Former U.S. Forest Service Chief to lecture at Notre Dame

by William G. Gilroy

Mike Dombeck

Mike Dombeck, former U.S. Forest Service Chief, will deliver a lecture at 4 p.m. April 17 (Tuesday) in Room 105 of the Jordan Hall of Science at the University of Notre Dame.

His lecture, titled “From Conservation Milestones to a Sustainability Reality Check,” is free and open to the public.

As a prelude to Earth Day, Dombeck will talk about the complex and often controversial relationship that humans have had with the land in North America, from the Native Americans and early explorers, to the tragedy of the commons, urban sprawl and beyond.

Dombeck is one of the most renowned and recognized contemporary conservationists. His leadership in the Bureau of Land Management and as former chief of the Forest Service has impacted nearly 500 million acres. He is the only person ever to lead both of the largest public land management agencies in the U.S. As the capstone to his lifelong career in public service, he was granted the highest award in federal service, the Presidential Rank of Distinguished Executive Award.

Dombeck has authored, co-authored and edited more than 200 popular and scholarly publications. He currently serves as executive director of the David Smith Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship in Conservation Science, and has recently retired as system fellow and professor of global conservation at the University of Wisconsin.

Dombeck’s lecture is sponsored by the Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative (ND-ECI). ND-ECI is tackling the interrelated problems of invasive species, land use and climate change, focusing on their synergistic impacts on water resources. The goal of ND-ECI is to provide solutions that minimize the tradeoffs between human welfare and environmental health where tradeoffs are unavoidable and to discover win-win solutions where they are possible.

Contact: Peter Annin, 574-631-9322,