@charles_post - Charles Post

✖️Husband to @rachel.pohl ✖️Supported by @keen ✖️Co-founder @the_natureproject ✖️Fellow @the_explorers_club ✖️Editor @modernhuntsman
http://charlespost.com/
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This isn’t a Disney movie. Horse Rich and Dirt Poor is a film @bencmasters @implementproductions and I made to tell a true story about the feral horses and our public lands. It’s a story that needed to be told, and we will have a chance to do just that later this week. We intend to spark thoughtful dialogue around an issue that is shaping millions of acres of our public lands. I am so excited to share that our film will premier this Thursday at @usinterior HQ as part of the opening for @dceff_org •
The reality is that miles of barbed wire, and development have carved up North America. Only slivers of what once was still exist. The key thread to keep in mind is management. We live in the Anthropocene, a global epoch defined by our collective swing of the axe. Management is crucial. A hands-off approach does not work in today's America.
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Can bison overgraze a landscape? Yes. Can horses overgraze a landscape? Yes. Can cattle overgraze a landscape? Yes.
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Cattle, if managed appropriately and especially on lands that coevolved with high density grazers like bison, can be grazed in a way that benefits the land, mimics the way bison grazed back before we tamed the West: high intensity, rapid rotation. If managed well, livestock can become a tool to accomplish conservation goals while nurturing rangelands. The important thing is that there is a framework to manage cattle. The framework to manage feral horses is broken.
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Feral horses and burros exist in an emotionally charged gray area. Today, there are at least 55 thousand more wild horses and burros on public land than land managers and biologists determine our public lands can sustain. That number grows every year, and our ecosystems continue to bear the burden of unmanaged feral horses.
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The key is emotion free, science backed, foresight minded, ecologically guided management.
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Any remote bystander can dream up a narrative they see fit, ripe for romanticism or oversimplification. What do you see?
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Interested in learning more? Check out the link in profile + @modernhuntsman issue 2 for more about this story and the making of our film.
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This isn’t a Disney movie. Horse Rich and Dirt Poor is a film @bencmasters @implementproductions and I made to tell a true story about the feral horses and our public lands. It’s a story that needed to be told, and we will have a chance to do just th

Nevada
If more of us hunted, we might better appreciate the wild ecosystems we rely on, what it means to harvest a wild animal and share that food with friends and family. If more of us farmed, we might understand the value of top soil, perennials, water, pollinators and appreciate how much goes into a single salad, bag of trail mix or loaf of bread. If more of us fished, we might better understand the perils of our warming and increasingly acidic oceans, and why ecosystems that support fisheries like Bristol Bay are absolutely invaluable and worth more than a damn #pebblemine. If more of us raised livestock, we might understand how much care goes into a single cow, pasture or bunchgrass, the stewardship and stockmanship that goes into managing a working landscape sustainably into the future.
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We've all experienced conversations around diet. We've all, I'm sure, been criticized or observed others being criticized for how and what they eat. Nobody is perfect. No food system is perfect.
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You can be vegan and propagate agricultural activities that diminish ecosystems, or you can support local, mindful farmers doing the best job possible. An avocado grown biodynamically is in no way the same as one grown in a vast monoculture on dirt that once supported overwintering migrating monarch butterflies (link in profile).
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If you eat fish, there's no confusing what it means to eat wild Bristol Bay sockeye with swordfish caught on a longline in international waters. The Bristol Bay sockeye fishery is one of the most sustainable and productive fisheries on Earth. Unregulated longline fisheries are not.
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Whether you hunt and harvest your own meat, or buy meat, there are methods and sources derived from the best and could be better ends of the spectrum.
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Cattle used as a tool to accomplish conservation goals through stockmanship and a high intensity, rapid rotation model is in no way comparable to cattle operations that rely on recently slashed + burned rainforest, the largest driver of deforestation in every Amazon country.
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The closer you are to your food and the systems that support your food, the more clarity you’ll have on the impacts you’re having on our ecosystem.
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If more of us hunted, we might better appreciate the wild ecosystems we rely on, what it means to harvest a wild animal and share that food with friends and family. If more of us farmed, we might understand the value of top soil, perennials, water, p

Montana
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@meg_haywoodsullivan Yes, so good ole dirt under the fingers can help put where our food comes from in perspective ✨

@rachel.pohl So so so well said Charles!! We need more people to understand all of this 🙏

