National Wilderness Conference Keynote Speaker: Jimmy Carter, former president

Jimmy Carter served as the 39th President of the United States from 1977-1981, and was awarded the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize "for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development." His wilderness legacy includes passage of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act in 1980, which doubled the size of the country's national park and refuge systems, and tripled the amount of land designated as wilderness. His expansion of the National Park System included protection of 104.3 million acres of Alaskan lands.

Among his achievements as President, he dealt with an energy shortage by establishing a national energy policy, decontrolling natural gas and oil prices, and encouraging the development of alternative energy sources. He prompted government efficiency through civil service reform, and proceeded with deregulation of the trucking and airline industries.

In 1982, he became University Distinguished Professor at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, and founded The Carter Center. Actively guided by President Carter, the nonpartisan and nonprofit Center addresses national and international issues of public policy. Carter Center staff and associates join with President Carter in efforts to resolve conflict, promote democracy, protect human rights, and prevent disease and other afflictions.

Carter will deliver a special video welcome to National Wilderness Conference attendees as part of the October 15th opening ceremony. You can get a sneak-peak of the interview here and listen to Carter talk about a childhood experience that first introduced him to wilderness.