Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Focus on the Big Picture

by Gregory Mayse

The debate rages on… Right versus Left, Greenies versus Corporations, Tree-huggers versus Profiteers. Which data - or adjusted data - are we to believe? One thing is for certain - Earth needs our help.

I have heard my share of passionate discussions, both in the national media and in the workplace. I really do not care where each person reading this chooses to stand on the subject of Global Warming, Climate Change or whatever you choose to call it.

As a photographer, I choose to look at the BIG picture on most things in life, and the question raised by looking at the Big picture is simple - Are we doing things to improve our environment and to protect the creatures who share our little rock that rotates around the sun?

What should matter to all of us is that if we do not continuously make a focused effort to preserve what we have, it will be increasingly difficult for us to survive on Earth. I am not talking about the sudden end of the world according to the Mayan calendar in 2012. I am talking about the continual destruction of our natural resources that we MUST have in order to survive. Do not turn your back on Mother Earth. Her natural ReSources are our only Sources.

When all of the rainforests have been logged, when our water is no longer safe to drink, when we have taken away the habitat and culture of all indigenous people as well as wild animals around the globe, then we may look back and ask “What were we fighting about back then?”

Is this really a political discussion? NO. It is simple. Do you want your children, grandchildren and their descendents to be able to appreciate the things in their lives that we may take for granted? Do you want your great-great grandchildren to grow up and look back at our generation and ask, “What were they thinking?”

The native cultures that were here in what we now call America held strongly to the belief of respecting the sustainability of Mother Earth for seven future generations. What if we dare to take on that philosophy once again? Do you believe we can survive with the global environmental damage being done by some of the planet’s major corporations and governments?

So next time you see an photograph of a polar bear leaping between floating icebergs, or the surviving indigenous people standing in a clear-cut area of their rainforest, don’t just brush it off as another one of those “environmentalist global warming photos.” Instead, let it remind you that everything is interconnected, that the planet as a whole, is a living organism that needs all of its parts to function healthily – there is value in every creature – every habitat – every culture.

We humans hold the power either to make our planet better or worse for future generations. The responsibility was somehow handed to us over the other animals of this planet. I’m not sure if this was the right decision. All I ask is that all of us FOCUS on the BIG PICTURE. If we don’t work hard to preserve our planet now, who will…and when?

Friday, December 11, 2009

A wall is a Wall

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ocean Solutions

Set to a backdrop of stunning photography from the International League of Conservation Photographers, leading marine scientists from Stanford and MBARI discuss the role of the ocean in cocean oceans climate change acidification iLCP Center for Ocean Solutions sea level rise Stanford University MBARI coral reefs global warming limate change and the potential impacts of a targeted 2C rise in global temperature. This is an iLCP media production in partnership with Center for Ocean Solutions. More o

Monday, December 7, 2009

What did you do today?

By Linda Helm

I just passed a person riding their bike to work this morning. No big deal, you say? OK. Add to this scenario that it’s Colorado, it’s 10 degrees or lower and there’s about 8 inches of fresh snow everywhere. The roads are plowed but chunky and icy and it’s really not even fun to drive your car in this weather. And here’s this person, so bundled up that gender is not apparent, helmet, hat, goggles, coveralls – head down, peddling furiously in the best tire track they can find, making their way to work.

I salute you, whoever you are. I also think you’re a bit masochistic and perhaps a borderline maniac – but I salute you anyway because just in that one act, you are doing more than I have done thus far today to help save the planet. To give myself credit, I did drive my Prius to work but honestly, I live close enough to walk if I really want to have zero impact.

The biker got me to thinking - What else could I have done before I walked out the door this morning?

1. Turned down the thermostat – we already keep it pretty low, but yes, I could have turned it down more.

2. I just realized I left the radio on – other than potentially deterring fictional burglars, what’s the good in that?

3. I could get rid of our 2nd fridge in the garage like I have been threatening to do for months now – it’s old, inefficient and very convenient to have over the holidays. But we could get by without it.

4. We have a little pond in our back yard with a waterfall that attracts birds – we have a heater in the water so that it does not freeze over and the birds and other wildlife have access to the water. Totally NOT necessary to their existence or mine. Will I give it up? Nope – not negotiable. It enhances my sanity quotient.

5. We did trade a disposable zip loc bag for a reuseable container to bring stuff to work this morning …… woo hoo!

So, what’s the point of this exercise? For me, it’s not to add to all the “should-haves and ought to’s” that frequently plague each of us to a certain degree. It is an attempt to start from where I am as a consumer and an inhabitant of a very small planet with finite resources and work to live in a higher state of mindfulness and respect for our planet and the other creatures I share it with. Am I the poster child for conservation? Heck no! Not even close! But I am working on it. I’m better at conservation practices than I used to be and I’ll keep getting better every day.

What did you do today to make a difference for the planet?

