The International League of Conservation Writers is a forum to bring writers together from around the world who are writing to promote wilderness, nature, conservation, or using other means to protect and restore the natural areas, habitats, animals, and plants of our planet. ILCW will present periodic writing awards to authors who excel in this field.

International League of Conservation Writers

Writing to inspire the love of nature and a passion for its protection.



Blood Lions trailer

Blood Lions is a new documentary that shines a light onto the shadows of canned or captive hunting in Africa – how lions are being “bred for the bullet.” The film follows acclaimed environmental journalist, safari operator and ILCW member Ian Michler, and Rick Swazey, an American hunter, on their journey to uncover the realities about the multi-million dollar predator breeding and canned (or captive) lion hunting industries in South Africa. It is a story that blows the lid off claims made by these operators in attempting to justify what they do. Last year alone over 800 captive lions were shot in South Africa, mostly by wealthy international hunters under conditions that are anything but sporting.

Ian Michler has been following this story since 1999, and he goes onto the breeding farms to witness the impacts that decades of intensive breeding is having on the captive lions and other predators. Aggressive farmers and most within the professional hunting community resent his questioning, but the highly profitable commercialization of lions is plain to see – cub petting, volunteer recruitment, lion walking, canned hunting, trading and the new lion bone trade are on the increase. And all are being justified under the guise of conservation, research and education.

In parallel the film follows Rick Swazey, who purchases a lion online from his home in Hawaii. He then travels to South Africa to follow the path canned hunters do.

The film interviews trophy hunters, operators and breeders as well as recognized lion ecologists, conservationists and animal welfare experts.The film shows in intimate detail how lucrative it is to breed lions, and how the authorities and most professional hunting and tourism bodies have become complicit in allowing the industries to flourish.

There is also hope in this story as the Australian government recently announced a complete ban on the importation of all African lion trophies into Australia.

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ILCW member Stephen Leahy’s new book "YOUR WATER FOOTPRINT just won the Green Book Festival award in NYC for best
science book.

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Members Send Your News

If you have news, writings, video links, items that would be of interest to other ILCW members, send it to us for posting. Send to:

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L.M. Browning

Ruminations at Twilight

Poetry Exploring the Sacred

2012, Homebound Publications

Paperback, 150 pages

Asserting that the sacred lives in what is ordinary and the Divine is found amongst the green of nature, the poems within Ruminations at Twilight bring a message of appreciation for the worth of what surrounds us. Relevant, insightful, candid and revealing, these verses give a unique perspective on the age-old questions. The story told takes place on an intimate scale yet at the same time a world-wide scale; for within this story of one individual’s realization and redemption we are told that of all humanity’s.

The cure for our modern maladies is dirt under the fingernails and the feel of thick grass between the toes. The cure for our listlessness is to be out within the invigorating wind. The cure for our uselessness is to take back up our stewardship; for it is not that there has been no work to be done, we simply have not been attending to it. 

Excerpt from Ruminations at Twilight


 “L.M. Browning’s powerful poetry embodies the archetypal spiritual journey of our times, from “confining doctrine,” through despair and doubt, into reverent reconnection with the mysteries of the blossoming world. Her impassioned words evoke our longing to unite with the Source that gave rise to the cosmos, the earth, and the depths of our hearts. This book is like holding the twilight in your hands: a luminous joining of the divine and the natural into a moment of sacred wonder!”

—Drew Dellinger, author of Love Letter to the Milky Way

Ruminations at Twilight is a powerful cry of yearning for the sacred. These lines of poetry are Browning’s fearless entry into the global conversation; a heartfelt plea on behalf of the sacred Earth whose words run like rivers into the Great Watershed of the Earth’s dreaming. May her poetry inspire your own plunge into the currents.”

— Jason Kirkey, author of The Salmon in the Spring

(Winner of the 2010 IPPY Book Award’s Silver Medal



September 2126, 2015

On the River of Discovery with Women
of Influence

Featuring guest Dr. Cheryl Crazy Bull.

