The 2019-2020 season of the Great Falls Forum continues on Thursday, February 20th, featuring Dr. Frances Eanes, Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at Bates College, with a talk entitled “Conflict, Consensus, and Community in the Future of Auburn’s Ag Zone.” The program will take place from 12 noon to 1 PM in Callahan Hall at the Lewiston Public Library. Productive, working landscapes that support farm and forest livelihoods have been steadily lost for decades throughout the United States, especially in New England. Although the driving forces behind this trend—e.g., globalization, urban sprawl, and demographic shifts—are talked about in distant and abstract terms, their effects are profoundly acute and personal, and impact how individuals and communities see themselves and imagine a more durable future. In this talk, Professor Eanes will explore these challenges and potential solutions through the lens of his in-depth research on the City of Auburn’s contentious process to modernize policies that govern the city’s “Ag Zone,” which covers more than 40% of the city’s land base. Professor Francis Eanes originally comes from the mountains of western Pennsylvania, but has lived in Idaho, Wisconsin, Indiana, and now calls Lewiston home. Having lived in so many different landscapes, his research and teaching interests revolve around urban and rural land use planning. He is especially interested in the social, cultural, and livelihood connections that people develop with land, and how these can help to form healthy and more equitable communities. He and his students have worked with community partners in Lewiston-Auburn on a variety of local research projects, including some related to the future of Auburn’s Ag Zone. Before coming to Bates, Professor Eanes earned his doctorate in environmental studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and was a postdoctoral researcher in natural resource social science at Purdue University.