How can this damn mine be a good idea? Sitting back isn't an option. One of the worlds largest proposed open pit mines does not deserve a place in the heart of a watershed among the worlds last truly wild places.
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We cannot stand by as a watershed that supports one of the greatest populations of wild salmon on Earth is once again on the chopping block guided by blind greed, nothing more.
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For as long as I can remember I’ve been fascinated and inspired by salmon ecosystems. I grew up with a stream in my backyard that supported wild salmon for millenia before they disappeared forever thanks to the Army Corp of Engineers who transformed our little creek it into a cement culvert devoid of life. I've seen wild salmon disappear for ever.
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Thankfully, we still have Alaska. My favorite place and time on Earth is August in Alaska when the salmon return to the very waters they were born. Millions of them. It's a reminder of what we have to lose, and in turn how much we have to save.
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If any of these sentiments strike a cord with you, PLEASE share your opinion and comment with the Army Corp of Engineers. Remind them that the world isn't producing more wild places. Once these ecosystems are gone, they're gone for ever. Imagine 60 million sockeye swimming upstream. Tides of wild salmon swelling creeks so thick the water churns with life. Imagine the bears, mink, flycatchers, American dippers, trout and eagles that rely on their arrival, and the millions and millions of seabirds and marine life that rely on the health of Bristol Bay, not to mention all the people who rely on these salmon and the systems that sustain them.
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Imagine a place largely free from our collective swing of the axe. We need to save these places while we still can. PLEASE help spread the word, share your comment with the Army Corp Of Engineers. Link in profile.
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 @vincentcolliard
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How can this damn mine be a good idea? Sitting back isn't an option. One of the worlds largest proposed open pit mines does not deserve a place in the heart of a watershed among the worlds last truly wild places. • We cannot stand by as a watershed t

Alaska
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@rachel.pohl I hope we can see salmon with our kids and their kids. This is so important, thank you for sharing Charles!!!

When polar bears started dying we started noticing. The arctic is lucky to have polar bears. If they didn't, all the obscure plants and animals imperiled by climate change would be even more obscure, out of sight, out of mind.
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Polar bears have become a bit of a totem for our changing planet, a species inextricably bound to the wellness of our arctic regions. The very drivers stripping the arctic of it's perennial sea ice and glaciers, are driving innumerable changes across the globe from krill and Adélie penguins declines in Antarctica to puffins in Scotland and giant sequoia in Yosemite. Polar bears, in many ways, have become the face of our fight to protect the wildness we have left. And in the preservation of polar bears is the preservation of humanity.
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It's easy to read the headlines, digest the statistics and feel hopeless. Conversely, it's easy to look out your window and miss the changes that are happening before our eyes. Sometimes we just don't know what we are looking at or how to see what’s there.
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A recent report found that just 100 companies are responsible for 71% of global emissions since 1988. Incredibly, a mere 25 corporations and state-owned entities were responsible for more than half of global industrial emissions in that same period...Individuals are statistically blameless.”
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That doesn't mean we cant help. If anything it's a reminder to use your voice, votes and dollars to support  politicians, education, corporations, NGOs, community leaders and companies doing the best work, those leading by example. That's where real change begins. That's how we can help polar bears and every other ecosystem on earth including our own backyards.
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How are individuals statistically blameless?  Link in profile.
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#internationalpolarbearday @polarbearsinternational •
Photo by @max.lowe 🦅
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When polar bears started dying we started noticing. The arctic is lucky to have polar bears. If they didn't, all the obscure plants and animals imperiled by climate change would be even more obscure, out of sight, out of mind. • Polar bears have beco

Churchill, Manitoba
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@rachel.pohl Thank you for sharing this Charles!! It is very easy to feel hopeless. When we feel there’s no way to make a difference, we do nothing at all. Thanks for reminding us we CAN take a stand for animals and places that need our help ❤️❤️

