Category archives for Conservation

Opinion: “Nature Has Its Rights” – Fighting for the Grand Canyon Like Martin Litton

We need more fighters like Martin Litton. We all have the opportunity to experience the Grand Canyon, in no small part because of one man’s vision and his refusal to compromise. Without Martin’s will and determination to protect it from proposed dams in the 1960s, the Grand Canyon could have faced the same fate as…

To Save a Pristine Wilderness, Run an Ultramarathon

The shadows of the forest grow longer each minute, the sun is starting to set, and we’re nowhere near the village we intend to get to tonight. About 15 kilometers back on the start of this long descent on the southern ridge of the Philippines’ Mount Ugo, one of our companions started suffering from ilotibial…

Opinion: Protecting the Colorado Watershed’s Last Wild River

The Colorado River Basin is the hardest working and most threatened river basin in America. From headwaters high in the Rocky Mountains, the Colorado supplies water to industry, agriculture, and more than 30 million people across the Western United States. Before running its course its flow is so tapped, diverted, and dammed that it no…

Watch Skiers Come Face-to-Face With a Snow Leopard

While leading a group of skiers through delectably deep snow in northern India—the region’s unique “curry powder”—backcountry ski guide David Marchi nearly collided with one of the rarest of the big cats, a snow leopard. Fortunately, the next skier, Australian Owen Lansbury, had a video camera mounted on his helmet and captured the scene moments…

Opinion: A Neighbor’s Plea

Utah’s failure to enforce protections from coal-derived air pollution hurts the West. Last May, I stood on top of 13,824-foot Jagged Peak in Southwest Colorado’s Weminuche Wilderness, feeling good. My friends Ted and Christy Mahon and I had just completed the hundredth and final ascent of our Centennial Peaks Project, a seven-year effort to climb…

A Legendary Boiling River Flows Through the Amazon. Can It Be Saved?

As a kid growing up in Peru, Nicaragua, and Texas, Andrés Ruzo heard a legend about a boiling river deep in the heart of the Amazon. Years later in 2011, Ruzo, by then a geoscientist working on a thermal map of Peru, traveled by car, canoe, and foot to a remote swath of the Amazon…

Dancing With an Octopus, or Why We Need Human Exploration

Introducing Way Finding, a new column about our sense of wild places A few months ago, I needed to talk to someone about failure. Not failure generally, but a specific form of human failure. I was thinking about how we—meaning, I suppose, humanity—had given up on ourselves by offloading certain vital, very human work to…

Home on the Ranch: Saddling Up With Hawaii’s Cowboys

I’m glad I didn’t ask the paniolos, or Hawaiian cowboys, to wear flower leis and cowboy hats. That’s a huge pet peeve of theirs. I was in Hawaii for the Waimea Ocean Film Festival, where I was showing Unbranded, a documentary I produced about four guys, included me, who rode 16 wild mustangs across the…

The Best Adventure Films of 2015

This year, we saw adventure films rise above the expected action and adrenaline to tell rich stories of the triumph of the human spirit. With abundant winter storm warnings across the country, what better time to cozy up on the couch with some of the year’s best—after your powder turns and hot tub soaks, of course.…

Watch: See What Inspired National Park Champion Doug Tompkins

Last week outdoor community icon and conservationist Doug Tompkins died in a kayaking accident in Chile (read “Insiders Recount Efforts to Save North Face Founder“). But his legacy and leadership will live on. Watch this tribute to see what inspired his work, then read memories from his friends, including adventurer Jeff Johnson, surfer Dan Malloy, and our…