Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Day with National Geographic

“We need freedom to roam across land owned by no one but protected by all, whose unchanging horizon is the same that bounded the world of our millennial ancestors." - Edward O. Wilson
I took my boys up to Rocky Mountain National Park for “BioBlitz 2012”.  A day of tracking all species and organisms that can be counted in a 24 hour period of time with National Geographic, the National Park System, Scientists and many volunteers.  We also took part in the weekend Biodiversity Festivial.  Since I am homeschooling Ryan this year, it was a great Science field trip for him.  Since Carter loves animals and nature more than just about anything, it was a great excuse to pull him out of school and head for the mountains. 

I majored in Environmental Planning and worked for and was mentored by an Environmental Lawyer who was also a professor of mine and even wrote part of the Endangered Species Act.  During my time at his firm, I added to my knowledge of biodiversity, endangered species, habitat conservation plans, wildlife corridors, etc.  It is such an amazing feeling to now share all of that knowledge with my boys.  The boys have a similar understanding already to what I had in college.  Our family has spent so much time in nature - from our local mountains to months in the Glacier National Park area in MT, Yellowstone, Tetons, Yosemite, Alaska, the Masai Mara in Kenya, tide pools at the beach I grew up at, etc.  They love nature and animals and it is something that Eric and I have been intentional about passing down to them and educating them about.  

I love nature - it is probably where I find the most peace and connect the most with God. I saw this in Carter this weekend as he and I spent an extra day exploring every part of Rocky Mountain National Park.  Carter said things like, "God is amazing - his world is full of so much imagination" and "God blessed us with seeing elk, moose, coyotes and a marmot today".  It is so precious to see him experience God in this way as well.  He had the most peaceful expression all day long as he photographed lakes, flowers, trees, moss and just about anything else he could find.  It was as if he could feel God's presence among the created and was basking in it all.

We revisited issues that we talk about a lot - especially endangered species. Our family has a passion for protecting wildlife and saving endangered species.  Carter is fascinated with wolverines and we heard an amazing Wildlife Biologist who studied wolverines in Glacier National Park for years and wrote a book about it.  He autographed it and wrote a note to Carter in it, and my son was over the moon.  He is actually reading a scientific book about wolverines right now.  Carter wants to run a Wildlife Refuge in Alaska for injured and orphaned animals, and he is hoping for a wolverine as well.

My hope is that our generation and the next will care even more about protecting our environment and species and see that we have a huge role in the stewardship of our earth.  I pray that Christians will see that we are playing a major part in the degradation of our earth and that God has called us to protect it.  I believe Christians should be leading the way on environmental issues, not fighting them because there are issues that are seen as "political" with it all.  I believe our children will ask us when they are grown what we did to help protect the natural world around them.  I plan to have answers for that.

“Every time we, as humans, drive a species to extinction, we are stating that what God created, we can destroy.  There is no scripture to support that view.  Every time a species goes extinct, we are defaulting on the account that God has called us to manage.  We are at the crossroads, able to choose to say or to destroy.  It is our choice.  The Bible is clear that creation expresses God's wisdom and power.  Christians are called to be stewards, to nurture, to protect, to preserve His creation." -
Job 12:7-10.  But ask the animals, and they will teach you; or birds of the air and they will tell you; or speak to the earth and it will teach you; or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the lord has done this. In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.

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