NWNL applauds Patagonia for publicizing the East Kootenay threat of a proposed major ski resort that has concerned folks world-wide for decades. This film is a visually enthralling treat that portrays the beauty of the Upper Columbia River Basin mountain ranges and the reasons to KEEP JUMBO VALLEY WILD.
Canada: British Columbia, Kootenay Rockies, Columbia River Basin, Wilmer, view across Columbia Wetlands at sunset
Canada: British Columbia, Kootenay Rockies, Columbia River Basin,
Canada: British Columbia, Kootenay Rockies, Columbia River Basin, East Kootenays, Brisco, Columbia Wetlands, yellow waterlily (Nuphar polysepalum)
Canada: British Columbia, Kootenay Rockies, Columbia River Basin, Kootenay National Park, view west out of Sinclair Canyon into the Rocky Mountian Trench and Columbia Valley
Canada: British Columbia, Kootenay Rockies, Columbia River Basin, Kootenay National Park, Lake Olive, couple fishing from boat
To supplement the story told by Patagonia, here are excerpts from our 2007 NWNL Columbia River Basin Expedition interview in Invermere BC with John Bergenske of Wildsight:
The transboundary Columbia River Basin is a continentally-significant ecosystem that also has the densest population of inland grizzly bears we know of. Wildlife in the Purcells Range of the Columbia River Basin in the East Kootenays is a big, big issue because we are at a north-south crossroads in terms of our species diversity here. We share the southern extent of some of the more northern species, and the northern extent of the more southern species.
The biologists are saying that’s going to be a major disaster if Jumbo Glacier Resort goes forward because of its potential movement of bear populations and the breakup of genetic connectivity that would occur over the long term, not just in the short term. We have very strong public opinion against development of the resort here in the [Columbia Valley Kootenay] region, but the decisions are made in Victoria where the developers have very, very good connections.
A lot of our work [to stop Jumbo Glacier Resort] is around providing information. We did about five years of field research on mountain caribou; and we’ve just been involved in several years of research on grizzly bear populations and density. We’re keeping the public informed and involved in this work. We’re supporting the work of the land trusts to try to negotiate some trades. The K’tunaxa First Nation is absolutely key to what’s happening here because this is the most sacred place in their territory. This is the place of their creation myth, and so as a result they are very, very concerned about how this particular area is managed. They are very in line with it being managed for the natural values and the wildlife values.
People don’t recognize that if you inundate the land with inappropriate tourism use – even if it is with nice little country homes – we basically lose key pieces of the landscape that are really important to make the whole system work [and to protect] all of its values, obviously including the water values [affected by increased water use, heavier septic loads and floods]. We have a 180 km. wetland system that is unique because of its importance on the flyway and the fact that it is the headwaters of this Columbia River Basin system. Being such an adaptable animal, we as people don’t always recognize what we are losing until all of a sudden: ‘Oh, what happened?’ In some ways, we adapt almost too fast in terms of change if you consider that some of the values we are losing are important in a much bigger picture than we see at the moment.
Canada: British Columbia, Kootenay Rockies, Columbia River Basin, East Kootenays, Kinbasket Lake Resort, near Donald, Beaver Creek and Kinbasket Lake, PR
Canada: British Columbia, Kootenay Rockies, Columbia River Basin, Kootenay National Park, Kootenay River
Canada: British Columbia, Kootenay Rockies, Columbia River Basin, full moon rising over Canadian Rocky Mountains, seen from Invermere
Canada: British Columbia, Columbia River Basin, Kootenay Rockies, Rocky Mountain Trench, Canal Flats, wetlands at southern end of north-flowing Columbia Lake (source of Columbia River)
Canada: British Columbia, Columbia River Basin, Kootenay Rockies, Kootenay Lake seen from East Shore looking toward Darkwoods, Route 3A, tourists on jetty into Lake
Canada: British Columbia, Columbia River Basin, Kootenay Rockies, Kokanee Creek just before entering north shore of west arm of Kootenay Lake, Route 3A,
Canada: British Columbia, Kootenay Rockies, Columbia River Basin, Wilmer, view across Columbia Wetlands at sunset
For 30 years NWNL has studied Kenya’s iconic, charismatic jumbos that create water access for so many other species in the Mara River Basin. What can you do to celebrate and help elephants?
(scroll down for a few ideas 🙂 )
Namibia: Chobe River in the Caprivi Strip, elephant (Loxodonta africana)
Kenya: Maasai (aka Masai) Mara National Reserve, Mara Conservancy, Mara Triangle, Silhouette of Elephant (‘Loxodonta africana’) at sunset
East Africa, Kenya, Chyulu Hills, Old Donyo Wuas Lodge, Mbirikani,
Kenya: Amboseli, herd of African elephants (‘Loxodonta africana’) with Mt Kilimanjaro in distance at sunset,
Kenya: Samburu National Reserve, female African elephant (Loxodonta africana) with two young adults and baby drinking from Uaso Nyiro River, seen from rear,
Kenya: Tsavo East National Park, close-up of two young adult orphaned African elephants (‘Loxodonta africana’) intertwining trunks at mud hole,
Kenya: Amboseli National Park, baby elephant (‘Loxodonta africana’) with plant in mouth, herd of females in background.
Kenya: Amboseli National Park, male elephant (‘Loxodonta africana’).
