The field manuals, books, and various notebooks of the late E.O. Wilson have found a home at the Paint Rock Forest Research Center in Alabama, Wilson’s home state. In 2018, Wilson visited the center, located within one of the most biologically diverse forests in North America. The forest is a Place for a Half-Earth Future, and part of the Alabama Nature Conservancy’s 4,000-acre Sharp Bingham Preserve in the Paint Rock River valley that cuts across Madison and Jackson counties. The center’s Founding Director, Bill Finch, shared, “Ed expanded our vision of Alabama conservation and this project whenever he visited,” Finch said. “He insisted this should be one of the world’s great centers for study of ecosystems. Ed’s long-time assistant, Kathy Horton, recognized this, and made sure that we could continue to build our program around Ed’s extensive natural history library,” in a recent article.
Places for a Half-Earth Future brings diverse stakeholders together to create opportunities for interconnection, expanding habitat and migration routes and improving the health of species populations, while providing examples and inspiration for anyone interested in contributing to a Half-Earth future. In 2021, the Half-Earth Project partnered with the Paint Rock Forest Research Center to present “At the Crossroads: Biodiversity, Civil Rights, and Science Education from the Black Belt to Paint Rock,” a a panel conversation with President & CEO Paula Ehrlich and Principal Conservation Science Advisor to the Half-Earth Project, Bill Finch, along with special guest partners: Patience Knight of the Paint Rock Forest Research Center and Phillip Howard of the Alabama River Diversity Network, moderated by Joel R. Johnson.
Learn more about Paint Rock Forest Research Center.