Michael Whitfield

Teton Regional Land Trust wants to gather people virtually.

The conservation organization has planned the first of several regular events starting at 4 p.m. Friday (April 17).

The group said the coronavirus outbreak is preventing in-person events but hopes to utilize technology for presentations under the title of “Teton Talks, Lessons from the Land.”

“We often do things like this live with people so we’re trying to figure out how to interact with people now that we have distancing,” said Kate Salomon, communications and events coordinator for the group. “This is going to be an experiment for us.”

The first event features a pre-recorded talk with Michael Whitfield, followed by a live question and answer session. To join the event, go to the group’s website at tetonlandtrust.org and click on the “Events” tab. This will lead you to a signup page.

Whitfield is the Teton Regional Land Trust’s founding executive director and the 2019 Kingsbury Browne Fellow. As a conservation biologist, he has been a leader in large landscape conservation in the United States.

The prerecorded part of the presentation is moderated by Jim Levitt, from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, and draws from Whitfield’s 2019 paper, “Toward Holistic Landscape Conservation in the 21st Century.” After the prerecorded portion of the event, Whitfield will field questions live from those who join online.

“We are hoping to do this every other Friday starting on the 17th,” Salomon said. “We have a few things pending for the future ones.”

Salomon said the group isn’t planning any in-person events through the month of May. They are hoping to hold some outside June events.

“We’re really involved with the Earth Day celebration in Teton Valley,” she said. “The Teton Valley Earth Day celebration committee is working on making that all virtual, kind of like the Idaho Falls one.”