Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 in images

Some memories from 2008:

(A rainbow in Color Country.)

(Wandering in Upper Box Death Hollow with Ellen and Pippin.)

(Burro Wash slot canyon hike.)

(Capitol Reef National Park covered in snow.)

(Ancient Fremont petroglyh in Pleasant Creek Canyon, Capitol Reef National Park.)

(Me and Two-Bit on Boulder Mountain, with Thousand Lake Mountain behind us.)

(Thanks to Dan C. for this one, taken of the monks at Hell's Backbone in Boulder, Utah.)

(Pippin meditating by the Fremont River.)

There are of course a million more images and memories I have of 2008...but these will have to do for now.

Happy New Year's Eve. Here's to remembering the old and yet also making way for the new (hopefully improved?) ahead of us.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

clearing the slate

That time of year is upon us. The time to reconcile, to reflect, to cast ahead into the murky future and wish fervently that it be so, so much better than the past year.

In other words, it's time to clear the slate of 2008 (hey, poet) and project wondrous abundance into 2009.

Here's what I plan on doing in the next few days to help me clear my own slate:

1) Gather materials for my 2009 vision board. This includes ripping relevant pictures and words out of magazines, corralling crayons and markers and perhaps glitter glue pens, and of course manifesting the perfect white board at my local Rite-Aid.

2) Reflect on everything that happened to me over 2008 by going through journals, blog posts, my own memories, and emails from friends. Oh, and Facebook, that keeper of milestones...

3) Light a candle or two on New Year's Eve and release everything that happened in and around my life in 2008. Meditate. Be calm and still.

4) Work on my vision board on New Year's Day. Drink some darn good coffee.

5) Enjoy my dog, my cats, my family. Take time to truly appreciate and be thankful for the little things.

There may be more, but for now, that's enough to occupy me! What are your plans for the New Year?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

happy holidays

Merry Christmas to all...Happy Solstice...etc. etc. for all the beliefs out there.

May you have snowy vistas to see, endless fields of adventure to explore, and a bright day to greet and always.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

oh, those activists

Thanks to faithful reader Chris for drawing my attention to this article in the Salt Tribune about a young activist's impassioned, um, actions regarding the land lease sale.

Check out this blog too, Another cool place for info!
And Tim DeChristopher will be interviewed by CNN today as well.

And finally, here's a press release from SUWA yesterday noting other action.

Cool beans, kid. Bravery should never be mocked, no matter what the final outcome.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever does.” -- Margaret Mead


Friday, December 19, 2008

BLM Utah land lease update

Some recent info on the BLM's proposed Utah land leasing: an article in the Salt Lake Tribune about oil-shale, and the latest news from SUWA about the land leases and a lawsuit featuring activist figurehead Robert Redford.

And here is a Desert News article from yesterday, featuring BLM Director Selma Sierra defending the agency's decision to sell the parcels.

What does this all mean? Hopefully, more time bought for wiser, less greedy heads to prevail. And for the public to get its collective head out of the morass of economic doom & gloom (not to downgrade the importance of that current, grim situation) to realize that, without a planet and wild places for future generations to play in, the economy doesn't mean all that much...

As usual, we'll see what happens next.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

secretary of the interior nominee

So Ken Salazar is Oabama's official nominee for Interior Secretary (I'm watching the live press conference on CNN right now).

The question on many people's minds is, Is he a good choice?