Linda Helm is VP of Fine Print Imaging and Art for Conservation. She's also a Mom, Grandma, Daughter, Wife and lover of nature. She can make a difference for the planet and for the future of her kids and grandkids by the choices she makes every single day. So can you.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

One Last Moment from Wild 9

A lot of people have asked me what the highlights of the Wild 9 experience were for me. While I have mentioned some of them previously, I have to say that the following moment resonated with me on a purely emotional level and for that reason, it will likely stay with me (and others) for a long while.

Ian McCallum, psychiatrist, physician and author of Ecological Intelligence. Rediscovering Ourselves in Nature, concluded his presentation by reciting a poem - from memory. While I don't recall the details of his presentation (sorry Ian, but I'm getting your book!) I do, most definitely, recall the poem ...

Wilderness, by Carl Sandburg

There is a wolf in me … fangs pointed for tearing gashes … a red tongue for raw meat … and the hot lapping of blood—I keep this wolf because the wilderness gave it to me and the wilderness will not let it go.

There is a fox in me … a silver-gray fox … I sniff and guess … I pick things out of the wind and air … I nose in the dark night and take sleepers and eat them and hide the feathers … I circle and loop and double-cross.

There is a hog in me … a snout and a belly … a machinery for eating and grunting … a machinery for sleeping satisfied in the sun—I got this too from the wilderness and the wilderness will not let it go.

There is a fish in me … I know I came from saltblue water-gates … I scurried with shoals of herring … I blew waterspouts with porpoises … before land was … before the water went down … before Noah … before the
first chapter of Genesis.

There is a baboon in me … clambering-clawed … dog-faced … yawping a galoot’s hunger … hairy under the armpits … here are the hawk-eyed hankering men … here are the blond and blue-eyed women … here they hide curled asleep waiting … ready to snarl and kill … ready to sing and give milk … waiting—I keep the
baboon because the wilderness says so.

There is an eagle in me and a mockingbird … and the eagle flies among the Rocky Mountains of my dreams and fights among the Sierra crags of what I want … and the mockingbird warbles in the early forenoon before the dew is gone, warbles in
the underbrush of my Chattanoogas of hope, gushes over the blue Ozark foothills of my wishes—And I got the eagle and the mockingbird from the wilderness.

O, I got a zoo, I got a menagerie, inside my ribs, under my bony head, under my red-valve heart—and I got something else: it is a man-child heart, a woman-child heart: it is a father and mother and lover: it came from God-Knows-Where: it is going to God-Knows-Where—For I am the keeper of the zoo: I say yes and no: I sing and kill and work: I am a pal of the world: I came from the wilderness.



Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Wild 9 Post Script

It’s all over but the work.

I have been struggling for 3 days to come up with an effective way to “wrap a bow” around the gift of Wild 9. It’s hard to see and hear everything that we saw and heard at the WWC without coming back to the everyday world highly energized, inspired and more than a little terrified. What are the big take away realizations for me? Small planet ….. smaller than we think. Big problems …. Bigger than we know or can fully understand. Time for solutions is verrrry short – shorter than we care to admit.

But Wild 9 introduced me to so many incredible thinkers, activists and worker bees from every strata of every society that I experienced a profound and deepening hope for our future. I most certainly felt a global reinforcement for what we at Art for Conservation are trying to do in our own small way – the arms and hearts of strangers patting the collective “us” on the back and saying “Nice work! Keep it up! Thanks for what you are doing.”

So, platitudes and affirmations aside, it’s time to get back to work with a knowledge that we are on the right path and that there are many, many others around the world ready and willing to collaborate, connect and conspire to save the planet and to work with the sense of urgency that is dictated by the crisis that grows every day in our air, our water and our landscapes.

To paraphrase President Obama, ”the fierce urgency of now” is indeed upon us and the common themes that inform our work are connectivity, communication and climate change. The party's over. Get to work!

Quotable Quotes from 9th World Wilderness Congress

1.“That just scared the hell out of me!” Art Wolfe, after viewing Jim Balog’s presentation on the
Extreme Ice Survey which is visually documenting the catastrophic decline of the world’s glaciers.

2. “Less than 1/5th of 1% of the world’s oceans are protected from fishing and yet oceans cover 75% of the earth’s surface.”
Brian Skerry on the rapid decline of our ocean ecosystems.

3.“The next 4-8 years are the most important years in human history.”
Bittu Sahgal, editor of Sanctuary magazine, India.

4.“We will not stop climate change if we don’t stop killing nature. It’s that simple.”
Harvey Locke, Canadian conservationist, one of the founders of the Yellowstone to Yukon Initiative.

5.“I awake each day torn between a desire to save the world and savor the world. It makes it hard to plan my day.” E.B. White


Linda Helm, VP

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Proof of the Power in Passion - Martha Isabel (Pati) Ruiz Corzo

My new inspiration comes disguised as a little fireball of a woman by the name of Martha Isabel (Pati) Ruiz Corzo. As I was working on the computer from our room yesterday morning, I had the live video stream from the conference on my computer running as well.
This woman was introduced and began speaking – in Spanish. I thought to myself “Oh well, I’ll leave it on anyway and maybe some Spanish words will sink into my brain while I work.” I soon realized that I had stopped typing and was mesmerized by this woman on the screen who was speaking with such passion that I was pulled into her spell without understanding the details. I was crying and applauding right along with everyone in the live audience for most of her presentation. When she ended by breaking into an a capella song and finished with audience participation on the chorus of “Amen, Amen, Amen” while she inserted verses – in English – about nature, I was completely overwhelmed, energized and inspired. And still sitting there by myself in my pajamas!

