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A man carries a mountain bike up hill with dull-colored shrubs and small rocks on the ground. In the background is the side of a mountain and blue sky.

TrekWest Blog 39: Crafting a Wild Mosaic in the Upper Rio Grande Watershed

My friend and mentor Dave Foreman, author of Rewilding North America and other critical works, advises wildlands advocates to think of rewilding landscapes as an effort akin to putting together a jigsaw puzzle. You see the final picture, the vision, on the box cover. You put it together with friends, piece by different piece, over time, not quite sure how it will all fit together but remembering what is the final goal.

A man and a woman smile at the camera with thin branches and green leaves in the background.

TrekWest Blog 35: Meandering Over Sandstone Substrates

When Kim Crumbo suggested that diving a hundred feet down into a Calf Creek plunge pool, here in the heart of spectacular Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, could create a fine photo opportunity for TrekWest, with videographer Ed George and writer Ray Wheeler hovering about, I averted my glance and asked Jim Catlin to tell us more about the importance of water in desert ecosystems.

Reddish hues swirled together with light gray land and large rock structures.

TrekWest Blog 33: Old Issues and New Ideas around National Monuments

When Joshua Porter and his Wild Rockies Field Institute class joined Jim Catlin of Wild Utah Project and me in Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, we went looking for proof of past occupancy by people who understood how to live with aridity. These included and still include in this region the Paiute people, who prospered in environments where many of us newcomers grow sun-burnt and thirsty within hours.

A person is barely visible standing among gray rocks. A large, gray rock mountain is in the background with light-blue sky peeking out from behind.

TrekWest Blog 32: Nearing the Top of the Stairs

The Arizona Strip and southern Utah Canyon Country extend the grandeur and geology of the Grand Canyon well to the north, and are key parts of a once and future Western Wildway. Cores in two of the Southwest’s great wildlands complexes, Grand Canyon National Park and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, are linked – though not as solidly as they should be – by the Paunsaugunt wildlife corridor. Photo: Ray Wheeler

An gray deer with large antlers stands among rocks and plants.

TrekWest Blog 31: Breaching Another Barrier

Certain obstacles simply must be overcome if we are to protect a Western Wildway, a Spine of the Continent Conservation Corridor. This is true also for the Eastern (Appalachian/Atlantic), Pacific, Boreal, Great Plains, Gulf of Mexico and any other continental wildways we hope to restore. Most often, these major obstacles will be roads.

A shirtless man looks up at a tree and stands with one hand on his waist and the other against a tree.

TrekWest Blog 30: Parks and Wilderness as Grand Canyon’s Basement Rocks

Canyon explorers Kim Crumbo, Kristin Caldon, and Larry Stevens disabused me of the naïve assumption that the time of palpably inane proposals in universally revered places is past. Kristin and Larry showed me the confluence of the Little Colorado and Colorado Rivers, where absentee developers conspire to build a resort and tramway from rim to river. Photo: Kim Crumbo

Three people look at green shrubs. A fourth person looks in the direction of the camera. In the background are green shrubs and hills.

TrekWest Blog 29: The Tao of Canyoneering

While Kristen Calden boldly scales the heights and records the utter beauty and grace of this place, ecologist Larry Stevens, the older guide on our hike, continues to discover and speak eloquently for the Canyon’s smaller residents and habitats, from beetles to butterflies to springs. Whereas Kristen stops every hundred miles or so to re-tie her shoes, Larry stops every hundred yards or so to catch an insect, identify a plant, review the geology, or otherwise better understand and speak for the Canyon’s natural history. Photo: Kristen M. Caldon

Four people with hiking poles walk down a mountain. In the background are shrubs and the side of the mountain.

TrekWest Blog 27: April in the Grand Canyon

Enigmatic micro-flora and fauna are themes of Day 1 of our hike across Grand Canyon. Two weeks ago on the GTS (Grand Canyon River Guides, Guides Training Seminar) raft trip down part of the Colorado River, we’d been thrilled with sights of some of the Canyon’s charismatic megafauna; but this bright spring day, little things run our world. Photo: Danny Giovale

Five men stand close to each other and smile for the camera.

Blog Interlude: Farewell to Peter

Peter Warshall passed away in late April, finally yielding to an incurable cancer, peaceably resting at his southern Arizona mountain home with family members. The world would seem dimmer with his passing but for the wealth of wisdom, knowledge, and goodwill he passed on to family, friends, and followers.