Getting outside the beltway is always a pleasure for someone who makes a living protecting America’s wild and beautiful places. It’s doubly rewarding when you have a chance to share an award with a government official and meet all kinds of people committed to the cause of conservation.
Coming from Argentina as an intern to The Wilderness Society, I was recently asked this question while getting familiar with the work: Do you know who is in charge of managing most of the federal lands in the United States?
From startlingly beautiful close-ups of feathergrass and prickly pear to oil storage tanks leaking black puddles that grotesquely mirror the open sky, the images in Otero Mesa: Preserving America’s Wildest Grassland match the bone-hard and evocative narrative of this endangered landscape. Recently published by the University of New Mexico Press, the book pairs text by prizewinning nature writer Gregory McNamee, with exquisite photography by Stephen Strom and Stephen Capra.
This is the first installment of a four-part series on the beautiful, threatened Otero Mesa from New Mexico writer and Southwest Regional Office Administrative Assistant Zoe Krasney.
The three of us lean out of the car windows as we bounce along the dirt road through Otero Mesa, this remote and hidden grassland in Southern New Mexico. The road is blanched by mineral deposits leaching to the surface, a pale line starkly bisecting the wash of green and brown and the metallic spray of seedheads for miles all around us.
If you think today’s youth are up to no good, you obviously haven’t been at Newhalem Crags in the North Cascades National Park recently. A group of 8 young climbers and 16 others volunteered a coveted Saturday in September to build an access path to the Crags in Washington.
It’s one of the most difficult environmental concepts to understand, yet the word is starting to get out: some fires are good things. A look at a recent poll conducted by a coalition headed by The Wilderness Society and The Nature Conservancy revealed that the American public better understands that fire, under the right conditions, helps restore forests and protect communities and firefighters alike.