On the Green River through Utah’s majestic canyons. All the comforts are included, and the women guides are fun, talented, professional and inspiring. And did we say they do all the cooking!

More information

October 818, 2015

View Pandas in China with
Pandas International

To learn more about and to view pandas around China, travel with Pandas International board member Kim Sheremeta.
More information

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“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what
we are doing to ourselves and to one another.”
Mahatma Gandhi



Feature story about ILCW Member Page Lambert (USA)

Women writers connect with nature on river trips in the West

By Colleen O'Connor
The Denver Post

Posted:   09/03/2015 12:01:00 AM MDT

Author Page Lambert spends some time with her Arabian horse Farside in a community pasture near her Mount Vernon home in Golden.
(Cyrus McCrimmon, The Denver Post)

Page Lambert's first raft trip through the Grand Canyon changed her life. Even the danger didn't stop her. At the Lava Falls Rapid, considered the biggest and most scary, her raft shot into the air, and she plunged deep into the murky water. She surfaced, gasping for air, but the waves dragged her back down.

Still, she persevered, and that night, "elated and grateful," she bonded with the crew over margaritas and steak.

"It was my first outdoor adventure that paired my love of writing with my love of the outdoors in a physical way," she said on a recent afternoon, sitting on the deck of her home in Golden. "That experience was so powerful to me."

It inspired her to create river trips for women, which she's been doing for 18 years. This year, her six-day journey that starts Sept. 21 will travel down the Green River of Utah's Majestic Canyons.

She schedules these trips toward the end of the rafting season because they're not about "maximum whitewater, life and death, a thrill every minute," she said. "They're about letting the river replenish you."

Since ancient times, women have gathered at rivers, bathing children and washing clothes and filling cooking pots. "It's where we cleansed and purified ourselves," she said. "Where we went to tell ourstories and share our dreams, to create a vision for the future."

The theme for this trip is reaching the crossroads of life — professionally, personally or artistically. Because such transitions can be like navigating through fog on a river at night, she believes wisdom is best gained by relying on the senses.

"When there's nothing but nature around you, all of those senses are heightened," she said. "You're suddenly keenly aware of the smell of dampness on the air or the shift when the winds begin to blow — you see it in the grasses."

Being rooted in the present moment, she said, is essential for good writing and artful living.

Women and wilderness

She's become expert at making course corrections in her own life.

As a young adult, she was working for a financial planning firm in Cherry Creek when everything suddenly changed.

"I met a cowboy and fell in love," she said.

They married, and moved to a tiny town in the Black Hills of Wyoming, where she started a new life as a young wife and mother and began writing stories.

Continue reading

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The Deep Water Blues

By ILCW Member Cara Tejpal (India)

This story originally appeared in Sanctuary Asia, August 2015

Photo by Baiju Patil

For the longest time, we have exploited our oceans and their natural bounty. The resilience of our marine ecosystems is being tested like never before. Cara Tejpal outlines the systematic destruction taking place and how little is being done to stop it.

By the time the rescue dunghi arrived, the sun had slipped into the horizon, and the sky was rioting in hues of crimson and rust. Roshini and I were standing waist deep in the ocean in an attempt to evade the marauding sandflies, while the rest of the crew sat in desultory silence on the beach, amidst the wreckage of our capsized craft. The arrival of the dunghi reignited our spirits. We worked in tandem to hitch our fallen boat to it, and then clambered aboard, eager to be towed back to Mayabunder, Middle Andaman. The motor purred to life, we quickly lost sight of the island of Chalees-ek, and suddenly found ourselves hovering between aquamarine waters and fiery skies in a stupefying display of natural beauty. The ocean – so vast and enigmatic – truly felt like the last wild frontier.


But no frontier is unbreachable, and years of callous thought and action have left our oceans ailing.

