Wild Bison being rounded up north of Yellowstone for slaughter by the state of Montana
"It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment." - Ansel Adams
I strongly believe in the need to proactively preserve our remaining wilderness. We’ve already lost so much. Consider that nearly 100,000 grizzly bears used to roam the lower 48 states (there are now about 1,000), almost 50 million (yes, million) bison roamed the Great Plains (only a few, small free-ranging herds remain), and hundreds of millions of wild salmon migrated up the Columbia River and it’s tributaries.....all the way into Idaho where they were a major food source for grizzly bears and people. These things have all drastically changed on our watch in only the last 150 years. Its really unbelievable.
"We have forgotten how to be good guests, how to walk lightly on the earth as its other creatures do." - Barbara Ward
We need to spend much more effort focused on wild land preservation and addressing climate change.
The rate of climate change hit me hard this past summer when I visited a glacier in Alaska that I last saw in 2002. To a first time visitor, I'm sure the glacier looked magnificent. To me, it had receded over 1/4 mile the in past 15 years. The rock I stood on to touch the glacier 18 years earlier now stood by itself along the ocean shore. It was unbelievable how much things have changed.
We need collectively understand the link between our daily actions and change we're causing on the climate, wildlife and wild place. Animals and nature are having difficulty adapting to such a rapid increase in global temperatures.
I'm often asked 'What can I do to help wild animals and wild places'? Here are my top 3 suggestions.
DRIVE AN ELECTRIC CAR (or at least a Hybrid).
This is simple. The next time you buy a car, don't buy a gas guzzler. Get a fuel efficient hybrid or a fully electric car. This makes a huge dent on climate change and your decision matters. It's time for all of us to make a difference - please don't continue to be part of the problem, become part of the solution. You might have to buy something a bit smaller than you're used to (i.e. huge SUVs), but you'll be fine. And your kids will thank you.
STOP EATING BEEF
Why should you stop eating beef? The answer is simple - cattle do so much unnecessary damage to wildlife and climate. All for a burger or a steak? Please make a different choice and do without these items. You'll be healthier anyway.
Did you know that cows are allowed to graze in almost all of our National Forests and Wilderness Areas? Wilderness Areas are supposedly our most pristine natural areas aside from National Parks, but cattle grazing? Really?
Did you know the federal government spends more money leasing lands for grazing than it generates in grazing revenue? It only costs $1.35/month/cow and calf to graze on federal land. The price hasn't changed since the 1980s (no, I'm not kidding). This is a huge giveaway to the livestock industry and it needs to stop.
Countless wolves, coyotes, bears and mountain lions are killed so domestic cattle can graze 'untouched' in OUR National Forests. The presence of cattle displaces native wildlife. Cattle spread weeds and trample streams and wetlands. They also significantly contribute to climate change.
Equally obnoxious, wild bison from Yellowstone are slaughtered by the state of Montana when they wander outside the Park boundaries. Can you guess why? To protect cattle. What an insult to these majestic animals.
Give wildlife, wild places and our climate a break. Stop eating beef. I've done it for years - it just isn't hard.
GIVE MONEY TO ORGANIZATIONS WORKING TO PRESERVE WILDLIFE AND WILD PLACES
There are many great organizations out there. Below are a few that I think highly of. Your money will make a difference!
- Natural Resources Defense Counsel
Please make changes in your daily life to protect the earth, its inhabitants and wild places. As you can see from above, you can make a difference daily.
Thanks for your help!
An old growth forest clear cut. Not only unsightly, but highly destructive to ecosystem health.