by Lynn Hill
After speaking with my friends, Mike Lechlinski and Mari Gingery about their experiences in Yosemite and climbing on El Capitan this summer, I learned that many climbers are not doing their part in keeping the big walls clean. Apparently many people "accidentally" or even intentionally drop their garbage and poop off El Capitan and don't even go back to the base after their ascent to clean up their mess. I believe that, as a way of showing respect for the beauty of this magnificent place, we all need to make the effort to clean up any trash we come across. In fact, I believe that everyone who ascends a big wall route should hike back to the base with a large trash bag and clean everything in sight after his or her ascent. There's not a lot to be done about the smell of urine on the rock since the rain will take care of that problem. But the idea that some people just throw their trash and poop bags off the wall because they don't want to deal with it anymore is completely unacceptable!
Continue reading "Big Wall Trash a Big Problem in Yosemite" »
by Lynn Hill
I've been reading and hearing a lot of talk recently about the ominous phenomenon of bees dying all over the world. Most of what I've read on the subject points to pesticides as a possible reason why the bees are dying. Apparently, many farmers are spraying pesticides on their crops at the wrong times, despite the fact that spraying at these critical times can have a profoundly negative effect on the bee population and consequently, the production yield of various fruits and vegetables. Obviously our society's current over-use of pesticides reflects a short-sided viewpoint on the natural life cycle since bees and other pollinating animals are responsible for 80% of the world's crop production.
Pollinators, mostly insects, are indispensable partners for an estimated one-out-of-every-three mouthfuls of all the food, spices, or condiments we consume. This is an estimated twenty-billion dollar industry in the U.S. and pollinators are threatened by a variety of factors besides pesticide misuse. The loss of their natural habitat in dead trees or fence posts on ever-decreasing farmlands across the country has also contributed to the decline of bee populations.
[Photo: Márcia Grilo]
Continue reading "Precarious Predicament for Pollinators?" »
This submission came to us from Topher Browne, a Patagonia Ambassador and recovering dirtbag.
I have not really been a dirtbag for several years now. I recently traded in the last in a long line of Toyota trucks for an efficient but less than capacious Honda Civic. If I tried to spend the night in my new ride I would require an on-site osteopath to remove the kinks from my middle-aged body. I confess that I don’t mind a warm cabin and a hot meal after standing in a forty-five-degree river all day long. If this makes me less of a person, so be it.
I knew the truck was not long for this world when I noticed that it was
beginning to spend more nights in front of motels than in parking lots
next to good salmon pools. I still get up pretty early, at least when I
fish, but I’m seldom the first one through the pool anymore. It was not
always this way. I never bought into that “last shall be first”
nonsense (I still don’t) and I could usually count on my boots getting
wet before any others. Lately, though, I find myself second, third or
even fourth through a pool. It doesn’t happen all the time—I still have
my moments in the sun—but when it does, it bothers me less than it once
[Photo: Topher Browne Collection]
Continue reading "Team Dirtbag" »
Brett Millar from Great Pacific Iron Works, sends us this report about some honored guests who visited recently:
Great Pacific Iron Works, the original headquarters for the retail division of Patagonia in Ventura, California had an extremely unusual visitor this past week. Save Our Wild Salmon and their “Extinction Stops Here” road show stopped by with a 25-foot-long metal and fiberglass salmon to raise awareness for endangered wild salmon and steelhead in the Pacific Northwest.
Save Our Wild Salmon is a nationwide coalition of conservation organizations, commercial and sport-fishing associations, businesses, river groups, and taxpayer advocates. This partnership was formed in order to help restore what used to be a thriving species of fish that, in the time of Lewis and Clark, numbered over 16 million within the Columbia and Snake River Basins alone. Today, as few as 10,000 salmon return to the Snake River each year. The main reason for this huge decrease in numbers is the various human-made dams blocking the travel of these magnificent creatures to their original spawning grounds. The group’s present focus, and the reason for the five-state road tour with Fin the giant salmon, is campaigning for the partial removal of four dams on the lower Snake River in Idaho.
[Joseph Bogaard and Jeremy Nickel pose with some of the Patagonia kids. Photo: Brett Millar]
Continue reading ""Extinction Stops Here" Road Show Visits Ventura" »