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55 Miles to a Wilder World

Shelby Perry, Northeast Wilderness Trust Stewardship Director, is embarking on a 55-mile walk in support of wilderness. Read her note about why below.

A few weeks ago I went to see Bill McKibben speak in Montpelier, where Northeast Wilderness Trust is based. I felt certain I would leave his talk feeling discouraged, but (very much to Bill’s credit) I instead left feeling motivated. I agreed with him that there is a path to averting all out climate catastrophe and biodiversity loss, and I can see that the time to act is now on these issues. Armed with that knowledge, and a desire to do something big about these approaching crises, I formulated a plan to walk.

I know that walking doesn’t sound very radical, but hear me out. Much like modern life itself, our region has been built for car travel and relies heavily on fossil fuels. For me, there is almost never an alternative. I have to drive to the places where I work, and I often have to do it alone. But just this once I want to tell a different story. I want to walk a distance that I would normally drive. I want to wrap my head around the reality of these distances, and give my car the day off.  

So I’m going to walk to the Wilderness Trust’s upcoming BioBlitz on the proposed Bridgewater Hollow Bramhall Preserve. I chose this event and this location specifically, because I believe that wilderness conservation is a critical part of the solution to both climate change and the biodiversity crisis. It is certainly not all we need to do, but it is part of the solution, and it’s the part where I feel like I can make a difference.   

I see the problem clearly, so I’m going to walk to the solution, and I want to invite you to join me on my journey. If you have the means, please consider sponsoring me by the mile. If you don’t already, follow Northeast Wilderness Trust on Instagram,Twitter, and Facebook, and watch for my updates from the road.  

And please join me at the BioBlitz, where I’m leading a field exploration of the basic life cycle of myxomycetes (slime molds) at 11am. Come learn how a creeping plasmodium forms a myxocarp, how to tell the difference between insect egg slime mold (Leocarpus fragilis) and actual insect eggs, and how these tiny predators hunt like amoebas and fruit like mushrooms. It will be less slimy (and hopefully more fun) than you think!

Shelby Perry

Thank you for your support!
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