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Whatcom Land Trust: 35 Years of Stewardship

If you’ve ever taken a hike, bike or paddle in gorgeous Whatcom County, WA, it’s likely that you’ve stood on land that’s been permanently protected by the Whatcom Land Trust (WLT). Since 1984, this humble nonprofit has tirelessly pursued its mission to preserve and protect wildlife habitat and scenic, agricultural and open space lands in Whatcom County for future generations. …

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Grandmother embarks on a 17-day fast to bring attention to the extinction of the Southern Resident Orca of the Salish Sea

Lanni Johnson, grandmother of six, has become increasingly concerned about the fate of the Southern Resident killer whale. Over the last few years she has watched more than a dozen killer whales perish from a combination of factors, all exacerbated by unconscionable declines in Chinook salmon runs. “Witnessing an extinction event in my own backyard has caused me deep concern. …

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Sarah Finger: A Deeply Etched Love for Local Landscapes

After a quick burn on Galbraith or hike up in the North Cascades, Sarah Finger is likely to be the one across the bar from you slinging your après trail beer. But she also has a strong connection to that magnificent landscape you can’t stop staring at on the can of IPA you’re slugging down. She’s the artist who created …

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The Problem With Drones

Imagine, if you will, a pleasant afternoon of tranquil rambling in the green meadows of the North Cascades. But then you begin to be aware of a high-pitched buzz above you. Not a mosquito. A drone, hovering just overhead. Approximately the size of a toaster, with four rotors spinning rapidly and a high-definition camera slung beneath it. The spell is …

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Mebee Pass Lookout: John Scurlock’s Labor of Love

  Lost things can be hard to find in the wilderness of the North Cascades, so when aerial photographer John Scurlock spied the rough angles of a man-made structure among a zone of alpine krummholz, that last green gasp of stunted subalpine fir at tree line, he must have thought himself lucky. Remembering the comment of a climbing friend who …

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The Olympic Mountain Goats: End of an Era

After decades of debate, draft plans, and environmental assessments, the National Park Service (NPS) has decided to eliminate mountain goats from the Olympic National Park and the surrounding National Forest areas. They plan to employ their Record of Decision, Alternative D: a combination of relocation and lethal removal. This means relocating at least 50% of the Olympic area mountain goats …

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An Enduring Promise: North Cascades National Park at 50

Like most tales of land use policy, the creation of the North Cascades National Park (NCNP) was a long, bitter battle between opposing social forces. Government agencies, extraction industry companies, and the conservationist movement had their own ideas about how we should administer this vast and sublime landscape. A clash was sure to follow. The creation (or perhaps evolution) of …

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Happy Feet: The New Technology of Footwear

It’s an old problem: everyone’s feet are different. Even on the same person, the right and left feet tend to be asymmetrical. Since time immemorial folks who use their feet a lot (runners, hikers, etc) have had to make do with footware that sort of fits. A revolutionary new technology promises to change this situation by making available custom-fitted and …

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Woodstock Farm: A New Chapter in an Old Story

Even if you’re paying attention you might miss it. Eyes glued to the bends and curves of Chuckanut Drive just south of Bellingham, the sign for Woodstock Farm is an unimposing brown flash against a green backdrop. But take the turn down toward the water, and what appears is a gentleman’s estate that looks transported from the early 1900’s, perched …

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Reimagining the Wilderness

It’s happened to all of us. You head up to Heliotrope Ridge or Lake Ann for a refreshing hike. At the trailhead, you hang your Northwest Forest Pass from your rearview mirror to show you paid for parking. Like a good citizen, you sign in at the trailhead, just in case. You write down how many are in your party …

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