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Lansing Shepard,
Series Concept/Writer/Narrator

Lansing Shepard is a writer in the fields of conservation biology and natural history. His work has appeared in a number of venues. Recent projects have included regional exhibitions for the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service, and for the University of Minnesota’s Bell Museum of Natural History, among other institutions. A former writer for the Christian Science Monitor, he has also written for Smithsonian books. He was one of the authors for the Smithsonian Guides to Natural America series. His articles and essays have appeared in a variety of magazines and publications. He lives in Minneapolis.

Select Interview Bites from Lansing Shepard:
"From the beginning, human beings have always changed the landscapes they’ve lived in. And the challenge has always been how to do that without ruining those places."

"These landscapes are our ‘commons’ — the ecological foundation of our society — and so we all have a stake in what happens to them."

"What we’ve tried to do here is advance Minnesotan’s ecological and historical literacy, something you need to have if you’re going to participate in deciding how we’re going to negotiate the future. You need to know where you’ve been."

"What we tried to do was go beyond the strident debates of the day, the current fights about trees and wildlife and land and other natural resources. Not to diminish their importance, but to try to put them in a larger context. These battles have been going on, literally, for centuries!"

"No matter how much you think you may know about Minnesota’s history or its landscapes, watching this series, you’re going to learn something."

"The real work of the series will begin after its appearance on television. These films were made for the classroom and for public venues beyond living rooms. We hope this series — or various parts of it — show up at workshops, at conferences, at exhibitions, at meetings and many other places."

"This has been, perhaps, the most challenging project I’ve worked on. How do you fit 14,000 years of history into four hours of television?"

"This is a history that doesn’t exist anywhere as a written text. Moreover, there are so many parts to it, so many dimensions and so many view points from which to tell it. There are an infinite number of possible versions. This is just one of them."

Lansing Shepard
Series Concept/ Writer/Narrator


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