I had the opportunity later in the day to thank her in person for her presentation and as we shook hands, we both started crying all over again. I had just connected with a powerful force for nature – a tsunami disguised as a grandma and I will not forget her. She makes me believe that any one of us can make a difference if we choose to.

Below is her bio from the Wild 9 Program.

A recognized leader in Mexico’s civil conservation movement, Martha Isabel (Pati) Ruiz Corzo is known as one of the driving forces behind the creation of the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve where she has served as Federal Director for more than a decade.
Martha Isabel (Pati) Ruiz Corzo, reconocida lideresa del movimiento civil conservacionista de México, ha sido una de las fuerzas que impulsaron la creación de la Reserva de la Biósfera de Sierra Gorda, misma que ha dirigido por más de una década.
Spanning more than one million acres, the reserve encompasses mountains and valleys of breathtaking beauty but is also home to more than 600 communities living in grinding poverty and battling high unemployment. Corzo’s leadership focuses on addressing and solving the region’s challenges through environmental education, land conservation and community development.
Ms. Corzo has received numerous awards for her innovative work in environmental conservation, including the Rolex Prize for Enterprise in 2002, the Schwab Foundation award for Outstanding Social Entrepreneurship in 2001 and Mexico’s National Ecology Award in 2000.
Con más de 400 000 hectáreas de extensión, esta reserva no sólo abarca montañas y valles de indescriptible belleza, sino que es el hogar de más de 600 comunidades que viven sumidas en la pobreza y padecen de altos índices de desempleo. Los esfuerzos de Pati Corzo se han concentrado en atender y resolver los retos que la región enfrenta, mediante educación ambiental, conservación de la tierra y desarrollo comunitario.
a Srita. Corzo ha recibido muchos galardones por sus innovadores trabajos de conservación ambiental, entre ellos el Premio Rólex a la Iniciativa Empresarial 2002, el Premio a la Iniciativa Social Excepcional 2001 de Schwab Foundation, y el Premio Nacional de Ecología 2000 (México).

Awards and Inspiration-James Balog and Jane Goodall at Wild 9

Time to get caught up to today, Tuesday(Martes). Sunday morning offered a bit of free time which allowed us to get a small taste of the real Merida because we were able to connect with my friend Nancy and her husband Barry who moved down here last year and are in the process of remodeling a home that they purchased about 6 blocks from our hotel. They have an interesting blog and website which details their move to Merida, their remodeling adventure and has lots of interesting info about Merida. They appear at left with their 3-legged dog buddy.

As Nancy and Barry walked us back to our hotel, they explained that every Sunday one half of the Paseo Montejo, which is a main artery through the center of town, is closed down until noon so that families can ride bikes with their children without worry for the crazy traffic. It also allows families to take a leisurely stroll without left traffic noise and exhaust. What a brilliant idea! Can you just envision half of College Avenue closed down each Sunday morning! It encourages family activity, exercise, not driving, slowing down a bit ... I am ready to come back and lobby the city council for that!

Jane Goodall gave a very moving keynote presentation on Sunday and set the stage for an in depth discussion of her Roots and Shoots Program for Children. If you have never seen this woman speak, you must make a point to do it before she stops travelling and speaking. She only does so out of a sense of urgency for the protection of primates. She says she has not been back to the land she loves for 15 years because she knows that she is their best hope for the future. I don't think she will rest as long as she knows she can connect one more person to the issues and raise one more dollar for protection. Jane inspires simply by her presence but when she says she is inspired and made hopeful by this gathering, it reminds us of the privilege and the power of taking part in this congress.
On Sunday evening, James Balog received the inaugural iLCP Conservation Photographer Award - voted as the very first recipient by his peers, both for his lifetime body of conservation work and expecially for his current project, "The Extreme Ice SurveyHis expansive visual documentation through time lapse photography of the rapid recession and disappearance of glaciers is waking up hearts and minds arounbd the world. He recently testified before the US Congress on the issue of climate change. And all I can say is that if they saw what we saw in Jim's presentation, they had to walk out of chambers scared to death. There is no other way to say this - it is simply horrifying to see the full measure of decline of the glaciers - it is NOT part of the natural cycle. It IS catastrophic! Below is a cut from his presentation at the 2009 TEDGlobal conference in Oxford England. It will give you a good idea of what we saw the other night.
There is SO much more but I'll save it for another post. Adios. Linda


Monday, November 9, 2009

Wild 9. Day 2. Merida, Mexico

November 7, 2009

Today began with a photography keynote presentation by Nick Nichols, called “Window into the Redwoods”. The remainder of Saturday was devoted to sessions detailing the corporate environmental commitments of such companies as CEMEX – a very large cement producer from Mexico and a true leader in the field of corporate conservation, Grupo Bimbo, another large Mexican corporation and Coca Cola Mexico, among others. The presence and participation of these corporate entities at this conference is important not just for Mexico but for the world. It signals a growing awareness of the importance of climate change and conservation issues.

