A little weekend inspiration! Beautiful new photos of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah by Bob Wick, BLM.
The monument - a part of the BLM’s National Conservation Lands - offers almost 2 million acres of rugged plateaus and river canyons to explore by foot or horseback, with opportunities for camping. The monument holds significant cultural and scientific treasures, so activities like climbing and are limited to specific areas. CLICK HERE to learn more about ways to explore the area and know before you go.
Plants, as Mancuso and co-author Allesandra Viola write in “Brilliant Green,” a short primer/manifesto on the history and science of this emerging field, can move — with intention. They have the same five senses as we humans, along with 15 others: along with being able to detect light and smells, they can sense the presence of water, for one, as well as chemical signals sent from other plants.
Exploratory Steelhead in British Columbia Part 3 & 4 Foraging, Over Harvest and Activism
It’s tough to go anywhere with Yvon and not stop to grub up some wild
food along the way. And since I’m pretty much in the same category, when
you put the two of us together, we tend to find the time–even in the
middle of a steelhead trip. The crab pots paid off with countless huge
Dungeness, right in front of camp, and Yvon, as usual, ate all the crab
innards with a spoon while Will and I stuck to the succulent leg and
body meat. Then there were limpets dotting the rocks along the beach,
which I thought of as tiny abalone. We also found tremendous
steamer-clam beds, and even a lack of implements and containers couldn’t
slow us down. That’s the human backhoe mining for bivalves with a
mini-raft oar above, and hauling our catch in someone’s discarded wading
boot below. Who needs shovels and buckets?
As we were gearing up in the early-morning dark for another day of
fishing, the crackly voice on the radio told us we should start making
other plans. Especially if we wanted to make our flight home any time in
the next three or four days. With a 17-foot aluminum skiff the only
available transportation, and 30+ miles of open saltwater between us and
home, it was suddenly a race to pack up and get out of Dodge before the
front hit. So much for fishing.
The good news is that we beat the storm back to town, and managed to
dig a nice boot-full of steamer clams along the way. More importantly,
our hasty departure allowed us to spend some extra time with our hosts,
the people of the Heiltsuk First Nation, as they scrambled to protest a
surprise commercial herring harvest opened by Canadian Department of
Fisheries and Oceans.
According to William Housty, Heiltsuk Coastwatch Director and
cultural leader, scientific studies (by both independent researchers and
DFO’s own biologists) show that herring stocks along the Central Coast
are too depleted to allow a commercial fishery. The Heiltsuk and DFO had
an agreement that the government would consult with Heiltsuk leaders
before opening the fishery and give at least 24 hours notice before any
Instead, knowing the Heiltsuk would protest, DFO opened the fishery
without consultation or any warning whatsoever. Rumor had it that DFO
didn’t even announce the opener by radio, but instead contacted the
fishing fleet directly so the Heiltsuk protesters wouldn’t have time to
An entire hotel building was rented, we were told, to a “private
party,” which we soon discovered was a large number of black-clad RCMP
officers sent in to “keep the peace.” But to me, it looked ominously
like they were there to protect the commercial fishermen.
And yet, word went out throughout the Heiltsuk Nation, and protests
materialized in a matter of hours. People dropped what they were doing
and jumped onboard. Heiltsuk boats raced to the fishing grounds to
protest in person, while other members occupied the DFO office nearby.
While the protest was too late to stop the seine fishery, ultimately,
the corporate fishing fleet and DFO gave in, sending the gillnet boats
The fact that DFO would ignore both Heiltsuk sovereignty and the best
available science to hold this fishery on a depleted stock is just
further proof that when the Harper government talks about “First Nations
rights,” “listening to science” or “sustainability,” it’s a complete
joke. And not a very funny one, at that.
For me, this was a steelhead trip that ended up being about much
more. From the tremendous wealth of wild food, natural resources and
culture protected by the Heiltsuk Nation, to their inspiring
confrontations with those who seek to destroy it, I learned much. And I
returned home more convinced than ever of the importance and value in
protecting what we love.
Do not try to push the animal back into the water! They beached for a reason, and if they are ill or needing medical attention and you push them back into the water, they could re-strand and stress/injure themselves further, or they could go off and eventually die of whatever was ailing them.