Tanzania: Lake Manyara National Park, matriarchal herd of African elephants (‘Loxodonta africana’) with newborn,
The Mekong River in Southesast Asia is one of the world’s longest waterways, and flows through 6 countries: China, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. In November of 2014, NWNL followed the Mekong River from Chiang Khong, Thailand to Luang Prabang, Laos. This is part of the main stem of the river.
Fish make up 80% of the Southeast Asian diet.
Ame Trandem, Southeast Asia program director for the environmental group International Rivers, says the dam-building rush and climate change have brought the Mekong River Basin close to a “catastrophic tipping point”.
The proposal of several hydrodams would be devastating to millions of people who depend on the Mekong River for their livelihoods, food security, crop irrigation and let’s not forget wildlife!
Will there be enough water for these Greater Sandhill Cranes when they return to the San Francisco Bay Delta this fall?
With the state’s snowpack down to 5% of average, the lowest ever recorded, Governor Brown has mandated a 25% water use reduction. This is the first time an involuntary water reduction mandate has been imposed. Although the means to meet this mandate has been left up to the local water districts, Brown’s executive directive includes some public assistance to replace 50 million square feet of lawns statewide with drought tolerant planting as well as reducing water use on golf courses, cemeteries and large institutions. There will also be a short-term rebate program to “provide monetary incentives for the replacement of inefficient household devices.”
It is important to note the inclusion of concerns for “degraded habitat for many fish and wildlife species, increase wildfire risk, and the threat of saltwater contamination to fresh water supplies in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta” in his declaration. The Fresno Bee reported today that 50.2% of water use in California is by the environment, 40.9% by agriculture and 8.9% by residents and businesses. Although the 25% reduction is directed only at residential and business uses, water that goes to agriculture will now be closely monitored and evaluated for future plan making. This is an important step.
Everyone needs to use water wisely so that we may have enough water to drink, enough water for wildlife and their habitat, as well as enough to grow our food. The farmers in the Central Valley have already been hit hard with spartan allocations for the year. Produce prices will inevitably rise due to the higher cost of water, and the effect of the California drought will be felt across the country. It all comes down to the availability of water. Let’s all conserve. There is no more water, and what we have we are using up.
* Posted from San Francisco by Barbara Folger, NWNL Project Coordinator.
Kuki Gallmann, the first Ambassador for Migratory Species, has staged many celebrations of World Migratory Bird Day at her home in Kenya. NWNL Director was proud to attend the first of these joyful events. This year Kuki Gallmann released a video to mark World Migratory Bird Day. Her words (transcribed below by NWNL) apply equally to birds, fish and all migratory species.
KUKI GALLMANN: Back in 2006, when all over the world, migratory birds were killed, being accused of spreading the deadly avian flu. And they became a symbol of disease and death. I was proud to host the first ever World Migratory Bird Day on the Great Rift Valley of Kenya along the migratory route. At that time, artists from all over the world came to celebrate the beauty and magic, the mystery and freedom of the migratory birds.
On this very day, we’re far and wide. We spread the message of the importance of preserving these bridges amongst continents. I’m proud to add my voice as the first Ambassador for Migratory Species to the ones of my colleagues and friends, to children, to teachers, to conservationists across the globe. It is a time in which we have lost the link.
I recently received a message from a neighbor who asked me, “Where are the birds gone that used to travel to our lakes and watercourses?” We have interrupted their routes. We have crisscrossed the skies with wires. We have threatened them by polluting the watercourses where they come after their long journeys.
We are killing the elephants – they’re also migratory. We are polluting the oceans. We have come to our senses before it is too late. At a time in which the world is divided, wars and many problems destroy peace on the planet. The migratory animals can be seen as ambassadors to peace. They don’t know about politics. They don’t know about religions. They don’t know about the small, short-time scheme of man. They’re a symbol of the superiority of nature over the menial things that destroy and pollute our own lives. I exhort the children particularly today, and my friends and colleagues across the Plant Earth to look again up at the sky at those amazing creatures flying over with endurance, with determination, guided by an ancient instinct stronger than we can explain and reestablish their evidence to respect and protect their habitat. All is connected.”
Thank you, Kuki, again for your eloquent and passionate support of migratory species.
*NWNL thoughts prior to World Fish Migration Day-5/24.*
Many are unaware of the exquisite sarabande of life personified by our migratory species: anadromous fish, birds, monarch butterflies, dragonflies and others.
Kenya: Maasai (aka Masai) Mara National Reserve, Mara Conservancy, Mara Triangle, wildebeest migration, aerial view
US: Washington, Columbia River Basin, fish ladder at Rocky Reach Dam on the Columbia River
USA: New York, Long Island, Huntington, Lloyd Harbor, Caumsett State Historic Park, migrating flock of brant (Branta bernicla) on Long Island Sound
Mexico, Michoacan, winter migration of monarch butterflies
Most migratory species are threatened in one form or another during their annual passages by manmade impediments. Today, on expedition along the Snake River, NWNL is following the struggle of the Columbia River migratory salmon, steelhead and lamprey to overcome dams, pollution, warmer streams and other challenges as they seek their traditional spawning grounds. Fish passages at dams and fish hatcheries have helped them avoid extinction, but more help is needed to bring back healthy numbers of salmon.