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September, 2009:

Persistence & Pals: A Winning Combination in Rainforests & Life

While I was touring the Temperate Rainforest that surrounds Juneau Alaska, I was learning from a Tlingit Guide about the Rain Forest and the special relationships that exists in the Rain Forest.  The Tongass National Forest lies within the heart of the temperate Rain Forest of  Southern Alaska.

The area is very rocky and the soil is shallow because of the rocks.  The trees that grow there have to be persistent to grow so tall in such harsh conditions.  The rocks make the trees produce shallow root systems that spread out and intertwine with neighboring trees.  This intertwining of root systems provides a layer of protection for the trees as they depend on each other when the winds get high.

IMG_8291 Tree out of Rock 6x4 100 cr copy

Persistence & Pals in Tongass National Forest by Elise Hearn 2009

This idea of persistence and Pals made me think of how we live our lives and do business each day.  We often have “shallow roots” and need the help of our Pals to survive the perils of high winds of life.  We are much like the temperate rainforest, we need each other to be able to flourish in this world.  We have to depend on keeping our Pals close by, for by ourselves, we will not stand up in the face of the first strong blow!

Unfortunately, this beautiful temperate Rainforest, The Tongass National Forest is being threatened again by logging.  The rain forests of the world contain old growth timbers that cannot be replaced.  “Since the 1950’s nearly 70 percent of the ancient hemlock stands have been roaded and logged. The rampant destruction has come at a great ecological cost to the Tongass and at a great financial cost to American taxpayers.”  says the Alaska Chapter of the Sierra Club.

The wood they provide is not needed for building.  It is desired for show, the wood from these irreplaceable old growth trees is not really needed to build homes.  Instead this wood goes for show! Vanity would have us cut down and destroy the very lungs of the earth, while having a fancy home thousands of miles away in a foreign country look “fabulous”!  Not acceptable.  Please help the Alaska Wildlife League, Alaska Sierra Club, Alaska Audubon and others.

We must let this administration know that we value this temperate Rainforest and want to save this precious resource.  We cannot replace this forest.  It is the home to Bald Eagles, Moose, Elk, and more.  This habitat once cut, leaves little for the wild life and often ruins the creeks that flow through them causing problems for the salmon trying to return home each fall. To stop this cutting of the temperate Rain Forest with taxpayer dollars no less!, contact the White House and President Obama.  Thanks for protecting the Rain Forests!

Glacier Bay: Whales & Eco-Tourists abound!

Visiting Glacier Bay, Alaska is a privilege.  Not every cruise ship that wants to enter Glacier Bay National Park is allowed to enter the park.  As of the 2007 Cruise Ship Proposal, the number of ships allowed into Glacier Bay in the Months of June, July and August is now 153 total.  The ships are limited to preserve the ecology in the area.  Glacier Bay is part of one of the world’s largest internationally protected Biosphere Reserves as well as a United Nations National Heritage Site.IMG_6497 Whales in Glacier Bay 4x6 100

Glacier Bay is seen as an area of Hope!  Glaciers in the area are growing, no longer retreating.  This is an area where the endangered species such as the Stellar Sea Lions, are protected in an environment where they can expand their population and reestablish their populations. And of course this is a favorite place for whales!  As you visit Glacier Bay, you are witnessing a new and emerging world.  Where there was once one large glacier, thousands of feet deep, there is now IMG_7461 Calving Margerie Glacier cr 4x6 100a 65 mile long fjord of resilient land that now hosts a succession of marine and terrestrial life.    Glacier Bay National Park is a living laboratory!

Keeping the focus on the environment, carefully protecting the area for current as well as future enjoyment means Glacier Bay National Park will be a living arena for flora and fauna!  The glaciers are advancing in some areas and retreating in others, so the new creation in the the park continues.  So becone an Eco-Tourist and travel to Glacier Bay National Park to experience the changing of the world!

North to Alaska!

The image here is of Seattle as we left the dock on Sunday, Sept 6th.  Rain had been an off and on event during the day, but the departure was excellent!  Holland America’s ms Westerdam is a lovely ship with mid-ship elevators that are glass so you have views of the ocean as you maneuver in the ship. IMG_6155 Seattle Sept 6 09  6x4 100 copy

We had a stateroom with balcony on the Navigation Deck that offered views of the journey whenever we wanted to look out the floor to ceiling windows or pop onto the private balcony.  Holland Ameria has wool plaid blankets for wrapping up in against the cold, so we were pleased to see two waiting for us in our stateroom.  The down comforters were also welcome when we were in the Glacier Bay area!

Many photos were taken and will be on the Hall & Hearn Photography website gallery soon! More travel info to come!

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