What happens when we've destroyed the last wild salmon strongholds, when we look back on our actions and realize a damn mine was worth less than wild salmon?
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Back in 2010, I had sticker on my car that read No Pebble Mine. Even then, as a young ecology student, it was clear the pebble mine had the imminent potential to ruin one of the last wild places on Earth, a matrix of waterways where millions of salmon return each year to the very reaches they were born to reproduce and die, triggering one of the single greatest pulses of nutrients on Earth, one that supports thousands of sustainable jobs and literally feeds ecosystems from soil to grizzly, from moose to flycatcher.
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There's no question progress at any cost is making it's mark on the world. Exponential growth seems to quench a global thirst for more, more, more. Yet, a quick review of ecology will remind you exponential growth doesn't exist sustainably in the natural world: there are checks and balances to ensure long term stability.
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I've been thinking a lot about exponential growth lately, where to draw a line in the sand and acknowledge, it's pretty darn good right here, so, how can I hold onto this, find balance and establish something sustainable? Circular economics is one field of study that explores this in some depth.
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They say we have 20/20 vision looking into the past, when the obvious becomes strikingly apparent. Nobody will look back on this mine in 100 years and say, thank God we destroyed one of the last great wild salmon strongholds so a massive international mining operation could extract gold and copper.”
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The Army Corps Of Engineers just released their draft Environmental Impact Report. Read about their findings with a quick search online, and learn more about the proposed mine by following the link in profile.
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Working to stop this mine will be one of my main focuses, as 2019 will be the year the mine opens or the year we save one of the last wild places on Earth.
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A 90-day public comment period will begin March 1. This is when we need your voice. Set a reminder to visit @wildsalmoncenter so that you can access the public comments portal .
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Photo @meg_haywoodsullivan
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What happens when we've destroyed the last wild salmon strongholds, when we look back on our actions and realize a damn mine was worth less than wild salmon? • Back in 2010, I had sticker on my car that read "No Pebble Mine". Even then, as a young ec

Alaska
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@twinclimbers Way to go 🤙

@twinclimbers @charles_post how about you? Let’s talk soon! 🤘

There's something to be said for putting most of your eggs in one basket. Before meeting @rachel.pohl , and shortly thereafter, asking her to marry me, the concept of marriage may have felt that way to a degree. What a huge leap in so many ways. Though, now, happily married to my best friend, I can say married life does not feel like putting most of your eggs in one basket but sailing does.
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Sailing is just that, a complete investment in the prospect of wind. If one could mine the wind, fell it like a tree or catch it on the end of a line, that would be a sailor. There's something striking about that: surrendering to a physical force of nature for a simple chance to sail. Trust that wind will come and when it does you will move across the water with the wind at your back. This is one of the great lessons I learned from my grandfather, a sailor whose minds eyes never strayed from the sea, tide or weather.
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Just over two years ago I left the coast and headed to the mountains and sagebrush.
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Any chance to get back to the waters edge for trip to the sea's take on rush hour is one I happily take as you can see here. Thank you @sierranevada for challenging me to explore how I #enjoyoutdoors
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There's something to be said for putting most of your eggs in one basket. Before meeting @rachel.pohl , and shortly thereafter, asking her to marry me, the concept of marriage may have felt that way to a degree. What a huge leap in so many ways. Thou

California
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@jenhudak Beautiful words. There is such power in commitment!

@meg_haywoodsullivan Hopefully folks can learn from this, it’s a tough world for people to commit to each other through all the noise out there. You guys keep shining the light

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My cabin was called Wilderness Lodge. It was my off the grid oasis situated at the confluence of the Northern California’s Eel River and Fox Creek where madrone and oak met ancient redwoods and riverbanks where river otters and ringtails hunted. Being a field ecologist was a simple life. My world was 7,660 acre wilderness area, and I was singularly stoked on understanding how it worked ecologically from the giant salamanders to the algae and American dippers.
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When you're focussed on the world around you - the environment that extends from your field of view - it can be hard to appreciate scale and connectivity across wide expanses, continents and hemispheres.
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Fortunately, conservation today is starting to acknowledge this be it through projects like the @y2y_initiative or @migrationinitiative ,the latter of which is committed to conserving Wyoming's migratory ungulates: elk, mule deer and bighorn.
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Over the past week @rachel.pohl and I had a chance to ski, hike and fly through Alberta's Canadian Rockies, and explore huge swaths of wild landscapes.
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This trip reminded of a simple truth: conservation efforts can't begin and end at borders or arbitrary lines we carve into the landscape. If we hope to preserve our wildlife and wild landscapes we must think big, get perspective from a mountain top and strive to conserve not just patches of ecosystems but sweeping seas of it.
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One of the most influential conservation biologists of our time, Dr. E.O. Wilson has coined the Half Earth Hypothesis, which proposes an achievable plan to save our imperiled biosphere: devote half the surface of the Earth to nature. In order to stave off the mass extinction of species, including our own, we must move swiftly to preserve the biodiversity of our planetIn order to stave off the mass extinction of species, including our own, we must move swiftly to preserve the biodiversity of our planet.”
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Curious to learn more? Link in profile.
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#explorealberta @travelalberta
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My cabin was called Wilderness Lodge. It was my off the grid oasis situated at the confluence of the Northern California’s Eel River and Fox Creek where madrone and oak met ancient redwoods and riverbanks where river otters and ringtails hunted. Bein

