Posted by: mesabimisadventures | December 3, 2011

Please Protect the Porcupine

As regular readers (and friends) know, my life’s passion is finding and maintaining a balance between environmental protection and requisite industry that both provide for our high quality-of-life.  I partly have a precious book written in 1967 to thank for that drive and desire.

One of my babysitters gave me the book and I’ve read it front-to-back approximately 767,000 times (+1 for tonight’s reading)

It is a wonderfully written book about conservation and reading it now, I understand how it became one of the contributing factors towards me ending up as an environmental professional working for a mining company.  It discusses selective harvesting, proper mining, air pollution control, and many other topics (including the potential use of “atomic power” someday!).  It breaks down complicated subjects into terms that children can understand and it showed children that although things weren’t great environmentally in 1967, they had the ability to make things better.

Obviously I took that message to heart.  And obviously those children did make things better.

We ask children all the time “what do you want to be when you grow up?”  When did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up?  Are you still trying to answer that question?

I never knew as a child that someday I would want to speak mostly in acronyms – NAAQS, NPDES, RCRA.  All I knew was that I loved being outside.  I loved forests, streams, lakes and warm, humid summer evenings laying outside on the dewy grass watching fireflies.

In 6th grade, my whole class spent almost a week up at the Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center.  A week of walking through the woods, climbing rock walls, learning how to “read scat.”  It was an incredible experience and I didn’t want it to end.  It was many years ago – more than 20, so the details are sketchy.  The key part is that I remember how the instructors made me feel.  How they calmly talked me down the rock wall after I climbed to the top, looked down and promptly started crying (true and oh-so-embarrassing story).  How they explained how to use a compass and a map so that I could find my way confidently through the woods (a skill I still use regularly).  And I remember how the woods made me feel.


The Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center is an educational center with a mission “to develop a citizenry that has the knowledge, skills, motivation and commitment to act together for a quality environment.”  There are difficult questions we have to answer when we’re adults and having a solid science background gives us the skills to have difficult conversations and make difficult decisions.  Wolf Ridge ELC helps to build that solid science foundation and that is why I chose to become a member for my 3rd day of giving.

I wanted to give back to the organization that led me to where I am today.

Protecting the porcupine.

Note: This is the third post in a series of 31highlighting donation opportunities this holiday season.  Who helped inspire your career or your hobbies/interests that drive you as an adult?




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