Conservation in a Culturally Constructed World

At the North entrance of Yellowstone National Park stands Roosevelt Arch, a towering feature crafted from native stone and monumental ideas, which marks the gateway to the United State’s first national park. Resting above its apex lies the famously inscribed head stone stating the parks dedication as, “For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People.” Built in the early 1900s, the once dirt carriage road which cuts through the arches piers has long since been paved over for smoother and more luxurious travel. Passing through, one is quickly met by mule deer, various bird species and groups of bison that could be patted on the head from an arm’s reach out a passing car window. This close encounter with the indigenous animal species inspires the debate as to whom this land should really be for.

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The Northeast Ridge of Pinnacle Buttress

 My stance was poor, frictioning my feet against lichen infested rock and reaching over to sloping and loose holds I realized I had no choice but to use these pitons, other protection was entirely absent. Reaching for an extendable sling and carabineer I banged on the piton once, “Ding….” A hollow ring echoed down into the valley. Pulling on the piece it seemed to be strong enough so I inched my way forward. It’s moments like these where an adrenaline fueled high will consume your mind, closing out the rest of the universe and all of your tedious tasks back in the civilized world. Exposure like this places you in a deep meditative trance where every fiber of your body can be felt and each delicate movement takes absolute and full awareness.

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Analysis of Predicted Climate Change Impacts on U.S. Winter Tourism Sector

Abstract:

             Global climate change provides many implications for the future of our planet. However, with an expected nation wide increase of 4°-10°F, a decline of 25-100% of the western snowpack and a decrease of up to 50% of Northeastern snow seasons by the end of the century, a looming problem exists for winter tourism. Because winter tourism is largely resource dependent, the loss of snow has been shown to result in the decline of visiting tourists and recreationalist, which is followed by an economic decline. With upwards of $12.2 billion added to the U.S. economy annually and roughly 211,900 employees, winter tourism contributes to the economic security of our nation. Yet without a greater understanding of how our economies may react to climate change under varying emission scenarios we must first understand how climate related changes will impact the winter tourism sector of the U.S. Thusly, this study examines the global and regional impacts of climate change on both ski industries and local ecosystems. Anthropogenic forces have been found to be the greatest contributor to climate change in the past century and thusly realistic adaptive strategies for winter tourism firms are also discussed. The projected loss of snow will result in the loss of our winter tourism sector. We must therefore work preserve our winters through the mediation of climate change.

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Environmental Impacts on the Ski Industry

Standing a top my childhood sledding hill, I help my seven year old cousin carefully position himself in to his fluorescent green snow sled before giving him a big push into the rolling terrain below. I watch with gratification as he hoots with excitement on the way down until eventually skidding to a stop with his tiny arms raised high in accomplishment. This particular hill near my home in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, provided my sisters and I some of our most fond childhood memories of winters in New England. It was in this exact spot that I learned to build jumps that wouldn’t fail under human weight and do my first 360 on a snowboard. However there will be no jump building today. Gazing down the hill I stare in some disbelief as my little cousin retrieves his sled and starts hopping his way back up the hill, navigating around patches of bare ground. It’s January in Vermont and I wonder, where has our snow gone?

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The Height Of Land: The Natural History Of Smugglers Notch

A colorful sunrise is a paradoxical encounter. Aerosols of anthropogenic origin enhance the red hue of a morning sky through refracting long wavelengths of light in the atmosphere (Ballantyne, 2007). These pastoral skies are in danger however as the dubious myth that pollution leads to brighter skies during dawn and dusk, will inevitably lead to a complacency in society with the abundant particulate matter altering our atmosphere. Dependent on your definition of beauty, an over abundance of airborne pollution will eventually monopolize our morning skies into a singular blazing red horizon with the loss of our natural azures and violets; of course only until they are blotched out entirely. One may witness this battle of colors in our atmosphere playing out on the shoulders of Mt. Mansfield, Vermont’s tallest peak. Mt. Mansfield sees all in this northeastern region and has witnessed every sunrise long before their alteration by humans. 

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Peregrines On The Rise

As we enter the spring season, we can plan on several things in the northeast; our favorite ice climbs will delaminate and fade away, pot holes and mud riddled roads will shake our cars to pieces, an excess of maple syrup will appear on our breakfast tables and of course our rock climbing gear will be dusted off and prepped for that early season climbing excursion. With the welcomed arrival of warmer weather after a hideously cold winter, many of us are excited to explore our favorite crags and tick off that unfinished project from last fall. However we are not alone in our interest of returning to our beloved cliffs, as we are very much joined by our avian friend, the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus).

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