Banff, Alberta
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@rachel.pohl Thank you for always tying adventures into conservation and education! Loved this day and love the way you think!!

@meg_haywoodsullivan EO, the legend of our time!

Still can’t believe I get to spend my life with @rachel.pohl, my courageous, strong, compassionate, nerdy, creative and brilliant wife who puts up with my ecology rants and wildlife observation marathons.
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A few days after our wedding this past fall, my good friend @chrisburkard gave me this bit of advice. He said, “remember how it feels to call her your WIFE and remember that feeling forever.”
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It’s become a way I start my days, feeling grateful that out of the 7.7 billion people on Earth I get to spend my days with my better 2/3rds @rachel.pohl , someone I look up to and admire beyond words.
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Thanks for an amazing start to our Canadian winter adventure @travelalberta
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Still can’t believe I get to spend my life with @rachel.pohl , my courageous, strong, compassionate, nerdy, creative and brilliant wife who puts up with my ecology rants and wildlife observation marathons. • A few days after our wedding this past fall

Banff, Alberta
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@carolinevreeland This is amazing

@carolinevreeland @charles_post imagine me dog sledding

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As we skied across the frozen lake, frenzied flocks of pine siskins and red crossbills passed by. Groups of ten or twenty would erupt from a conifer stand then drop from the sky to their  newly proclaimed preferred branches like feathered bombs. The sound of their feathers whisking on frozen wind gave away their route long before you’d pick them out of the sea of sky.
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With temps dropping well into the negatives, the sound of skis upon windswept snow emits a sound akin to creaking styrofoam. One cream after another, we made our way into the mountains. As one kilometer of travel turned into many more, piercing wind and chilled skin became just an afterthought; this place keeps your mind and eyes well enough entertained that there’s barely enough spare sensory bandwidth for anything but the present.
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Where pine martens, Clark’s nutcrackers and snowshoe hares undoubtably outnumber people, the Canadian Rockies never disappoint.
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Now wading into a week of adventures with @travelalberta @banffcentre with my wife @rachel.pohl and couldn’t be more stoked!
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#explorealberta #travelalberta #imagesofcanada #explorecanada
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As we skied across the frozen lake, frenzied flocks of pine siskins and red crossbills passed by. Groups of ten or twenty would erupt from a conifer stand then drop from the sky to their newly proclaimed preferred branches like feathered bombs. The

Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks
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@rachel.pohl Love your words and these days with you spent among mountains in the cold. Couldn’t be happier!!! ❤️❤️❤️

@rachel.pohl and I are staying in a little cabin at the edge of Emerald Lake tucked away in a hidden valley of Yoho National Park.
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The past months have been filled with the highest of highs and lowest of lows. My amazing wife and best friend, @rachel.pohl , was in the hospital a few weeks ago. It was just about the craziest emotional rollercoaster but thankfully she has been recovering beyond well and is back to her ridiculously energetic self.
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Work has been better and busier than ever. We started moving into our new house, mapping out some stewardship plans for the land, and probably said yes to more than one too many things. There’s no doubt we haven’t given ourselves enough time to take a few deep breathes and enjoy the important things, people and places. •
We are taking a few deep, deep breathes now. While it’s easy to get caught up in daily grind, there’s nothing better turning it off for a bit in trade for some of this.
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Heaven on Earth @emeraldlakelodge
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@rachel.pohl and I are staying in a little cabin at the edge of Emerald Lake tucked away in a hidden valley of Yoho National Park. • The past months have been filled with the highest of highs and lowest of lows. My amazing wife and best friend, @rach

Emerald Lake Lodge
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@rachel.pohl So happy to be here with you sweetheart!!! We definitely needed a break from couch/ work life!

