Scenic Hudson celebrated the accomplishments of Kris and Doug Tompkins at its annual gala on June 24. Both left extraordinary business careers (Kris was CEO of Patagonia, while Doug founded The North Face and Esprit) to take on visionary conservation initiatives. The work they have achieved over the last decade in South America, personally preserving 2.2 million acres, not only inspires but raises the bar for all of us striving to protect the earth's great, remaining wilderness areas.
On May 15 I delivered the commencement address to graduates of the University at Albany's Geography and Planning program in upstate New York. I'd offer the same advice to all recent grads -- in fact, to anyone committed to ensuring a healthy future for the planet. Therefore, this month I'd like to share my remarks:
photo: Lela Butts
Discouraged by reading environmental news? Between chemicals polluting the air and water, wildlife becoming extinct or housing developments threatening precious farmland, fretting goes hand in hand with caring about the environment.
Several times I've written about Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park, which sits atop the former Poughkeepsie Railroad Bridge spanning New York's Hudson River. Since opening last October, nearly half a million people have enjoyed the spectacular views, shattering projected visitation figures and boosting local businesses. Yet to help close an $8.2-billion deficit, Gov. David Paterson has proposed closing the park three months a year and opening it only five days a week the rest of the time.