Accidental Rewilding - In places once thick with farms and cities, human dispossession and war has cleared the ground for nature to return
The forest had entered a cycle Tomaž had not seen before, in which many of the giants had perished. Some had died where they stood, and remained upright, reamed with beetle and woodpecker holes, sprouting hoof fungus and razor strop. They looked as if a whisper of wind could blow them down. Others now stretched across the rocks and craters, sometimes blocking our path, sometimes suspended above our heads. Among the trunks lying on the ground, some were so thick that I could scarcely see over them. Where they had fallen, thickets of saplings crowded into the light. Seeing the profusion of fungus and insect life the dead wood harboured, I was reminded of the old ecologists’ aphorism: there is more life in dead trees than there is in living trees. The tidy-minded forestry so many nations practise deprives many species of their habitats.
by George Monbiot [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Oct 25, 2013 -
Alone In The Wilderness
"Documentary tells the story of Dick Proenneke who, in the late 1960s, built his own cabin in the wilderness at the base of the Aleutian Peninsula, in what is now Lake Clark National Park. Using color footage he shot himself, Proenneke traces how he came to this remote area, selected a homestead site and built his log cabin completely by himself. The documentary covers his first year in-country, showing his day-to-day activities and the passing of the seasons as he sought to scratch out a living alone in the wilderness." (Color, 57mins)
posted by puny human
on May 2, 2011 -
40 years ago, a small crew of filmmakers set out to document some of the more pressing issues involving wildlife in America. They made eight half-hour films around the country and in doing so made what is believed to be the first environmental TV series in the US. Entitled Our Vanishing Wilderness
, all eight episodes are now online and free to view here.
posted by Effigy2000
on Mar 18, 2010 -
The New Road
. A photo essay by Rob Amberg on the building of I-26 through Madison County in the mountains of North Carolina. via
posted by 1f2frfbf
on Feb 3, 2009 -
"Don Benigno Aazco carved his way 36 years deep into the green heart of the Andean forest, founded 14 settlements, abandoned his wife and many children, married his daughter, slew his son-in-law, fought drug peddlers, tamed the wilderness, and reclaimed, as best he could, the Inca Empire. And now I was going to find him." [via
posted by Sticherbeast
on Jul 16, 2006 -
The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness are a special set-aside in the Superior National Forest
in the north woods of Minnesota. Containing over 1,000 lakes and streams, 2,200 designated campsites, and 1,500 miles of canoe routes, this treasure provides a great place to escape from the world of civilization. It also, apparently, provides a great reason for cool websites.
The Swanson party
website is one of the most impressive feats of private naturalism I've seen. It has everything from the 68 types of ferns and fern allies
you can find in the BWCAW to lake commentaries
for 356 of the biggest (and smallest) lakes that travelers encounter.
There's also the DC3
website, which has diaries and pictures from a group of BW adventurers from 1977 to 2003. A truly impressive effort, if apparently not ...quite... finished. And while the diaries tell a story arc about a group of friends, the distance between the stories always leaves tantalizing details for the reader to imagine. Such as this tidbit at the end of the 1986
trip, which has as its central detail the fact that one of the party's wives received major burns and had to leave early:
They traveled almost ten miles and portaged four times, (a total of 465 rods), before they reached Snowbank Lake. The wind was very strong. They had to cross the lake the long way and directly into the wind. At one point they didn't move for twenty minutes even though they paddled as hard as they could. They finally reached the landing and headed for the A&W in Ely. From there, Tur called home to check on Beeps. There was no answer. But that's another story.
Naturally, there are also messageboards
set up to discuss trips to the BWCAW, advocacy organizations
to make sure it stays wild, and you can even make entry point reservations
online nowadays. The Bee Dub previously referenced here on MeFi
posted by norm
on Aug 25, 2005 -
To live in a pristine land ... to roam the wilderness ... to choose a site, cut trees, and build a home ... Thousands have had such dreams, but Richard Proenneke lived them.
In 1968, at 51 years of age, Richard Proenneke retired to Upper Twin Lakes, Alaska
and using nothing but hand tools, built a cabin
where he lived for the next 30 or so years. He filmed
the cabin's construction (as well as much of nature's wonder) and kept meticulous notes on the back of wall calendars. In 1973, Sam_Keith
produced a book (One Man's Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey)
based on Proenneke's journal entries and photography. In 1999, at the age of 82, Proenneke could no longer endure the harsh winters of Alaska and moved to California to be with his family. He
on Easter Sunday, 2003.
posted by a_day_late
on Feb 10, 2005 -
Large-scale marijuana cultivation in National Parks and forests.
"[Growers] are killing wildlife, diverting streams, introducing nonnative plants, creating fire and pollution hazards, and bringing the specter of violence. For the moment, we are failing both parts of our mission, and that is tragic."
This is not a new problem
. "The reasons are obvious: the land is fertile, remote and free. There's no risk of forfeiture, plantations are difficult to trace, and growers have land agents outmanned, outspent and outgunned."
posted by letitrain
on Jun 14, 2003 -