Well, gosh, I sure don't know. But here's what I do know:

1) He's a Democrat. Okay, mild point for that. (Yes, still questionable, as it's not like being a Democrat grants one a golden halo--see Rod Blagojevich.)
2) He's a lifelong, multi-generational Westerner. 'nother point for, *we hope,* having a deep understanding of the multi-faceted land issues in the western states. This point is in contention, however.
3) He's Latino. Cool, another addition to the incoming Cabinet as being beyond the old white men club. Okay, mild point there.
4) He's a rancher, which makes me suspicious right off the bat (without doing any checking into his specific way of ranching--I'm just generally suspicious of most ranchers). Take away a point.
5)Comments such as this one give me pause: “Senator Salazar has been a champion for Colorado’s farmers, ranchers, and rural communities, ensuring that the 2007 Farm Bill and our energy policy create food and fuel security for America.” Not sure what to do with my impromptu point system here. I mean, I live in a rural community, and I love it much of the time, and I want to see it succeed and get all the resources it needs. But some people here in my very own county think that the ranching way of life is the lifeblood of Wayne County--and it most definitely is not! Only four families in this county of 2500+ people still exist solely by their ranching. However, many of WC's political decisions are made by, um, those in favor of the ranchers (hello, biased County Commissioners)...hmm. Point left hanging between sides...
6) He's voted in line with some of my own environmental beliefs, not to mention other issues. Add point.
7) He apparently cannot be labeled an "environmentalist." Is he a pacification to the Republicans by Obama? Hmm...maybe. Which could be unfortunate. Take point away.
8) Don't know much else but this: No matter what, this will be an interesting ride to witness!

Some links to public thought on Ken Salazar may be found here, here, here, here, and here. All interesting reads, with of course links to lead you down many other twisty Internet pathways to yet more information...

So. Will Ken Salazar make a good Interior Secretary? The real question is, By whose standards? Can't please 'em all all of the time... Time will tell. I, for one, will be keeping an eye on him...

And on a final humorous note, here is an urban legend of a priceless dumb celeb quote to prove just how much some Americans know about their own government (although to be perfectly frank, this particular Interior Secretary probably deserved it). Even if it ain't for reals, it's pretty darn funny:

"You've done a nice job of decorating the White House." -- Jessica Simpson, upon meeting Interior Secretary Gale Norton.

Monday, December 15, 2008

is that a lynx I see?

So a cool thing happened the other day. Visitors wandering Capitol Gorge in Capitol Reef National Park reported a dead bobcat. The Chief of Resources (Dave) and the Chief Ranger (Scott) went down to take a look-see, and sure nuff, there was a dead and disemboweled bobcat. Probably a mountain lion kill.

Well, in the process of checking it out, they noticed a collar on the little cat's neck, indicating that it was likely part of a study. Ooh, curious. And upon calling the number on the tag, these two Park employees were in for quite the surprise: turns out the "bobcat" was in actuality a lynx--a creature thought never to wander a desert environment such as this southern Utah section. Ooh, curiouser!

This particular lynx was part of the Colorado Lynx Reintroduction Project, which has been releasing the endangered animals into the wild from Creede, Colorado (cute little town), over the past decade. The cool project has its latest update here (August 2008, in pdf format), which is pretty interesting to read.

The lead researcher, Tanya Shenk, drove to the Park to pick up the cat and give an impromptu presentation to very interested Park employees the very next day. Everyone, including the decidedly unscientific me, was quite curious about this unusual event. Neat, neat stuff.

So there you have it. Can lynx be found in desert lands? Yes. Have they wandered around the mountainous areas of southern Utah? Yes. (We got to look at maps that track the cats via satellite and plane fly-overs.) Are they really beautiful little animals with enormous paws and tails that have a black tip, although only on the top? Yes!

This has been your educational tidbit for the day. Hope it was good for you... ;)

Monday, December 01, 2008

stop the insanity

Aha, she exclaims triumphantly! I have found me more redrock peeps: Red Rock Forest. Check them out.

And there's a call for comments about the bullcrap upcoming land leases in southern Utah. Check out here for the draft environmental impact statement and here for more info on making your voice heard in the rather endless battle to simply protect this gorgeous land. And here's an article in the Salt Lake City Tribune, just to catch you up on it all. :)

On a personal note, I am in moving and writing mania. Babcia is getting stronger, which is exciting. And life is still beautiful here in my own personal red rock nirvana. Can't ask for much more than that...