Saturday, December 20, 2014

50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act

This year now nearly gone past was an interesting historical marker for public lands, especially here in the western states. The year marked the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act, illustrated beautifully with a timely piece of legislation passed by Congress just last week to permanently protect the Columbine-Hondo Wilderness north of the Taos Ski Valley. This year was also the 90th Anniversary of the Gila Wilderness, east of Silver City, the nations first, hand-picked by Aldo Leopold himself. And it was the 20th Anniversary of the Santa Fe Conservation Trust here in Santa Fe. For this last reason I made it a point to attend this year's annual SFCT Gala Dinner. Officially it's the Stewart Udall Legacy Dinner which is rad because Udall is and was a giant.

A small part of what drew me to the event was that I really wanted to see the interior of the National Park Service Building. My trail-running takes me past this beautiful place on a weekly basis. It's an absolute marvel of a structure, clearly adobe, early pueblo revival style. Turns out the building houses a tremendous collection of art and artifacts. It was fascinating. Mom was my plus-one on this evening and she was in full agreement, we exchanged hi-fives.

National Park Service Building - Santa Fe
The primary reason I attended (other than to support a first-rate organization) was to unabashedly rub shoulders with the many outdoors luminaries and icons I knew would be there. Dave Foreman and Jack Loeffler were walking around; Margaret Alexander and Bill Johnson were two of the award recipients, Bill deBuys and Don Usner were signing books (as was Jack) alongside Dorothy Massey the owner of Collected Works; Kent Little formerly of Sangre de Cristo Mountain Works was shaking hands and doing the rounds as a board member; Rod Tweet of Second St. Brewery was presenting a partnership with the Trust through the development of their new beer, Boneshaker Bitter; Tim Rogers who pulled together the Santa Fe Metro Master Bicycle Plan was there; Charlie O'Leary of course; I sat at a table with Mark Allison and Tisha Broska of the NM Wilderness Alliance. I am a huge nerd for these kinds of things, and to meet and talk to the very people that have built this culture and its guiding ideas was something I thoroughly enjoyed.

Many of these fascinating people write books. I highly recommend reading them, or gifting them, or name-dropping them. Here is some help:

Related Posts:
 - The Colorado River and the Politics of Water
 - The Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Act
 - The NM Pika Monitoring Project

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...