Do not try to touch the animal or get close unless necessary. They are large, wild predators and are likely in a certain mode of survival, which could lead to injury for you. It’s best to keep yourself safe and stay far enough back that if the animal were to bite or thrash, you are not in the way. If the animal is in a situation that requires you to get near, do so with care and have volunteers assist you.
Ensure the animal can breathe. If their blowhole is covered or not in a position that allows them full access to air, you may need to flip or adjust the animal. Only do this if you feel comfortable and with the utmost self preservation.
Try to keep the crowd away and quiet. A noisy crowd of barking dogs, yelling adults, and screaming children will only stress and panic the animal more. Keep everyone else at a safe distance and try to keep everyone calm and noise levels down.
Log the time, physical appearance, condition of the animal, and take photos. Any information you can gather while waiting for the rescue team is essential in giving them more information to help the animal.
Try to gather some wet towels and carefully drape them over the animal while keeping as much distance as you can. If the animal is thrashing wildly or acting aversively to any advance, back off immediately and skip this step. It’s not worth risking your safety.
Place a tarp tent over the animal if any beach goers have one nearby. Keeping the animal out of the sun is ideal so they can avoid sunburn. They are not used to being exposed to such high intensity rays for long amounts of time.
Keep waiting for help to arrive, and keep logging behavior and condition of the animal.
Species believed extinct until rediscovery in 2001
Congratulations to the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Turtle Survival Alliance
in Myanmar for the recent release of 60 captive-raised Myanmar roofed turtles (Batagur trivittata) - a species believed to be extinct until 2001. We’re pleased to
see the world’s second most endangered turtle on the road to recovery in
its native habitat, and happy that funds from our Critically Endangered
Animals Fund have helped support this effort!
Additional information on this particular project can be found at:
“Cats are listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature
(IUCN) as one of the 100 worst non-native invasive species. […] They have caused or contributed to 14
percent of all modern bird, mammal and reptile extinctions.”
As he was riding, world champion kitesurfer Mitu Monteiro noticed something floating in the water dangerously close to the rocks of Serra Negra Beach on Sal Island in Cape Verde, Africa.
Disregarding the danger, Monteiro rode in to take a closer look only to discover a distressed sea turtle tangled in plastic and struggling to breath and swim.
“I know it would have died if I didn’t rescue it,” Monterio told Caters News Agency. “She was unable to get food as the filament was preventing her from diving and it was wound tightly around her neck.”
While holding on to the control bar of the kiteboard, Monteiro managed to pull the sea turtle to him by hauling in the huge glob of plastic that had trapped the turtle.
He placed the sea turtle onto the kiteboard and rode it to shore where he and others began cutting away the plastic.
“this world is under terrible threat, all of it caused by us. to me, every creature, human or nonhuman, has an equal right to live, and this feeling, this belief that every animal and i are equal, affects me every time i frame an animal in my camera.
"the photos are my elegy to these beautiful creatures, to this wrenchingly beautiful world that is steadily, tragically vanishing before our eyes. …i hope that [they] might have some emotional impact on people - that in a minor way, they come away more aware that there is a sentience to those creatures, that those animals are not so different from us.
"the rangers in the photos are part of the team [of 300] from big life foundation, the non profit organization i started in september 2010 in an effort to help try and halt the alarming and massive escalation of poaching in east africa.
"so far, working within the amboseli ecosystem of kenya and northern tanzania [an area covering 2 million acres], the big life teams have successfully dramatically reduced the level of poaching and other killings of animals in the region. the problem remains rampant elsewhere.
"ivory has gone from a couple of hundred dollars a pound back in 2004 to as much as $2,000 a pound today. you’ve got an estimated 35,000 elephants a year being wiped out. with about 350,000 to 400,000 elephants left in the whole continent of africa, the elephants will be gone in the wild within ten years.”
The newest national wildlife refuge – Mountain Bogs – will help protect one of the smallest, rarest turtles in the U.S., the bog turtle. Located in North Carolina, Mountain Bogs National Wildlife Refuge is America’s 563rd refuge. It’ll be devoted to the conservation of southern Appalachian mountain bogs, which is home to five endangered species including bog turtles, green pitcher plant, mountain sweet pitcher plant, swamp pink (a lily), and bunched arrowhead. Photo of a newly hatched bog turtle by USFWS.