How nature keeps us grounded in a world turned upside down

The spread of the coronavirus over the last few weeks has left millions suddenly fearing for their livelihoods. As companies all over the world teeter on the edge of bankruptcy, mass layoffs have thrown huge numbers of people into a state of panic about how they’re going to make it through this and still be able to put food on the table. And to make matters worse, with shelter-in-place orders locking down parts of the U.S., many of us now find our involvement with the outside world limited to a few “essential activities”: grocery shopping; obtaining medical supplies – and, among other things, hiking. Read more ›

Bears Ears and Grand Staircase – A local tragedy with global consequences

Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments are revered by archaeologists and outdoor enthusiasts from all over the world, and sacred to the Native American tribes whose ancient burial sites, cliff dwellings and petroglyphs are among the countless thousands of cultural and archaeological treasures that lie undisturbed across the windswept wilderness of southern Utah’s canyon country. When President Clinton gave Grand Staircase the status of National Monument in 1996, and Obama bestowed the same protections on Bears Ears a decade later, it was an acknowledgement that Read more ›

Fear and Loathing 2020

From Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, written during the 1972 presidential campaign that culminated in the re-election of Richard Nixon:

I would like to think—or at least claim to think, out of charity if nothing else—that Campaign Bloat is at the root of this hellish angst that boils up to obscure my vision every time I try to write anything serious about presidential politics.

But I don’t think that’s it. The real reason, I suspect, is the problem of coming to grips with the idea that Richard Nixon will almost certainly be re-elected for another four years as President of the United States. If the current polls are reliable—and even it they aren’t, the sheer size of the margin makes the numbers themselves unimportant—Nixon will be re-elected by a huge majority Read more ›

Trump’s latest pointless and irresponsible federal budget proposal

Presidential budgets are usually nothing more than symbolic gestures of intent, released into the world with no real expectation that they’ll make it through Congress or be followed through in actual spending. In Trump’s case, while this has so far held true (his budgets have never been adopted in totality), they give a good sense of how we can expect to see the administration using administrative action to circumvent Congress in the coming year. This being the case, the FY2021 budget released this week paints a bleak picture of the future of America’s public lands. Read more ›

He know windmills very much

An expert weighs in on the horrors of clean energy:

“I never understood wind… I know windmills very much, I have studied it better than anybody. [T]hey are manufactured, tremendous — if you are into this — tremendous fumes and gases are spewing into the atmosphere. You know we have a world, right? So the world is tiny compared to the universe. So tremendous, tremendous amount of fumes and everything.”

Donald J. Trump, cosmologist and windmill expert (via The Hill)

New Report: Protecting the Places We Love: How the Land and Water Conservation Fund Supports Outdoor Recreation in Nevada

Environment Nevada State Director Levi Kamolnick and I have spent the last few months working on a report on the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and its importance for land preservation and outdoor recreation in Nevada. Funded by our friends at the Western Conservation Foundation, the report was released last week as a joint publication by Environment Nevada and Frontier Group. Here’s the intro (you can download the full report here – and check out my blog on the LWCF on the Frontier Group site) Read more ›