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Nature’s Relationships : Fire Is A Connecting Force

Nature’s Relationships : Fire Is A Connecting Force

  Fire, to we humans, is a paradox. It is both friend and foe   We need  fire, yet it can destroy us. In Nature, fire is a positive force. Fire is an important part of forest and grassland ecology. It is a force in Nature that provides new and restored connections. Paradoxically, the destructive nature of fire is its great strength. Fire is a transformational force that Nature requires in order to bring health to ecosystems. This lesson...

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Nature’s Relationships : What Is Life ?

Nature’s Relationships : What Is Life ?

What Is Life ?     If we could surrender to Earth’s intelligence, we would rise up rooted—like trees.” ~ Rainier Maria Rilke   What Is Life ? This is a question with many answers. A dictionary might tell us that life is a distinctive characteristic of a living organism that has he capacity to grow, metabolize, respond to stimuli, adapt, and reproduce. But, defining life requires a greater depth if we are to understand how Nature...

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Great Conservation Stories

Great Conservation Stories

 There are many silent conservation heroes who are making a difference   In between the government endorsed wolf killings and the negative environmental impact of off-road ATVs, there are many silent conservation heroes who are making a difference and setting examples for the rest of us.   As I do research for my blog posts, it is becoming increasingly clear to me that all is not gloom and doom in the world of conservation. Despite the...

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Sanctuaries of Silence

Sanctuaries of Silence

Even the most remote corners of the globe are impacted by noise pollution     f you have been following my essays over the years, you would be correct if you sensed my passion for silence and solitude.  Indeed, just like the creatures in the forests and the mountains that I visit, I am profoundly adverse to human created noise. Noise can deeply affect my personal ecosystem. But, much more important, it has been shown that human noise can...

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Do killing animals promote life?

Do killing animals promote life?

“Conservation theater” is the dubious practice of killing predators in the name of conservation   Many of us who wait in airport security lines have serious doubts about the effectiveness, the benefit, and the actual protection offered by the invasive procedures that we are required to endure. Our doubts become amplified when we read that dangerous and illegal items are regularly smuggled past the inspectors during government...

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The Power of Legacy

The Power of Legacy

  An early mentor was the spark plug that set me on my pathway to becoming a scientist.   During a recent summer camping trip, my partner and I visited Rocky Mountain National Park. The visit was a particularly emotional experience for me because, about 70 years ago at the age of 10, my parents took me to the Rocky Mountain National Park Moraine Museum (now called the Moraine Park Discovery Center). At the Moraine Museum, I learned my...

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