Save-the-Date: Modoc Forum presents
the Common Ground Symposium June 5-7, 2008
“Nestled in Surprise Valley in the northeastern corner of California lives a powerful organization filled with a will that explores the nexus between the arts and the environment.”
-- Sierra Business Council
Gary Snyder, Pulitzer Prizing-winning poet , has written, "Find your place on the planet. Dig in, and take responsibility from there."
Taking Snyder’s advice seriously is the Modoc Forum, a small non-profit located in Surprise Valley, an agricultural community in northeastern California.
Not only has the Modoc Forum signed Snyder as its keynote speaker for its lead-off symposium “Common Ground“ this June 5-7, but the start-up group has added such notables as Native American author Darryl Babe Wilson and geologist Eldridge Moores to an impressive line-up of panelists.
The non-profit has accomplished this in the face of resistance from ranchers, farmers and even the county board of supervisors. That’s where they take Snyder’s advice about digging in seriously.
To help fund the symposium, the Modoc Forum, headed by newspaper publishers Barbara and Ray March of Cedarville and a Reno-based board of directors, has applied to the Sierra Nevada Conservancy for state appropriated grant money. The ranchers and their allies are in opposition.
Coming to the support of the Modoc Forum, whose mission is “To perpetuate an understanding and appreciation of the natural and agricultural landscape of Modoc County, the Great Basin and the rural west through literature, the arts, community education and academic programs,” is a diverse coalition that includes the Sierra Nevada Business Council, the Great Basin Water Network and local resource development committees.
What’s at stake?
The symposium intends to provide an open platform for discussing such controversial issues as the western water crisis, alternative energy, and a panel called “Poetry of Place,” which is where Snyder re-enters the stage.
Sierra Business Council will participate in the three-day symposium through a workshop/discussion on “Working Landscapes Initiative,” a unique partnership to maintain ranching and farming as a viable part of the Sierra Nevada's diverse economy and natural and historic heritage.
Fee for the event is $429, including a lunch and three dinners. There is even an old-fashioned barn dance and potluck planned. For more information call the Modoc Forum at (530) 279-2099 or go to www.modocforum.org for more details.