Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Who Will Defend the Wilderness? I Know a Few Warriors!

On my recent visit to Montana I started to think about the importance of defending Wilderness, defending the natural environment. We need to explain the importance of Wilderness to people of good will--and then stand up and fight for it! If not us--then who? I know there are a dozen other critically important things to think about. Please include the natural environment and true wilderness among them.

I am proud to say that my daughter Carolan is one of the defenders. She works much of the time in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, a gigantic and important wilderness complex just south of Glacier National Park. A couple weeks ago we met her after she hiked out (I think that morning it was a 15-mile hike) to the Spotted Bear Ranger Station. She had been supervising and training trail maintenance crews in "The Bob," as the Bob Marshall Wilderness is called. Sometimes she works at the Kalispell office of the Montana Conservation Corps (MCC). Other times she's in the field--The Bob, Glacier National Park, the Kootenai, or some other park or forest in Northwest Montana.

Carolan and Bob at Spotted Bear Ranger Station
Carolan's friend Jeremy Rust is also a defender of Wilderness. He works for the U.S. Forest Service and is Carolan's companion-in-adventure. They recently hiked in Glacier NP from Bowman Lake to Quartz Lake, paddled the length of Quartz Lake, then bushwacked their way up to Cerulean Lake. I don't think many people have had this firsthand experience! I recently saw Jeremy in the Two-Medicine area of Glacier:

Jeremy and Bob, by Running Eagle Falls, Two Medicine area, Glacier NP
I have met many other MCC and Forest Service workers: Lauren, Cliff, Elisheba, Beth Hodder, and many others. They are the hardest working people I know, tough as nails, and vigorous defenders of Wilderness and the Wilderness Ethic (which I will talk more  about in the future).

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