, Dr. King famously marched from Selma to Montgomery, weaving along the Alabama River to manifest a dream of unity.

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EO Wilson, Paint Rock, Alabama

The late great E.O. Wilson, Alabama born, expounded on the mission of Paint Rock Forest Research Center – Photo Credit: Beth Maynor Finch

Listen to rich stories of ecological restoration and preservation of places of civil rights history that is Alabama. We welcome Bill Finch of Alabama River Diversity Network and the Paint Rock Forest Research Center, and Phillip Howard, Project Manager of Civil Rights People and Places Initiative. They share the vision and mission of these non-profit organizations dedicated to preserving and promoting the extraordinarily diverse natural and human heritage of this essential region.

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Bill Finch is the founding director of Paint Rock Forest Research Center and founding partner of the Alabama River Diversity Network. Finch is author of Longleaf, Far As the Eye Can See, an exploration of the potential in North America’s most diverse forest ecosystem. He is former conservation director for the Nature Conservancy’s Alabama Chapter, and an award-winning writer on gardening, farming and environmental issues.

Phillip Howard is Project Manager for The Conservation Fund’s Civil Rights People and Places Initiative. He recently produced a film about the Campsites of the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail called 54 Miles to Home.

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54 Miles to Home

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Executive Producer: Jack Eidt
Interview by Carry Kim
Intro by Jessica Aldridge
Engineer and Original Music: Blake Quake Beats
Show Created by Mark and JP Morris
Episode 122
Image: EJR with thanks to Bill Finch and Phillip Howard

Updated 19 January 2022

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About Jack Eidt

Novelist, urban theorist and designer, and environmental journalist, Jack Eidt careens down human-nature's all consuming one-way highway to its inevitable conclusion -- Wilder Utopia. He co-founded Wild Heritage Partners, based out of Los Angeles, California. He can be reached at jack (dot) eidt (at) wilderutopia (dot) com. Follow him on Twitter @WilderUtopia and @JackEidt