photo by Lisa
Kim on El Cap 1970 ~ photo by Edgar Boyles
NEW YORK ― On a cloudy May morning, Rose Marcario, the chief executive of outdoor retailer Patagonia, stared out a second-story window of a Manhattan restaurant, watching construction workers jackhammer the street below. The workers made her think of her grandfather, an Italian immigrant who, after making it through Ellis Island in the 1920s, got his first job digging the streets of this city. He earned 10 cents a day and had to bring his own shovel. People regularly spat at him and sneered at his broken English.
“He’d tell me, ‘I didn’t mind that, because I knew that someday in the future, you were going to have a better life,’” she recalled.
His sacrifice has been weighing on Marcario lately. She isn’t a parent herself, but she thinks of her young cousins, nieces and nephews. She wants them to inherit a planet with a stable climate and normal sea levels ― a country that still has some pristine wilderness left. Her job ― running a privately held company with roughly $800 million in annual revenue and stores in 16 states plus D.C. ― provides her a much bigger platform to influence their lives than anyone in her family had two generations ago.
It’s also why she’s decided to take on the president of the United States to stop him from rolling back decades of public land protections.
“We have to fight like hell to keep every inch of public land,” Marcario, 52, told HuffPost last month. “I don’t have a lot of faith in politics and politicians right now.”
Ventura, California-based Patagonia has taken on a number of national conservation efforts since environmentalist and rock climber Yvon Chouinard founded it in 1973. In 1988, the firm launched a campaign to restore the natural splendor of Yosemite Valley, which was being destroyed by cars and lodges. The company took on a more consumer-centric approach, launching an ad campaign in 2011 urging customers not to buy its jackets in an attempt to address rampant waste in the fashion industry.
The company was relatively quiet for the first two years after Marcario took the top spot in 2014. But she grew dismayed as environmental and climate issues took a backseat in the 2016 election, despite the stark difference between the two top candidates’ views. She worried the vicious mudslinging of the election would turn off voters.
Cheryl Molnar, “Headquarters” (2015), Mixed Media on Wood Panel, 30×40 inches, Courtesy of the artist
In 1846, when he was 29, Henry David Thoreau tried to climb to the top of Mount Katahdin in Maine. Living in Massachusetts, where the virgin forest was long since cut down, Thoreau had never seen true wilderness, and the sheer power of the wild Maine woods sent him into an ecstasy of spiritual overload.
“This was that Earth of which we have heard, made out of Chaos and Old Night,” he proclaimed, rejoicing in the “rocks, trees, wind on our cheeks! the solid earth! the actual world! the common sense! Contact! Contact!”
Lost in fog at Katahdin’s upper altitudes and defeated by the rugged mountain, Thoreau never did reach the summit. But his words have lived on in the deepest parts of the American mind, shaping this country’s conscience toward nature. Last year, President Obama designated 87,563 acres of the land that so moved Thoreau as the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument — a win for the solid earth, the actual world.
In a few weeks, Thoreau will turn 200, giving the nation a cause for celebrating. But just in time for the bicentennial, the Trump administration is considering stripping Katahdin Woods and Waters of its new designation.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke visited Katahdin this week as part of a systematic review of more than two dozen national monuments being considered for delisting. He’s acting under the executive order of President Trump, who has called the creation of the monuments “abuses.” The president has set his developer’s eye on public property, promising to “free it up” and threatening that “tremendously positive things are going to happen on that incredible land.”
Other targets for possible delisting include Basin and Range in Nevada, Canyons of the Ancients in Colorado, Grand Canyon-Parashant in Arizona, Craters of the Moon in Idaho and Giant Sequoia in California. A few of those locations might arguably have some economic potential beyond their incalculable worth as tourist destinations. The oil and gas industries have begun circling around the culturally significant Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, for example, with hopes of fracking it. Many of the monuments also serve as battlefields in the longstanding ideological war between federal power and states’ rights.
Credit: Mark Boyce
If you come across an old elk in southwestern Canada, chances are it is female.
Though male elk, or bulls, rarely make it past 5 years old because they are targeted by hunters, female elk, or cows, can live as long as 20 years. Remarkably, cows over age 10 seem nearly invulnerable to hunters.
A team of scientists wanted to know: What makes senior cows so survival-savvy? Is it because these elk are more cautious by nature, which made them better at evading hunters all along? Or is it nurture, and cows can learn to dodge hunters over their lifetime, even if they start out more daring?
It seems both factors are at play, the researchers at the University of Alberta reported in PLOS One on Wednesday. Tracking dozens of female elk over several years, the authors found that, over all, careful cows were better at surviving. But they also found that individual cows were able to adjust their behavior and adopt more stealth strategies as they aged. In particular, as females got older, they moved shorter distances and sought safer ground if they faced a higher risk of encountering hunters.
During a postdoctoral stint in Alberta, Henrik Thurfjell, now a research specialist at the Swedish Species Information Center, led an effort to track 49 cows, monitoring each for two to five years with GPS collars that logged the animals’ locations every two hours.