Undoubtedly, the highlight of the day was the signing of a “Memorandum of Understanding” on Cooperation for Wilderness Conservation, Between Mexico, Canada and the United States. Government representatives from the three countries signed the agreement which aims to achieve international cooperation for the conservation of wildlands. While this act is certainly not a solution in and of itself, it does set the stage for a more cohesive approach to environmental issues which impact the entire continent as well as the world. It’s a BIG DEAL but only if all of us hold the powers that be to their commitments.

The fact that there are such dignitaries in attendance as the Minister of Foreign Affairs from Guyana, Director of Nature and Landscape Protection – Czech Republic as well as Reps from South Africa, Hungary, Surinam, Russia and Europe is heartening to me and lends a real hope for universal understanding of the issues facing us. It has certainly made it easier to see the world as a fairly small place with common concerns requiring shared solutions.

Inspiring? Oh yeah! Onward!


Sunday, November 8, 2009

iLCP's Yucatan Rave

Day 1. Wild 9. Addendum There is so much happening every day at Wild 9 that it is virtually impossible to keep track of it all but I did want to share iLCP's multimedia presentation on the Yucatan Rave. Check it out! More Later! Linda

Saturday, November 7, 2009

If You Ever want to Empty a Commercial Airliner REALLY Fast

Day 1. Wild 9. Merida, Mexico. Nov 6, 2009

So if you ever want to see a completely full airliner disgorge it's passengers in less than 10 minutes, just have the Captain announce in a rather urgent tone that El Presidente Felipe Calderon is arriving momentarily right behind us and that if we don't ALL debark post haste, we will be stuck in the plane - on the tarmac - until they have cleared all areas for his landing and made sure security precautions were properly in place for his safety and exit. A possible delay of up to an hour........

A thundering but fairly agile herd of water buffalo comes to mind - but with less courtesy and decorum. Needless to say, we got off in record time. And once we all knew we were safe and sound inside the airport, it became clear that many of us were here for Wild 9 - as was Presidente Calderon! How cool is that? The President of Mexico showing up for the opening of a conference on conservation and wilderness protection.

The first day of the conference was primarily devoted to setting the stage for the rest of the week, with a number of international dignitaries and conservation leaders articulating the global vision for wilderness protection and citing concrete examples and programs in action all around the globe. But really, the highlight for me was to see the buzz about town - it was exciting to see the painted jaguar statues starting at the airport and then all about town - an arts and culture project to support the Wilderness Congress. Also to be witness to the excitement of having the President arrive to take part in the opening ceremonies.

The evening of this first day was spent, predictably, in the hotel lounge with many of the attendees catching up on current projects, networking, discussing hot conservation issues and in general, just having a great time seeing lots of familiar faces from iLCP, NANPA and beyond.

Adios. Tomorrow is another day.

Linda Helm

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Anything But Green

I ran across a promo for a juried art show which asked applicants to interpret the theme “Anything But Green”- any way they wanted. I couldn’t help but think about the perceived oversaturation of the word “Green” today, and wondered if that was the impetus for the show theme.

Green fatigue is already a commonplace word in the English lexicon. Susan H. Greenberg wrote an essay about this in a June 30, 2008, Newsweek article by entitled “I’m SO Tired of Being Green”. In it, she interviewed Suzanne Shelton, CEO of the Shelton Group, a U.S. marketing firm that monitors America's environmental pulse.

Shelton Group's latest study, Energy Pulse 2007, revealed that between 2006 and 2007, Americans' enthusiasm for energy-efficient products and services fell across the board. "We are really seeing a backlash to the whole green thing," says Shelton. "We've tested environmental messaging for some clients lately, and we get a lot of eye rolls and deep sighs. We hear things like 'I'm so tired of the green label being slapped on everything,' 'I'm so tired of being guilted into being green'. Confusion creates inner shock, and when consumers are confused, they just do nothing."

OK, so what does that mean for those of us who are still trying to deliver a conservation - a green - message? It says that we have to use more effective tools to get our message across. And that’s where Fine Print Imaging’s green initiative - Art for Conservation - comes in. To successfully deliver a compelling message, one on which people will act, you have to appeal to their emotions.

We KNOW that images deliver a more impactful - more emotional - message than words alone. Fine Print Imaging is working with literally 100s of photographers and artists who are meticulously crafting their art so that it effectively communicates a conservation message. And while this may conjure up imagery of a river with floating debris or a pristine mountain top being scraped to mine for coal, it more often means images showing all of the beauty that our planet has to offer.

Fine Print Imaging and Art for Conservation partner together to provide discounted printing services to these artists. We also provide a beautiful online gallery of their art which helps them raise funds to continue creating art that helps preserve our delicate ecosystem. And we provide a strong social networking component that fosters communication between all of the parties involved in conservation of our natural resources.

