Friday, November 11, 2016

Pacific Northwest Landscapes: Let's Enjoy and Help Protect

It sure has been a topsy-turvy week here in the USA. How are you holding up? Are you euphoric? Horrified?

We're definitely a country of deep divides in our values and politics. And we're also a country of vastly differing landscapes.  Even here in the Pacific Northwest, the difference between east and west of the Cascade Mountains in Oregon and Washington is great, both politically and geographically.

Although I was born and raised west of the Cascades and have spent most of my life here, I've lived in New England, central California, and southern Illinois as well. I'm glad for my time soaking up different regions and cultures within my own country. I don't know if it helps me understand our divisions as much as appreciate the breadth and beauty of our land.

So today I'm just sharing random photos highlighting my beloved Pacific Northwest. No trying to figure out what just happened.

Well, I guess I do have an ulterior motive. 

One of my goals here at Pacific Northwest Seasons is to foster a desire to protect our natural resources, whether that be through volunteering to pull invasive weeds or letting our politicians know that we support environmental regulations that keep business and government from running rampant over valuable habitats and landscapes.

I hope you enjoy the photos. But I also hope you take action when you hear our elected officials make noise about circumventing or dismantling environmental regulations that assess development actions that could affect any landscape. Guiding this process is the important National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). 

Perhaps that inconspicuous patch of marshy, weed-infested land is an intermittent wetland that harbors threatened insects or frogs only during certain times of the year. Without maintaining the environmental process through the NEPA, development could inadvertently destroy valuable habitats. 

I encourage you to let your representatives, from the state to federal level, know you think it's important to keep these regulations in place. They ensure the public is informed how proposed actions could affect the land and surrounding areas. They also ensure that alternatives are considered.

So let's get outside, get involved, get informed, and appreciate our beautiful country. And cherish these words from the late great American icon Woody Guthrie:

This land is your land This land is my land
From California to the New York island;
From the redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.

Happy trails and thanks for visiting Pacific Northwest Seasons! In between blog posts, visit Pacific NW Seasons on FaceBook, Twitter, and Instagram for more Northwest photos and outdoors news.

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