Va. Tech And The Va. Department Of Forestry Join To Form The Virginia
Natural Resources Leadership Institute
31, 2000 -- To help Virginias community leaders
in the public, private and non-profit sectors resolve conflicts
over environmental issues, the University of Virginia, Virginia
Tech and the Virginia Department of Forestry have formed a partnership
to create the Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute.
The newly formed VNRLI will bring together community, business and
environmental leaders to learn principles and strategies for resolving
conflict over natural resources. In September, it will kick off
its first program, a series of six seminars to be held throughout
the year in various locations across the state.
VNRLI course is designed to be experiential, interactive and challenging.
Participants will be exposed to various ideas and values in a fair
and balanced manner, and speakers and panelists will be selected
to represent different perspectives. Seminar topics include: leadership
and relationship building, processes and strategies for conflict
resolution and problem solving, personal communication, public policy
and decision-making, Virginia natural resource issues, and case
studies and field trips.
who wish to participate in the program must apply by July 15. The
course will be limited to 30 participants and is open to anyone
involved in natural resource issues whether in small business,
industry, local government, community or civic engagement, environmental
activism, academia, or state government.
hope is to have a class of participants with diverse interests,"
said Mike Ellerbrock, director of the Virginia Tech Center for Economic
Education, which is one of the programs co-sponsors. "We envision
about one-third coming from business and industry, one-third from
state and local government, and one-third from the community, civic
and environmental interests. The goal is to have people gain better
understanding of each other and the issues, not to convince anyone
of a particular outcome."
addition to learning about processes and strategies for conflict
resolution, participants will delve into some of the more demanding
challenges being faced in Virginia today: water quality and supply;
waste management, including biosolids; urban and rural forestry;
tobacco growing communities; chip mills and coal mining; large-scale
animal operations; growth and land use; and Superfund and Brownfield
sites. Other kinds of natural resource management will be woven
into the course, including wildlife management, land conservation,
and rare and endangered species preservation.
are social and practical costs for failing to address these kinds
of environmental conflicts in a proactive manner," said Frank Dukes,
associate director of the U.Va. Institute for Environmental Negotiation,
one of the three co-sponsors. "Too often we see neighbors and communities
torn apart by conflict that goes unaddressed and unresolved."
Virginia Department of Forestry, the third partner in the program,
is eager to see the VNRLI succeed. "The demands and pressures on
our resources are becoming greater every day," said Deputy State
Forester Bettina Ring. "We need to develop new ways of doing business,
and one of the ways to do that is to bring people together to build
understanding of each other and of the issues."
of Natural Resources John Paul Woodley has given his support to
the program by offering to host VNRLI at state parks and by providing
information about it on the Virginia Naturally 2000 website (http://www.deq.state.va.us/education/naturally.html),
which focuses on statewide initiatives to promote lifelong learning
about Virginias environment and stewardship of the Commonwealths
natural and historic resources.
who are accepted into the program will attend all six seminars,
which will run from Wednesdays at noon through Fridays at noon.
The seminars are scheduled for Sept. 27-29, Nov. 8-10, Jan. 10-12,
Feb 28-March 2, April 11-13 and May 30-June 1. Cost for the year-long
course is $1,600, excluding travel and lodging.
hope to be able to have scholarship money available," said program
coordinator Tanya Denckla, senior associate with U.Va.s Institute
for Environmental Negotiation. "We would like to make it possible
for people to participate without a cost barrier." She urges people
to apply even if theyre not sure they can afford to pay the
entire registration fee.
may be obtained by calling Tanya Denckla at (804) 924-1970 or at
the VNRLI website: http://www.virginia.edu/~envneg/VNRLIpage.html.
more information, contact Tanya Denckla at (804) 924-1970 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jane Ford, (804) 924-4298