Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
–Martin Luther King, Jr.
I’m off to a very slow start in the new year, but the news keeps on coming! I will try this for a week or two: a roundup of stories and photos, most nature-related, some as follow-up my prior posts.
It was hard to miss this story– 2014 was the warmest year on record according to both NASA and NOAA.
In northern New Mexico we had a couple of cold, foggy days early in the week along with two or three of inches of snow helping, I hope, our new piñon trees put down roots. But according to this article in the Santa Fe New Mexican the long term outlook for the Southwest’s piñon forests is dire. As temperatures continue to warm the prediction is that we will experience longer droughts and the loss of our trees along with wildlife, like the squawking jays at our backyard feeder, that depend upon them for sustenance and cover.
The other big news in our region was this press release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) about changes to the management of the Mexican gray wolf recovery program.
Some of it was good news. The wolves, a subspecies of the gray wolf (Canis lupus), got their own separate listing as an endangered subspecies (Canis lupus baileyi) which will allow them to receive continued protection under the law even if the gray wolf is delisted. The bad news is that the lobos will not be allowed to roam and establish territory north of Interstate 40 in areas like the Grand Canyon where prime habitat exists for them to live and hunt. This editorial favoring more robust protection of the wolves, as I do, was published at azcentral.com and covers more of the pros and cons of the new rule.
In California a few days into Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson’s barehanded climb of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, their story was covered on NBC Nightly News, capturing the world’s imagination. I thought about them each day and was thrilled to hear that they succeeded. Here is the New York Times article about their adventure. And for another take on it, this poem published at PoetryFoundation.org.
And finally, how lovely is this soaring golden eagle captured on camera by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Have a good week!