News

The Twin Bear Story Pole

In the fall of 2005, I was given a 300+ year-old, 18-foot-long, red cedar log from a jumbled pile in the log yard of the Oeser Company in Bellingham,WA. A tag on the log indicated that it had been cut down by Georgia Pacific in 1982 at the base of the Twin Sisters Range in Whatcom County, WA. near the …

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Saving the Salish Sea Salmon

An alarming factoid has been floating around for a few years now: In a “business as usual scenario,” by 2050, plastics will outweigh fish in the ocean. This figure was first presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and is based on a study released in 2015 by the Ocean Conservancy. It says something about plastics, but it …

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Reimagining Recreation

  “If we approached rivers, mountains, dragonflies, redwoods and reptiles as if all are alive, intelligent and suffused with soul, imagination and purpose, what might the world become?” “Who would WE become if we participated intentionally with such an animate earth?”                                       …

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Back to Nature: The Healing Power of the Natural World

Back in May, as the COVID-19 pandemic was sweeping the planet and lock-downs and quarantines had those of us in the Pacific Northwest isolated, apprehensive and discouraged, I began to think about the healing power of nature. In reading about the Japanese concept of ‘forest bathing’, I found that an accumulation of data about the benefits – physiological, psychological, even …

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Fishtown: Art and Nature on the Skagit River

If you’re a fan of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, you might have passed through charming La Conner, WA. At first glance, you might think it’s little more than a tourist stop. But that’s where you’d be very, very wrong. La Conner was once home to a rustic artists’ colony, Fishtown, where creatives sought the solitude and spiritual connection to …

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The Chehalis River at a Crossroads: Plans for a New Dam Threaten the Headwaters

The era of dam building is over. In the past 30 years, 1275 dams have been torn down, according to the nonprofit American Rivers.  The United States has been experiencing an ecological revival, illustrated in Washington by the hugely successful dam removal on the Elwha River. Yet flooding, exacerbated by climate change-fueled storms, aggressive logging in the headwaters of the …

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Requiem for the Salish Sea Orcas

The orca population of the Pacific Northwest is dying. There isn’t much debate about this; every expert in marine biology agrees. The local orcas, known as the southern resident killer whales (SRKW), have had population fluctuations since the 1970’s, but the latest data shows a population in permanent decline. This is really bad news. As apex predators, the orcas are …

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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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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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