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Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Pedestrians

John Edwards, on the team that completed the first successful winter ascent of Denali, recently wrote this:

The Pedestrians:
There is a view held by some in the climbing community that national parks are a Bad Thing. I know because in my fitter days I mingled with some who felt that National Parks restrict the freedom of the hills and hamper alpine endeavors through regulation and through the occasional actions of over-zealous rangers. The perspective of those climbers -The Pedestrians -reaches only as far as the end of their rope. They do not see that beyond the pitch is an ecosystem in far greater danger. We humans are not the only users of parkdom -for us it means recreation, both physical and esthetic. For the non-human inhabitants it is 24/7 a matter of life and death, of persistence and extinction. All the massive evidence that has been hard won in recent decades tells us that the larger a contiguous reserve, the more likely endangered (and non-endangered) organisms will survive. The chances of survival are diminished in lands open to exploitation. Just as the stock exchange thrives on predictability, so ecosystems thrive on long-term security from exploitation. So, fellow climbers, extend your view beyond your favorite climb, ask yourself whether that is a short sighted, even selfish Pedestrian view. Recognize our moral obligation to the countless animals and plants for their welfare when we humans manage our unique landscapes; those non-humans out there don't get to vote. And support the management choice that both provides for climbing activity and promotes ecological integrity.

Monday, October 24, 2011

American Alps featured in Skagit Valley Herald

Check out this cartoon that ran in Sunday's Skagit Valley Herald!