Today is Endangered Species Day!

Today is Endangered Species Day, a day to bring awareness of the many vulnerable creatures around the world who are losing their habitats due to human actions. More and more species are being affected by our actions: acidifying oceans, melting sea ice, forest logging and warming temperatures, and extreme weather. 20170519_framedcondorToday however I’d like to highlight a success story: the California Condor. I wrote a blog post about a month ago; I sketched the condor because I wanted to bring awareness to this bird, and because I think the shape of the head contrasting with it’s black plumage is very dramatic and beautiful. Now in celebration of Endangered Species day, I’m offering this sketch for sale as a print.  It’s available framed and unframed. Remember 10% of the purchase price always goes to NRDC to help endangered animals, wild places, and combat climate change.

For more information and ways to help endangered animals, here are some links.

http://www.endangered.org/action/

https://www.nrdc.org/get-involved

 

 

Bears Ears National Monument

Many years ago, my sister and I went on a camping trip to southern Utah. She was familiar with the area, but it was new to me. One of the places we visited is called Valley of the Gods.

We were driving through southern Utah, through some pretty flat, but broken landscape. Big rocks littered the side of the road, and there was a decent amount of low scrub brush and small trees. As far as you could see, all the way to the flat horizon, was rocks, orange-red dirt, and dark green trees and bushes. We came around a corner and suddenly, dropping about 150 feet below us, was a massive valley. We were driving on top of a huge mesa, and now we were standing before a valley spread out to the horizon. The valley was flat except for massive stone structures, towers and buttes, dotted throughout the valley. It looked like a gigantic ocean with buttes representing massive sailing ships, sailing off to the horizon. The sheer space and vastness of it left me in awe of our natural world.

Today Valley of the Gods is part of the Bears Ears National Monument, created after five Native American tribes planned and worked with government to designated these lands as protected; it is the first-ever tribal monument request approved by a President,  President Obama in December, 2016. Now the government of Utah has appealed to President Trump to open these lands for potential logging, mining, and drilling.

The Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, is accepting comments until May 26. You can submit comments here: www.regulations.gov. You can also submit comments through the Bears Ears Coalition web site.

The NRDC is also accepting signatures for a petition to Secretary Zinke.

20170517_bearsearsSketch of Valley of the Gods

Send a Special Note to Mom and help Monarch Butterflies!

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Mother’s Day is this Sunday; you can send your favorite mom a special note, and NRDC will plant a milkweed plant for each note you send. Milkweed is essential to Monarch butterfly larvae: the larvae eat milkweed, and due to less milkweed available, some populations of monarchs are in decline. This Mother’s Day, NRDC and Monarch Watch are joining forces to plant more milkweed for monarchs. Visit this site, and simply enter the email address of your favorite mom or mother figure and she’ll receive a special email. For each email sent NRDC and Monarch Watch will plant one milkweed plant!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms and caretakers out there. Nothing happens without you!

American Bison are Awesome

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The American Bison is the iconic image of the American West. Vast herds of 40,000,000 used to roam the plains of America. Bison is a crucial part of the plains ecosystem.

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Bison were almost hunted to extinction as white settlers moved west in the 1800’s. Today most bison are kept on private lands, with a few small herds roaming free. Yellowstone Park is the only place where bison have lived continuously in the wild.

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Fortunately today there are several groups striving to move bison to the prairie and reintroducing bison to tribal lands.

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Read more bison facts here!