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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Wilderness50 Day 4

Last night we thoroughly enjoyed the NM premiere of the new film about Ed Abbey, "Wrenched!" at the historic KiMo Theater downtown, part of #Wilderness50. You've got to see this one! Go to for info. Dave Foreman, Terry Tempest Williams and others including the filmmaker ML Lincoln answered questions afterward.

First session this morning, NCCC President Karl Forsgaard presented on ORV problems in the North Cascades, one of his specialties.
We heard how Reiter Forest was saved after becoming a magnet for west side ORVs, and an explanation of how motorized NRAs were built into the Yakima Plan. (These are topics NCCC has been very active in, and the back story is in our journal The Wild Cascades.) The audience response was very positive - one complimented Karl on giving one of the best presentations of the conference. 

The mid-day keynotes were from author Douglas Brinkley, astronaut Joseph Acaba, and historian Doug Scott. 

Brinkley (above) and Scott helped us remember that we truly are standing on the shoulders of giants, those who came before us in the movement, and how important our work is today as we carry the torch. Astronaut Acaba gave a great slideshow of his trip to the International Space Station, and told how the view from there really put things in perspective for him and solidified his passion for this little blue marble we live on. 

NCCC's Polly Dyer was called out for a special round of applause after a young woman in the Q&Q session challenged the 3 men on stage to balance the gender gap. Later I gave her my best and got this snapshot of her with historian John Concillo. 

Then a few of us escaped the Hotel and visited Petroglyph National Monument just a half hour away, ironically now nearly surrounded by suburbs. From there we walked the trails in the Rio Grande Nature Center, where a wetland was recreated in the "Bosque" or cottonwood forest along the river, and displays in the visitor center show how ongoing work is partially restoring this heavily channelized river. The cottonwood are near peak of fall color now!

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