One of our strongest partnerships is with the International League of Conservation Photographers. In conjunction with their book on climate change, "A Climate for Life", we created a 50 print exhibit highlighting the photography of the world's top conservation photographers. The gallery wrapped canvas giclee exhibit is touring North America and will eventually land in the offices of Conservation International in Arlington, Virginia.

Rather than screaming our message through a megaphone, we focus on telling the conservation story through imagery. And we tell the stories of our artists and photographers who make these conservation images. Instead of shoving green down people’s throats, we allow them to draw their own conclusions by viewing both beautiful and disturbing images. We KNOW that appealing to their emotions will make a stronger and longer lasting impression.

We would love to help you deliver your conservation message and support your conservation efforts by selling your images. Join us on Art for conservation - - and become a member of the Fine Print Imaging family.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tar Sands - The Dirtiest Oil of All

By Garth Lenz
Conservation photographer, Canadian citizen

In case you missed it, this August 21st, the U.S. State Department approved a multibillion-dollar pipeline to bring the world's dirtiest, most carbon intensive crude oil to refineries in the United States. The Presidential Permit to Enbridge Energy is for the Alberta Clipper - a 1,000-mile/1,607-kilometer crude oil pipeline that will run between Hardisty, Alberta, and Superior, Wisconsin, bringing crude oil from the Alberta Tar Sands to the U.S. for further refining.

The U.S. approval of the Alberta Clipper pipeline is a massive investment and commitment to the status quo, locking America into a dirty energy infrastructure for years to come. At a time when the way forward, both economically and environmentally, points in the direction of renewable energy and a green economy, investment in the Alberta Tar Sands seems backward.

Not only is it investment in a fossil fuel future, but it is investment in a fossil fuel that represents the most deadly cocktail of environmental impacts of any fossil fuel and on a scale never before imagined. None of the the major energy projects in the Middle East are even close to the scale of the oilsands and the current scale will grow by five times by 2020.

Clearwater River
Located opposite Fort McMurray, this intact area is in the heart of the Tar Sands region and is an example of what the area looks like beforeTar Sands development. This area could be developed as a result of proposed expansion of the Tar Sands. The forests, wetlands, soils, etc are referred to as "overburden" and scraped off in order to replace this ecosystem with tailings ponds, tar mines and refineries.

Alberta Wetland

This wetland is just south of Fort McMurray and the developed region of the Alberta Tar Sands.
Although it is not currently threatened directly by Tar Sands development, it is representative of what the Tar Sands area looked like before development. Wetlands like this one are one of the greatest carbon sinks and best defenses against global warming.

Aspens and Spruce

This forest is relatively near but not directly within the Tar Sands region. However it is representative of the forests that existed in the region before being removed for Tar Sands development. The boreal forest of Northern Canada is perhaps the best and largest example of a largely intact forest ecosystem. It is also the greatest terrestrial carbon sink - storing an amount of carbon equal to ten times the total annual global emissions from all fossil fuel consumption.

Syncrude Operations - Alberta Tar Sands

Open pit mining operations in the Alberta Tar Sands

Machines like these work 24 hours a day.

Effluent Pump

An effluent pump dumps mine tailings into a vast tailings "lagoon" at one of Syncrude's sights in the Alberta Tar Sands. The effluent ponds of the Alberta Tar Sands are so large that they can be seen from outer space. Every barrel of oil requires 3-5 barrels of fresh water to refine.

Tailings Pond

One of many large tailings ponds in the Alberta Tar Sands. One of Syncrude's dams holding back a tailings pond is second only to China's Three Gorges Dam in size.

Another Tar Sands operation under construction

Can this possibly be what was envisioned when President Obama campaigned on a promise to cut global warming and America’s addiction to oil while investing in a clean future? Imagine the possibilities if all the scientific and technological brilliance, entrepreneurial zeal and financial resources that are being invested in the Alberta Tar Sands, were instead invested in the research, development and marketing of renewable energy. This is the true tragedy of the Tar Sands.

As long as this mammoth investment in the Alberta Tar Sands and similar projects persists, there will never be the motivation or resources to truly achieve the renewable energy alternatives which are the key to our future.

It is time for all of us to demand a positive, green and clean future for our children and tell our leaders to stop supporting investment in dirty and backward developments like the Alberta Tar Sands and start directing those resources to the green economy they have all been promising.

About the Author

Known as an outspoken advocate for the environment, Garth Lenz has been invited to show his work to The European Parliament, Canadian Senate, major corporations and business leaders. He has given numerous public presentations throughout Canada, the U.S., Europe, and Japan, on issues of wilderness and environmental protection.

In 1993 and 1994, Lenz made major tours of Europe, the U.S. and Japan, in order to build the international campaign for the conservation of British Columbia’s temperate rainforests and Clayoquot Sound. During this same time, he helped develop the markets campaign to encourage corporate responsibility as a tool for forest protection and conservation. In this role he has given presentations to The New York Times, Nippon Telephone and Telegraph in Tokyo, Major Newspapers in London, GTE in Los Angeles and many others.

