Environmental Leaders Meet in Charlottesville for Final 2010 Leadership Institute Session

May 28, 2010 — The Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute will meet in Charlottesville on June 2 through 4 for the final session of its 2010 class. Participants will meet at Ivy Creek Natural Area, the Cavalier Inn and at the University of Virginia.

This session – the last of six held around the state since September – marks graduation of this year's class of fellows and the 10-year anniversary of the VNRLI. This year's fellows include representatives from business; local, state and federal government; and non-profit organizations.

Topics will include climate change and renewable energy; advancing Virginia's environment, economy and community; religion, ethics and the environment. Gabrielle Tayac of the National Museum of the American Indian will give a lecture. Fellows will also participate in a session of the U.Va. Bay Game, a computer-based simulation of the Chesapeake Bay watershed in which players assume the roles of bay stakeholders, make decisions about their livelihoods and lifestyles, and then see the effects of their decisions over 20 years.

This session will take place from 2 to 4:30 p.m. in Clark Hall.

Steve Talley, institute program manager, said, "The institute teaches ways natural resource managers can help Virginia communities move toward consensus on contentious issues. Our curriculum emphasizes collaborative problem-solving and collegial dialogue between people who have different perspectives."

VNRLI has graduated more than 250 fellows. In 2009, the Virginia General Assembly commended VNRLI for its "outstanding efforts to improve the way Virginians make environmental decisions" and its "many efforts to help build consensus and facilitate good environmental policy and leadership for the Commonwealth."

VNRLI is a partnership of the University of Virginia's Institute for Environmental Negotiation, Virginia Cooperative Extension, the Virginia Department of Forestry and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. The Dominion Foundation supports the institute with a grant to develop collaborative decision-making for protecting Virginia's environment and natural resources.

Other supporters of the institute include the Virginia Environmental Endowment, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service's Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program, the George Beals Conservation Leadership Fund of the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts Educational Foundation, the Chesapeake Bay License Plate Fund, Merck & Co., Inc. and individual VNRLI alumni.

For information, visit the VNRLI website or contact Steve Talley at 434-924-6569.