Friday, May 27, 2011

Quote of the Day

“Camping: nature’s way of promoting the motel industry.” — Dave Barry, Pulitzer-Prize winning author, comedian, and author of Dave Barry's Only Travel Guide You’ll Ever Need

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

More Reality TV

For those of you who have enjoyed following the Decorah, Iowa eaglets, which were featured on this blog last month and are rapidly growing up, here's another healthy dose of "reality TV" straight from the Big Apple - and with plenty of drama to spare: a pair of red tail hawks (Violet and Bobby) nesting outside the 12th floor of a New York University building have been sitting on three eggs.

Just last week, local wildlife experts announced that the eggs had missed their window to hatch and there would be no baby hawks - known as eyasses - this spring.

Alas, on Friday, just shy of Mother's Day, one of the eggs hatched and a healthy baby hawk was born - much to the experts' surprise. Nature, apparently, does'nt listen to the experts!

The joy has been tempered, however, by news that Violet's right leg is swollen two to three times its normal size. An ill-fitting wildlife band is suspected, and there are growing concerns that she might lose her leg - and her life - if the band is not removed soon. Experts have been discussing possible interventions to capture Violet and remove the band, but are increasingly concerned about the impact that Violet's momentary absence might have on the young eyass and the remaining two eggs. Officials are monitoring the situation carefully and calls for intervention are growing.

Stay tuned to the New York Times Hawk Cam for updates.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance

Wilderness Volunteers recently attended a national conference for a new organization. The National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance (NWSA) was formed to develop a growing network of volunteer-based organizations to provide stewardship for America's enduring resource of wilderness. It is a coming together of public land managers with those groups on the ground with missions to steward existing wilderness, and is importantly not an advocacy group lobbying for new wilderness.

While Wilderness Volunteers has, and will continue to operate independently of other groups, and directly with agency land managers, we occasionally find ourselves partnering with local "friends" groups to identify volunteer needs and to sometimes help with logistics.

We believe that working with the national stewardship alliance will help spread the good word about our program, will allow us to identify more volunteer needs, and will also give us added visibility and face-to-face interaction with higher level managers of the land agencies themselves.

One exciting and interesting result of the first conference was a brainstorming session about potential opportunities for national stewardship in the near future. Being that 2014 represents the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, there might be an effort to celebrate a National Wilderness Stewardship Day, or something similar. Just an idea at this point, but it's the kind of idea made possible when a bunch of wilderness do-gooders get together in the same room!