Lenz’s recent images from the boreal region of Canada have helped lead to significant victories and large new protected areas in the Northwest Territories, Quebec, and Ontario. His boreal images and work from the Alberta Tar Sands received major awards at the Prix de la Photographie Paris, and International Photography Awards in 2008. In 2008, he was also awarded the Fine Print award in the Center for Fine Art Photography’s “Our Environment” exhibition for one of his Alberta Tar Sands aerial images. In 2009, he was named a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers.

Lenz makes his home in Victoria, British Columbia, with his wife and two daughters.

All images are © Garth Lenz

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A House Divided

“As we watch the sun go down, evening after evening, through the smog across the poisoned waters of our native earth, we must ask ourselves seriously whether we really wish some future universal historian on another planet to say about us: "With all their genius and with all their skill, they ran out of foresight and air and food and water and ideas," or, "They went on playing politics until their world collapsed around them." ~U Thant (Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1961 to 1971), speech, 1970.

It is the last sentence of that quote that reverberates in me like the finely tuned strings of a guitar. Day after day, month after month, year after year, I watch with increasing alarm – and shame – as the environment continues to be a pawn in a great political game of chess. As the very board we are playing on decreases in size, disintegrates with pollutants from “industry” and it’s goon, “warfare.”

I have friends on both sides of the political spectrum. Those who call themselves “liberal” and those who call themselves “conservative.” Most of my friends agree that we must conserve our natural resources, that we are stewards of the environment, that we must protect endangered species. Just like we can all agree that SOMETHING has to be about our failing health care system. But like a husband and wife who can’t agree on the best way to arrive at their destination, we end up bickering and lose sight of our mutual goal in a sick battle of “he said, she said.”

The stakes are high in this political game we are playing. As my friend is fond of saying, “Follow the money.” Unfortunately, she is only able to see the food chain on one side of the political chasm. There are special interest groups on both sides, and the sooner “we the people” realize that we are being pitted against each other in a battle from which “we the people” will emerge as losers, if we emerge at all, the sooner we will be able to set aside our petty differences and work together.

Call me a Utopian, or a Polly Anna, call me naïve or just plain stupid. I still believe firmly that we have it in ourselves - as a community, a country, a continent, a world of people – to sit down at the proverbial table and find our commonalities and work toward those goals together. As Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” But I also know that there are forces out there who stand to profit from our divisiveness. As my friend says, “Follow the money.”

Kate Dardine is the Marketing Director for Art for Conservation and Fine Print Imaging, as well as a professional artist. ( Lately she's been quoting Rodney King: "Can't we all just get along?"

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Good Day for the Dolphins

The Taiji dolphin hunt, featured in the controversial film "The Cove", was scheduled to begin on September 1, as it has every year for decades. Instead, the cove was empty on this opening day - no fishermen, no dolphins. Just lots of media and a noticeable contingent of police. And that was just fine with Ric O'Barry, Director of Save Japan Dolphins and one of the driving forces behind the efforts to bring attention to the annual slaughter of 20,000 dolphins.

He writes in his blog from Taiji that he is thrilled to see so much media present - in particular Japanese media, which until now have refused to cover the subject. Ric views this new willingness by the Japanese media to at least explore the subject as a turning point in the efforts to save the Japan Dolphins. He believes that a heightened public awareness in Japan will turn the tides in favor of the animals.

Check out the trailer for the film: take your friends, read more and Take Part.

As one of the principals in the film said, "You're either an activist or an inactivist", so it's time to
Discuss, Share and ACT.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Five Tips On Working With Non-Profits

First, let me introduce myself, and tell you what you should expect to read about in my blog postings.

My name is Maria Montano, and I am the Web Mistress for Art for Conservation and Fine Print Imaging. I have first hand knowledge of the non-profit world having served on the board for multiple organizations in the Fort Collins community. I also use my photography as an advocacy tool to help raise awareness in the community on a wide range of issues, from sexual assault to donating images to the Save the Poudre coalition.

My blogs on Art for Conservation will be mostly about two subjects: how to work with non-profits to help raise awareness for the causes you care about, and using the internet to promote your work and those causes.

This first blog will be about taking the first steps toward working with a cause in your community. I have found that a lot of photographers and artists want to help, but don’t know how to get involved. Not only does working with non-profits help them, it is a great way to raise your profile as an artist within the local art community, as well as the broader community that you live in.

Introduce yourself

The first thing that you’ll want to do is call or e-mail the volunteer coordinator; this is generally the person responsible for setting up volunteer opportunities within the organization.
When you show up to your meeting, look professional.

Be respectful of their time. Show up no more than 10 minutes early and never arrive late for your appointment.

Come Prepared

Coming into your first meeting, make sure that you know the basics about what the organization does.

I have found that most organizations don’t know how to effectively use imagery to tell their stories. Have several ideas in mind to propose that would fit with what they do.

You should be ready to present your ideas to the Executive Director, or the Board of Directors. This means explaining how your idea will help raise awareness about what they are doing, planning a timeline for when you expect to have the project done and finally a budget of what it is going to cost them.

