Browsing All Posts filed under »Value of Wilderness«

Exclosures – August 2012

August 19, 2012

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Kirsten and I went up to the Fish Lake National Forest and camped on Thousand Lake Mountain in southern Utah for a couple of nights this last Thursday through Saturday August 16-18.  This area is just north of Torrey and we like to get up there in the summer just to get out and to […]

Where deepest dreams await.

December 29, 2011

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In Desert Solitaire Abbey offers us a benediction: May your rivers flow . . . where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you -- beyond that next turning of the canyon walls. In this video excerpt from Adventure Journal, surfer/adventurer Kepa Acero lives Abbey's blessing like a master. Infectious, intoxicating . . . >>more

The Plateau as Canary

December 16, 2011

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I like this idea of Kirk Johnson's of the Green blog at the New York Times. The fragile Colorado Plateau acting as canary in the coal mine. It doesn't take a dust storm in Arizona to notice that the air is always hazier on the Plateau than it was even 10 years ago. So few people live on the Plateau that man made haze here is a sign of illness elsewhere. ...more>>

Earth’s Great Omninvore

November 1, 2011

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I've been thinking a lot about the fact that the planet now has 7 billion people alive on it, all at the same time. I think just knowing the fact makes it seem more crowded. We are up from 6 billion souls in just 12 years. I wrote earlier about the latest epoch becoming known as the Anthropocene, the age of man. Here, Wired magazine has an essay with some jaw dropping perspectives to help make sense of 7 billion. . . . more>>

Rural jobs and public lands

October 21, 2011

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I want to keep track of this report and blogging on it is a handy way. Here in Utah our own congressman Rob Bishop and senator, Orrin Hatch are busy in a misguided way trying to create jobs via short term direct extraction at the expense long term expense of recreation. Recreation sounds trivial compared to drilling, mining, logging or grazing. It's not. According to the Wilderness Society outdoor recreation, natural resource conservation, and historic preservation activities contribute a minimum of $1.06 trillion annually to the economy, support 9.4 million jobs and generate over $100 billion in federal, state and local taxes. Economics aren't the only argument for sustaining an attactive natural environment, but it is an argument that tends to get traction. . . . more>>

Have you noticed that it is almost always hazy?

October 20, 2011

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I was at a star gazing party in southern Utah recently and met a businessman my age as he showed me around his telescope setup. As we got to know each other it turned out this guy, who seemed otherwise a lot like me, was a climate change denier. He told me his reasons and I listened. He was pretty sure of himself. The only notion that seemed to set him back was the observation that the air around Capitol Reef National Park, air that used to be so clear there were view point signs touting it (150 miles visibility used to be), is now almost always hazy. He had noticed that too. Here, William Anderson, chairman of the Moapa Band of Paiutes in southeastern Nevada, talks about the external cost of air pollution and benefits of clean air, that is the externalities that don't show up on a balance sheet or income statement but are real none the less, in this concise entry from Writers on the Range. . . .more>>

Value of wilderness debate: Wilderness wins 9:1

October 19, 2011

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I found this debate in The Economist to be a terrific, brainy way to get a review of how we got to where we are today on our sense of the value of wilderness. The best points I thought were made by "featured guest" contributors that centered on the relatively poor results environmentalists achieve when they take a no compromise position. Michael Shellenberger & Ted Nordhaus make the lucid point that,

Ignoring those questions (of how to manage development), and engaging in romantic visions that such a world can be sustained through small-is-beautiful projects, imperils the effort to produce a beautiful and healthy planet more than any corporation or government.
It is surprising to me that readers of The Economist would be so profoundly in favor of the notion that:
This house believes that untouched wildernesses have a value beyond the resources and other utility that can be extracted from them.
. . . more>>