The English racer Geoff Duke at the Isle of Man T.T. races in 1955. Hundreds of competitors have died on the circuit.
Photograph by Hulton Archive / Getty
On the morning of June 7th, several spectators gathered by the side of a narrow country road in Ballig, on the Isle of Man, to witness the third full day of the Tourist Trophy—a weeklong series of motorcycle races held each year on this bumpy, grassy rock in the middle of the Irish Sea. They waited quietly, listening for engine noise amid the birdsong and the murmuring of a nearby stream. Suddenly, a high-performance bike blasted past, at such concussive velocity that it might have been a missile. First-timers winced and recoiled. “Who was that?” someone asked. More riders followed, fearsomely fast and loud, at intervals of a few seconds. Some were recognizable by their racing colors, others by their distinctive riding styles. Brian Coole, a local T.T. enthusiast, spoke familiarly about two of the year’s big rivals, Ian Hutchinson and Michael Dunlop. “Hutchy guides the bike; Dunlop wrangles it,” he said.
There had already been several changes to the 2017 lineup. Rider No. 5, the twenty-three-time T.T. winner John McGuinness, had been forced to withdraw after breaking his right leg, three ribs, and four vertebrae in a bad crash, at a qualifying event in mid-May. Also absent was rider No. 71, Davey Lambert, who had crashed nearby four days earlier. Lambert’s death was announced just before the event now in progress, a four-lap race of the Snaefell Mountain Course. The thirty-eight-mile circuit, on winding public roads, is often said to represent the Mt. Everest of motorsport—partly for its technical challenges, but mainly for its deadliness.
On the first lap, rider No. 63, Jochem van den Hoek, rocketed through Ballig on his Honda at more than a hundred and fifty miles per hour. Some twenty seconds later, turning through a tricky curve at the eleventh milestone, he came off the bike. His death was confirmed that afternoon, around the same time that No. 52, the Irishman Alan Bonner, had his own collision higher up the mountain. Bonner was also killed, bringing the historic death toll on this circuit, which has been in use since 1907, to two hundred and fifty-five, including thirty-two in the past decade. (That figure does not account for race officials and spectators hit by runaway bikes.) For the first twenty years of the contest, parts of the course remained open to public traffic; in 1927, a racer named Archie Birkin was killed as he swerved to avoid a fish truck.
To the casual observer, the T.T. may seem like madness incarnate. “Yeah, I hear that all the time, and it winds me up a bit,” Richard (Milky) Quayle, a former racer, told me at the grandstand in Douglas, the Manx capital. “You couldn’t do this if you were mad. It takes too much focus and discipline.” Quayle had known the two men killed that day, and resented any suggestion that competitors were careless. “Every rider out there is actually living their life, not wasting it like you see so many other people doing,” he said. One of the few native islanders ever to win a podium place in the tournament, Quayle was now a chief adviser on the T.T. circuit, talking newcomers through the treacherous geometry of the Snaefell and assessing their readiness to ride it. He knew the dangers firsthand, having clipped a stone wall with his shoulder, in 2003, resulting in a spectacular crash that later made him famous on YouTube. “I smashed myself to bits,” he said. He only quit the T.T. because, soon afterward, he had a son. “I wouldn’t be able to take those total-commitment corners at Ballagarey or Quarry Bends, knowing he was waiting for me to come back,” he told me. “I still ride fast bikes almost every day. But I do miss the racing. And without it, to be honest, I struggle with life.”
Tim Lane, key note at ISSW ~ Rio Blanco banquet
Poster Session winner at Rio Blanco ISSW
Rio Blanco Happy Hour. Don Tim & Don Frank Coffey at casa de Tim sharing a glass of vino tinto. Salud!
In the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, early morning light begins to illuminate Cave Canyon where there are ruins thought to be 700 years old. (Photo by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has recommended President Trump “revise the existing boundaries” of the Bears Ears National Historic Monument and call on Congress to dictate the terms of how parts of the area should be managed.
Native American and environmental groups immediately threatened to sue should Trump follow the recommendation.
In an interim report Zinke gave to the White House on Saturday, he proposed Trump ask Congress to give tribal officials authority to co-manage “designated cultural resources” in the area and “make more appropriate conservation designations” within an area that President Barack Obama formally protected in southeastern Utah late last year.
But Zinke suggested holding off on any final decision until a full review of 27 national monuments designated by Trump’s predecessors is completed. Trump signed an executive order in April ordering Zinke to conduct the 120-day review, and he instructed the secretary to first report back on Bears Ears, a 1.35-million-acre site Obama designated in December under the 1906 Antiquities Act.
A coalition of tribes, environmentalists, outdoor recreation businesses and academics had pressed for the designation because some of the area’s more than 100,000 archaeological sites have been damaged in recent years by vandalism, off-road vehicle use and looting. Gov. Gary R. Herbert and Utah’s congressional delegation, all Republicans, argued that lawmakers should determine the boundaries of any monument rather than the White House.