Be patient

Patience is a virtue when it comes to working with non-profits. Remember, their first goal is to serve the community and raise awareness about issues, and sometimes they don’t get how using images can help them do those things.

They also have to be careful with their image; working with them may require a lot of meetings, and approval from the board of directors for some of your bigger ideas.

Be persistent

Once you finally get approval of your idea, you will need to be persistent to make it a reality. Ask what resources are going to be made available for you to help you with your project/idea and get important contact information from anyone on staff that is assigned to help you. Most non-profits have a limited staff, so plan to do most, if not all, of the work yourself.

Follow Through

This is the most important part of working with non-profits. They are counting on you to do what you said you would do. They will devote valuable time and resources to your project and expect you to represent them in a positive fashion. You get one chance to make a first impression…make it a good one!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Thoughts on Hunting

I had an interesting experience a couple of months ago. I sold a big Bison painting to a couple, and delivered it to their home. When I got there, the woman asked if I wanted to see where it would hang. Of course I did! But then she stopped and looked me in the eye. “How do you feel about hunting?” she asked. I answered that I was not diametrically opposed to hunting. She explained that her husband is a hunter, and she ushered me upstairs to what can only be called a Trophy Room.

The heads of Pronghorn, Elk, Deer, Mountain Goats and Bighorn Sheep seemed to watch me as I walked into the room. I couldn’t resist touching the Wolf and Bear “rugs” that stretched out on the floor, complete with heads and claws. In one corner a full-sized brown bear stood guard, front paws poised as if to do battle. They were beautiful and awful at once. “My husband loves the animals he hunts,” she said, as if reading my mind. “Then why does he kill them?” I wondered silently. As I walked out of the room, I could feel the eyes of the Wolf burning into the back of my head.

I grew up on the east coast to a non-hunting family. We lived in a semi-rural area; deer, raccoons, skunks, opossums, squirrels and an occasional black bear were all frequent visitors to our woods. I was – and still am – drawn to animals on a spiritual level. For most of my life I was opposed to all hunting. But I did eat meat. Beef, pork, fish, poultry. All beautifully packaged from the butcher shop.

When I moved west to Colorado, where hunting is much more a way of life than where I grew up, I started to understand the logic, lure and importance of hunting to keep deer and elk populations in check and reinstate humans as part of the natural food chain. At the same time I became aware of feedlots - something I had never seen or thought much about back east.) It didn’t take long for me to determine I’d rather eat meat from an animal that has lived a life free of confinement, antibiotics and steroids than from an animal that has lived its life in the dull, depressing and unsanitary environment of a feedlot.

In the natural world, predators will take out the sick, the old, the weak, the injured. Human predators, however, can be a different story. Some hunt for trophy and so they want the biggest and the best. Which means they are taking the biggest and the best out of the gene pool; the antithesis of natural selection. Some hunt for “sport” – like shooting wolves from an airplane. Some, like my neighbor, hunt to reconnect with nature; bringing home elk or deer meat is a bonus. Some (although I’d say this is a dwindling population in this country) hunt out of necessity for food.

Me? I’d rather hunt with a camera instead of a rifle. I don’t need to kill an animal to assimilate its essence into my being. I’d rather not eat meat at all. But that is me, and I have no quarrel with those men and women who hunt responsibly, who are stewards of the environment, who understand the meaning of “take what you need and leave the rest.”

My feelings on hunting predator animals merely for sport, fur or because certain parts are considered to be “aphrodisiacs,” is simple. I’m absolutely diametrically opposed. I added the word “merely” in there for a reason. I do know on rare occasions it is necessary to track and kill predator animals that repeatedly threaten humans and livestock. But it should be the exception, not the rule.

I recently stumbled upon a great blog that addresses the issue of hunting vs conservation. Well written and thought-provoking, it is worth reading.

As for my painting, which is all about the beauty, power and spiritual energy of the Bison – how do I feel about it living amongst heads and hides? I’m glad to see the hunter adding art to his collection.

Kate Dardine is an Animal and Land spirit artist from Ft. Collins, Colorado. She is also the marketing director for Fine Print Imaging and Art for Conservation.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I am not a Conservation Artist

By Kate Dardine

Let’s get this straight. I am not, in the true sense, a conservation artist. While I admire and respect those who dedicate their lives to doing the right thing, to making a difference, I am not one of them. I’d like to make a difference - as long as I can do it in between working 32 hours a week, painting, marketing my art work, spending time with my family, taking care of my dogs and horses, paying bills, doing laundry…yadda yadda yadda.

My time for volunteering for causes – no matter how much I’d LIKE to help, is pretty much non-existent. After all, I do need to sleep sometimes. BUT…I CAN do something. I can donate my artwork to causes I feel strongly about. I know, some of you are rolling your eyes, thinking, “If one more non-profit asks me to donate my work I’m going to scream.” I know how you feel. However – guess what? You can choose the causes you donate to. And…if you are a painter, you don’t have to donate original artwork. That is the beauty of prints. In many cases, Art for Conservation’s Printing Partnership Program can provide printing for you at a reduced price.

