Following Alice the Moose on the A2A Wildway

By John Davis

Were I a Moose, I’d be breaking all the rules. I’m climbing mountains merely for views of this glorious watery wooded landscape, cursing at thick bushwhacks through spruce/fir forest that a Moose might forage in winter; aiming my Hornbeck solo canoe for clear open water, rather than wading and feeding in the nearby swamps and marshes; carrying too much weight in my Osprey backpack; and gingerly side-stepping the muddy trail sections Moose walk right through. Still, a week into our A2A Reconnaissance Hike, I’ve seen a good bit of what Alice the Moose saw when she journeyed fifteen years ago from the middle of New York’s huge Adirondack Park to Ontario’s fabled Algonquin Provincial Park.

When Alice made this long trek, she inadvertently confirmed the Algonquin to Adirondack (or Adirondack to Algonquin – either way, A2A) habitat linkage (wildlife corridor, or wildway, as some of us prefer to say) that biologists had identified. She inspired a conservation effort that has grown into the A2A Collaborative, of which The Rewilding Institute is a participant. A2A partners on both sides of the border spent much of a month exploring A2A on the ground in autumn 2017, simultaneously hiking northwest and southeast from our respective parks toward the Thousand Islands in the Saint Lawrence River, to celebrate Alice the Moose and the wildway she revealed and to investigate the possibility of an eventual A2A International Scenic Trail. I was lucky enough to do much of the hiking and paddling on the US side; and my scouting strongly confirmed the wildness of this region and its great appeal for outdoorspeople, as well as wildlife. Click here to read more.

Advertisements

Glaciers – Butterflies – Change

Blog post January 22, 2019 by Alison M. Jones

Rivers are like sentences. They run on. There is an order, but it can be re-arranged. They are often punctuated by geologic elements and activity.

Rivers can be altered by fallen trees and jumping fish – or by human presence and activity. Alterations sometimes occur rapidly, sometimes slowly. How are those changes acknowledged? Maps help.

Humans have long changed rivers to benefit themselves. We have hand-dug small irrigation canals; bull-dozed earthen levees to stop floods; and built mammoth, concrete infrastructure to stop floods, store water and produce hydropower.

Think of changes wrought by global warming, its floods and its droughts. Think of the disappearance of sections or reaches of long rivers due to agricultural withdrawal for irrigation purposes.

 We have no substitute for today’s melting glaciers that for millennia have fed our rivers from Asia’s Himalaya Mountains to N. America’s Rocky Mountains. Glaciers supply water that we drink, that irrigates crops, that cools, and that transports us and our goods.

Jones_070609_ALB_2330.jpg

A 2007 photo marks the recession of Canada’s Athabasca Glacier

Photo by Alison M. Jones

When we were 7.3 billion people on this planet, we used the resources of 1 ½ planets. Now we are 7.7 billion people – and still increasing our numbers and resource consumption. How will that change how we live? Can we change that arc?
Change can come slowly or rapidly. Change can be for the good or for the bad. Change can be invisible and unfathomable. Click here to read more and see photos.