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Sunday, October 19, 2014

#Wilderness50 Day 5 - finale!

The last day here at #Wilderness50, and the 8am session included Karen Taylor-Goodrich, Superintendent of North Cascades National Park, so we took particular interest. 
Her presentation focussed on cross-border cooperation as one of the challenges of administering the Park in the so-called "Post 9/11 World" we live in. Border Partrol however was not her primary emphasis, rather it was ecosystem management and SEEC. 
This map of the "Ross Lake Watershed" shows the land management units on both sides of the border. 
She gave a shout-out to NCCC for getting the Park created & stopping the High Ross Dam.
Grizzly bear recovery EIS work will be the next frontier of cross-border cooperation, she said. Asked if her partners in BC thought they still had enough Grizzlies to augment the population on our side of the border, she said it sounded like they did, but that would be part of the EIS workup. 

"Inspiration for the Future of Wilderness" was the theme of the finale in the main pavilion. 
Robert Glenn Ketchum talked about how he went from rock-and-roll to outdoor photographer, with a slideshow of his stunning images of the Tongass, where his photos of clearcutting raised popular outcry. 
The closing keynote speech by Dave Foreman was like a sermon - Dave pointed out it was Sunday morning so there was no better time to call-out sin and make sure we all know what's right and wrong. "When the Nature Conservancy says the passenger pigeon went extinct, and it hasn't made much of a difference, saying that is a sin!"
He proceeded to remind us of how J. J. Audubon witnessed the sky turned dark for 3 days by a flock of passenger pigeons, until the day when the last one died in captivity. 
He exhorted us all to "listen to the hush" under a tree next time we're in a wild place.
He countered those who would claim we've now so dominated the planet that we can do whatever we choose in the "anthropocene," with his spirited defense of the untamed wild. 
Then he left the stage, not with a wolf howl as we expected, but with his rendition of a flock of chickadees!
Ken Brower was in the hotel drive as we left and told us he wondered who would be the next great voice of the environment... It's a question worth pondering. 

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