@meg_haywoodsullivan What a slice of paradise

I remember watching those great wings flex beneath the biologists gloved hands. Oil black talons clasped tightly, firm and strong while those big yellow eyes - the ones that look more like small suns - stared right through each and everyone of us as we looked on in disbelief. We were on a windswept mountaintop overlooking the rolling headlands and vast Pacific Ocean below studying migrating birds of prey as they poured by overhead like they have each fall for time immemorial. It was then, on that day, that my fascination with birds of prey sparked in a profound way. I was a second year undergraduate newly dedicated to ecology and somewhat certain I would study birds in some capacity down the road.
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Those early experiences in the field planted a seed that stuck with me for all these years. What I learned on that windy day was that behind each wild species - and the ecosystems that sustain them - is often a person deeply dedicated to its preservation.
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In times like these, when headlines continue to report bleak forecasts for our wildlife and wild spaces across the globe, it's worth remembering that there is still so much progress to be made, so much worth fighting for, so many species and ecosystems in need of a voice.
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Earlier this week, I spent time with some real conservation heroes at @montanaraptorcenter . I also got to hang out with my favorite owl, Prairie. She's a short-eared owl, which means her kind spend their days hunting the grasslands and sleeping underground in burrows likely engineered by prairie dogs and possibly previously occupied by a black-footed ferret or burrowing owl. She's also an education bird, which means Prairie travels across Montana's classrooms to inspire our next generation of outdoor minded kids.
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Prairie is a true ambassador of wild grasslands now among the most imperiled ecosystems on Earth. She's a reminder that sometimes the systems right under our nose are among the most in need. If you're curious about a landmark project to protect America's largest wildlife conservation area in the lower 48, one that would conserve a massive sea of prairie where short-eared owls like Prairie live, check out @americanprairie
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I remember watching those great wings flex beneath the biologists gloved hands. Oil black talons clasped tightly, firm and strong while those big yellow eyes - the ones that look more like small suns - stared right through each and everyone of us as

Montana Raptor Conservation Center
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@chowbend Well said! You’re like the poet laureate of ecology

@rachel.pohl @chowbend ooo I love that!!

I snapped this photo on the banks of Alberta’s Ram River in 2015, and turned a new leaf. I had spent the better part of the previous decade studying ecology at UC Berkeley and wild systems from Moab to Big Sur, Cape Cod to the Eastern Sierra. Ask me what stood out brightly, and I would answer by saying I was acutely aware ecosystems function as synergistic cycles and webs dependent on the integrity of the whole. As Muir eluded to in one of his famous quotes, tug any thread in nature and you’ll find everything is connected.
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I had spent my graduate school years studying the American dipper, North America’s only full aquatic songbird. Think of it as a flying trout. They love wild rivers like the Ram. The dipper and trout share a common diet of aquatic insects, namely of the may, stone and caddis variety, each of which requires cold, clear and largely untamed waters to thrive.
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I began thinking about the difference between thriving and surviving.
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During certain years, my dippers suffered from drought. Their previously safe nest sites, built of mossy domes behind waterfalls and within log jams of ancient trees, would lose their aqueous protection exposing once out of reach refuges to predators like bears and ringtails. During bumper years with high waters, I would have upwards of 30 birds in my study area, while on bad years, just a few.
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I realized the birds and watershed I had dedicated so much of my life to were at the mercy of drivers near and far. So, I expanded my view.
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I had left academia and set my sights on bridging the gap between ecology and the public. On this trip, I decided I couldn’t just focus on the species that captivated my heart and mind, it had to be the synergies that sustained them.
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Yesterday, I was reminded of a powerful concept by @compassandnail who read this quote, “sustainability consider[s] the whole instead of the specific. Sustainability emphasizes relationships rather than pieces in isolation.”
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For dippers to thrive, we must steward everything from the wetted edge to the ridge and beyond including rhizomes, algae, alder and elk. The health of a single species is a reflection of the health of the system - humans included.
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I snapped this photo on the banks of Alberta’s Ram River in 2015, and turned a new leaf. I had spent the better part of the previous decade studying ecology at UC Berkeley and wild systems from Moab to Big Sur, Cape Cod to the Eastern Sierra. Ask me

Alberta
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@rachel.pohl We need more stewards like you Charles!! I love how much you love the Dipper- your passion towards protecting wildlife is infectious!

@meg_haywoodsullivan Dippers! Do you see a lot of them in Bozeman?