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These images are here for you to peruse, enjoy, and contemplate. Contemplate the value of such places. Can you assign a monetary value to a desert pond teeming with frogs and water birds? Are quiet, open spaces important to the wilderness experience? Capitalism is a great engine of economic prosperity, but only in rare cases does pure capitalism lead to the preservation of wild spaces. Typically such wild spaces don't yield much profit, and certainly pumping oil from these places would yield more. There is thus an almost constant tug of war between the interests of profit and the interests of profit. Sanity returned to federal environmental protection in January 2009 (hooray!), and already we see the benefits of an environmentally-conscious President as he halted oil and gas leasing on sensitive areas near National Parks and halted oil shale development in Colorado that would have stripped the canyon lands to flat rock. Still, the House of Representatives and the Senate at the federal level are the ones who create and pass bills, so if you're concerned about wilderness loss, habitat degradation, irresponsible energy development or omnipresent global climate change, do the following two simple steps (and maybe more):
1. Vote for a congressional representative who makes environmental quality a key point of their campaign. Visit the League of Conservation Voters for objective analysis.
2. Educate yourself about threats facing wild lands so you can be an effective advocate for wilderness among your friends and acquaintances.

The following is a list of non-profit environmental organizations dedicated to the preservation of natural areas and a clean environment. I support them. I encourage you to visit their sites and learn more about the good
work they are doing.

Sierra Club
Largest environmental organization in the US with 700,000 members; lobbies for environmentally sound public policy regarding preservation of public land and water. In my view this is one of the more aggressive
environmental organizations, but not radical. Of the organizations listed on this page, the Sierra Club is the only one that devotes significant attention to specifc social problems as well (such as urban sprawl, fuel
efficiency, sustainable farming, organic products, etc).

Wilderness Society
Focuses on the expansion and protection of current designated wilderness in the US through congressional lobbying. Also a watchdog group for environmentally dubious political action. A more conservative lobbying
organization which keeps its dealings confined to a narrow goal. Exellent source of information on the political battles raging over public lands. This group is borderline on the junk mail...they need to send less I think.

Nature Conservancy
Uses private contributions to purchase ecologically unique or especially endangered land around the world. This is the most direct method of environmental conservation I've seen. As far as I can tell, this organization
has no political dealings. The significant accomplishment of this organization is that their strategy provides the only way to ensure environmental protection in countries whose governments don't give a crap about the
environment. In many foreign countries, political lobbying is useless.

The National Arbor Day Foundation
The goal of this organization is to spread the word that trees make any place more beautiful, healthy and sustainable. A great place to purchase low-cost trees for yard plantings or large-scale windbreaks. Trees cool
houses in the summer by shading, warm them in the winter by breaking cold winds and reflecting lost heat back down to the ground or a structure, shade lawns so that they require less water, add universal visual
appeal and dramatically enhance property values. Visit this site to find out more. "Trees are the Answer".

Over the years I've received mailings from many, many environmental groups. I've joined many, and have had some bad experiences. I've come to have some fairly strong opinions of certain environmental groups. For
example, I consider it foolish to claim to promote environmental quality, then offer a "joining gift" of a free plush polar bear. Who needs that? I've seen offers of "Join now and receive this free backpack!" Please. And,
inevitably, every year I receive pounds of address labels. I'm not so lazy that I can't write out my own address, already! Besides, who mails letters anymore? I get very frustrated at these organizations, which may do
fine work, but exhibit shocking hypocrisy in sending out so much trash. In fact, I receive more junk mail from "environmental groups" than from all other entities combined. It's crazy! I continue to support the
organizations above because their mailings are minimal, short and use both sides of the page. I publicly denounce the following organizations for sending out nothing more than junk mail on a monthly basis.
Natural Resources Defense Council - The Mail Blitz! You will receive weekly oversized mailings with letters printed on one side of each page, double-spaced, or oversized glossy, full-color foldouts with strikingly
little information of value. Heaven help you if you ever decide to quit this organization...it's like the mob. You will never stop getting mail from them. Never.

National Wildlife Federation - Sends unsolicited notepads, address labels, postcards and offers a free backpack for joining. Gee I get a cheap backpack just for joining?? Wowee!
Defenders of Wildlife - Sends unsolicited address labels, cards, memo pads and offers a free windbreaker and backpack for joining. Nobody needs this crap.

World Wildlife Fund - Sends unsolicited calendars, notepads, postcards, wrapping paper and, yes, those damn address labels, plus offers you your choice of a plush panda, blue-footed booby or logo umbrella for
joining. Again, NOBODY needs this crap! Even if you don't join (I've never), you'll somehow continue to receive oversized mailings, seemingly forever.

The Trust for Public Land - I used to really like this group, but after receiving half a dozen oversized mailers with "Official Surveys" sporting such moronic questions like, "What value do you place on open space and
natural areas for children?", I booted them. They also love to send out address labels about every two months (so you never run out!).

So, beware to whom you contribute, and don't be afraid to call them up and complain if they send you too much junk mail.

Photography Sites that I like
Cor Bosman & Julie Edwards- Beautiful images of sea-dwelling creatures

Ken Henke Landscape photography by Ken Henke

Hicker Photo - Nature, Wildlife and Travel Stock Photography by Rolf Hicker.

Mark Swiecki - Nice photograpahy of a wide subject range.

Rocky Mountain Scenery - Photography and really nice QTVR's of the Colorado Rockies and surrounding areas by Dave Clark.

Scott Bacon Photography - Landscape, nature and travel photography from the US and around the world.

Vadim Onishchenko - Nature and Wildlife Photography from Africa and the Middle East

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