I love getting outside more than anything in the world. Over the last several years I have spent nearly all of my free time tromping around in the woods, skiing remote mountains, wandering the pacific coastline, slinking through desert formations, and viewing the world from high places. Since starting work at Crag, getting outside has taken on a whole new meaning.
Beforehand, my adventures outside consisted mainly of exploration and adventure. Now when I walk through the woods I think about the work I am doing to protect these beautiful areas for future generations to enjoy and what else I can do to protect them further.
Just the other week I was skiing Pikers Peak on Mt. Adams, and I had the opportunity to look over across the Gifford Pinchot National Forest to see the Wildcat Timber Sale, sitting on the eastern flank of Mt. St. Helens. Over the last couple weeks I have been helping Gifford Pinchot Task Force on an appeal of this timber sale to protect the watersheds of the Muddy River, Pine Creek, Clear Creek and Clearwater Creek from sediment overloading due to proposed tree thinning. Seeing the forest from afar gave me the opportunity to experience it’s beauty from above and feel connected with my work.
I have found it to be important to experience the areas I am working in first hand. Having that experience gives me personal insight to the actual area I am working for and its connectivity to the outside world. Understanding the area and experiencing it gives me extra drive and determination to work hard at protecting the environment.
The staff at Crag really support each other’s adventures outside. Just last night, all five of us interns boogied over to Oswald West State Park on the Oregon Coast. There we bonded and barbecued asparagus listening to the ocean hit the sands on the coast, gazing up at giant sitka spruce trees, enormous western hemlocks and western red cedars. All of us were thankful for being able to get outside and enjoy the Pacific Northwest.