Take a minute to close your eyes and imagine the Earth – the miniscule, blue marble that sustains everyone and everything you love. The oceans cover 71 per cent of this precious planet. They hold 91 per cent of its water, produce over 50 per cent of the oxygen we breathe, regulate our climate, and work as colossal carbon sinks, cushioning the dire impacts of the greenhouse gases we emit. According to UNESCO, they also contain between 50 to 80 per cent of all life on earth, much of which remains undiscovered. In fact, in 2000, a global network of researchers launched the decade long ‘Census of Marine Life’, and subsequently discovered 6,000 marine species potentially new to science.

But environmentalists have long realised that ecological significance, beauty, and rarity rarely move the global decision makers who control governments. So natural assets are regularly and undignifyingly fitted with price tags to judge their economic worth, and justify their protection. In a report titled Reviving the Ocean Economy: The case for action released by the WWF this year, the oceans were ranked as the world’s seventh largest economy when viewed in terms of Gross Domestic Product. Taking into account fisheries, shipping, tourism and coastal protection, their monetary value was conservatively put at a whopping 24 trillion U.S dollars. Continue reading

First appeared in: Sanctuary Asia, Vol. XXXV No. 8, August 2015

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United Nations General Assembly Adopts

First Ever Resolution on Illicit Wildlife Trafficking

The United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted (on 30 July 2015) a resolution on “Tackling Illicit Trafficking in Wildlife.” Concerned over the serious nature and the increasing scale of poaching and illegal trade in wildlife and its adverse economic, social and environmental impacts, and expressing particular concern over the steady rise in the level of rhino poaching and alarmingly high levels of killings of elephants in Africa, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted the resolution.

The aim of the UNGA Resolution is to “prevent, combat and eradicate illegal trade in wildlife within the existing international legal framework.” It urges Member States to reduce the demand for illegal wildlife products and to address sustainable and alternative livelihoods for affected communities to enable them to benefit from wildlife and wilderness. And to make illicit trafficking in protected species of wild fauna and flora involving organized criminal groups a serious crime.

For more information, please read the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora press release here.

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New Wilderness Area in US:
The Boulder-White Clouds

Photo by Boyd Norton taken in 1969 at the precise spot where the mile-long

open pit mine was planned.

More than 275,000 acres at the heart of the Boulder-White Clouds area in Idaho will be designated as a Wilderness Area – the largest number of acres designated as wilderness in the US since 2009 – with the passing of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and Jerry Peak Wilderness Additions Act. Nearly fifty years ago ILCW member Boyd Norton and a few other lovers of the Idaho wilderness formed the Greater Sawtooth Preservation Council to stop a mine that American Smelting and Refining Company was proposing in the beautiful Idaho mountains. There have been ardent supporters then and since, that have worked very hard to bring this area into Wilderness designation including Cecil Andres, the Idaho Conservation League, Sierra Club, the newspapers across Idaho, Our Wild America, ILCW member Doug Scott, Edwina Allen, Senator Jim Risch, Congressman Mike Simpson, and many others. Congressman Simpson was particularly firm in letting the White House know that “National Monument” status would not be acceptable as it would not offer the same permanent protection as a Wilderness Area designation. For more information: Scotchman Peaks and Idaho Statesman.

Boyd Norton who took the photo of this beautiful area (above) writes:

“It was 47 years ago when several of us formed the Greater Sawtooth Preservation Council in Idaho Falls, Idaho to stop a major open pit mine in the White Cloud Mountains near the Sawtooth Range in central Idaho. We stopped the mine but it took almost 50 years to get the White Clouds protected as a wilderness area. The bill passed the final hurdle August 4 in the Senate and 275,000 acres are now protected as a wilderness area. Though I was involved for several years testifying at hearings and writing articles about the place, it was really my Idaho colleagues who kept at it – Jerry Jayne, Russ Brown, the late Ernie Day, the Idaho Environmental Council, the folks at the Idaho Conservation League, the Sierra Club and many individuals. We owe them the vote of thanks for persevering. This photo was made in 1969 at the precise spot where a mile long open pit mine was planned. Lesson: never give up.”

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Nominate your favorite writer today!

Deadline September 30, 2015

2015 Wilderness Writing Award

Call for Nominations

Click here for details

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