Bob Ireland prepares for ‘Pando Populus’ conference

Photos provided by Bob Ireland

Photos provided by Bob Ireland

Canyon Lake resident Bob Ireland traveled to southern Utah in late September to visit a 100-acre grove of quaking aspens whose genetically identical root system (“rootball”) is estimated to weigh 13 million pounds. This “Pando” is the largest and oldest living entity, with an age estimated to be 20 to 80 thousand years.

With a host of threats resulting in half of the grove not sprouting new trees, Bob suggests this grove may be emblematic of global ecological threats, as well.

Bob says this has led to the creation of the largest conference ever held on behalf of the earth, addressing both ecological challenges and entrenched philosophical perspectives adversely affecting the ability to adequately address these challenges.

The “Pando Populus” Conference will be held June 4 to 7 at the Pomona College in Claremont. Bob has been working on the planning committee for this conference for the past 18 months. More than 700 multi-disciplinary scholars from 20 countries will be involved. Plenary speakers will include Bill McKibben, the Indian environmentalist Vandana Shiva, the Land Institute’s Wes Jackson, and political theorist William Connolly.

Anyone interested in learning more about this unusual conference is encouraged to visit


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Donna Ritchie