It’s true, Art for Conservation works with some of the top names in Conservation Photography. Photographers who dedicate their lives to telling the conservation story. But really, these devoted individuals make up only a fraction of artists and photographers in the Art for Conservation Gallery. Most are artists like me – people who care about the environment, but for whatever reason are not able or willing to dedicate their lives to doing something about it. But we can help, by donating paintings or prints to auctions which benefit environmental causes. And, like me, you can sell prints of your work through Art for Conservation’s online gallery. All artists on the site have agreed to donate at least one percent of the sale price of prints sold to the conservation organization of their choosing. Art for Conservation also donates one percent. With each of us giving up just a little, together we can make a big difference!

Click here to see Kate Dardine's prints on Art for Conservation.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Solution or Compromise?

By Mark J. Lukes
Photo © Stefan Christmann

“If the earth were your body, you would be able to feel the many places where it is suffering. Every day, children and adults die because of the pollution of air and water. These things are related.”

- Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist Monk

The House just passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act which sets a target (based on 2005 levels) of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 17% by 2020 and 80%+ by 2050. Like all legislation passed in recent times, there was a lot of give and take, a lot of controversy, and what we got was a watered down version of what environmentalists wanted.

So should we be happy with a small victory or disappointed that the Act may have only minimal effects on reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2020? Even if the Senate passes the bill, we still have a lot of work ahead in encouraging all other developed countries to follow suit. If you’re like me, you get frustrated with the pace of progress when it comes to an issue like climate change. As I said in my last blog entry, we are out of time. We have to act now.

Unfortunately, we are dealing in the real world of American politics which dictates compromise and taking baby steps. If we try to make dramatic changes all at once, we may end up passing nothing. If we pass compromise legislation that does little to address the immediacy of the problem, it may be too late by 2050 to turn things around.

So what do you think we need to do? Compromise and take whatever we can get because it certainly is better than what would happen if we ask for too much change too quickly? Or aggressively push for the kind of legislation that will put our country on a path to more quickly address the serious problem of climate change? Should we take baby steps or giant steps? Vote in the poll on the right.

Friday, June 12, 2009

I Find it Kinda Sad

By Mark J. Lukes

I was listening to a news interview the other day about President Obama’s plan for cleaner, more efficient cars. Under the changes, by 2016, passenger cars would have to reach 39 mpg and light trucks 30 mpg. Manufacturers would also be required to hit individual mileage targets.

Obama said the proposal would save 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the lifetime of the vehicles sold in the next five years, akin to removing 177 million cars from the roads over the next 6 1/2 years. In that period, he said, the savings in oil burned to fuel American cars, trucks and buses would amount to last year's combined U.S. imports from Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Libya and Nigeria. Seems like a pretty good plan, right?

Back to the news interview… the person being interviewed (remember, I turned 60 so I’m allowed to forget names) said that while the plan is all good and fine when gas prices are high, will the American car buyers "be willing to give up" their less fuel efficient SUVs and trucks if the prices stay lower? And a flood of thoughts popped into my mind. Like, doesn’t this guy understand that we need to eliminate our dependency on foreign fuel? And that the item most of us own that causes the most harm to the environment is our fuel powered car/suv/truck? All this guy was worrying about seemed to be whether the consumer “would be willing” to buy fuel efficient vehicles. The statement should actually have been a question like, "So, how do we convince the consumer that buying fuel efficient vehicles is a good choice, regardless of gas prices?"

If we would have continued with plans for energy self-sufficiency introduced in the late 70s during the Carter administration, we likely wouldn’t be having dialogues like this. Climate change would still be an issue, but one that we were already a long way towards “solving”. We would be solar and wind powered. And we would have energy efficient vehicles.

It’s time that we actually “told” the consumer that they need to make the right choice - the intelligent choice. Not the self-serving choice to buy a Humvee or an over-sized SUV. And this is where I find it kinda sad. This "self-serving" choice really serves no one - not even the one making the choice. Even if we ignore what’s happening to the environment and our health today, we can't ignore the effect of our choices on the generations to follow. Will all of the choices you’re making today be ones you'd be proud to tell your grandchildren about? It's time for the right answer to be Yes.

One more thing I find kinda sad - the people who would be most likely to read this post aren't the ones who need to read it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Red Desert - Up Close and Personal

By Linda Helm
Photos by Morgan Heim

Those of you who are tuned in to the issues surrounding energy development here in Colorado, likely also know that there are similar, if not more pressures in Wyoming. Like Colorado, the issues are complex, the solutions equally so.

While I do not pretend to be an expert on all of these concerns, I do know that complex problems deserve our utmost attention and research - especially because the decisions and actions we take (or fail to take) today will have lasting impacts on us as well as our children and grandchildren.

I just found out about a fantastic opportunity to get to know the Red Desert area in a more intimate way - CAR CAMPING TRIPS sponsored by the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance out of Laramie, WY.

They start this weekend and run through mid June and include various destinations, lengths of trips and difficulty. Trust me - after talking with more than a few photographers who have worked in this area - you will derive huge benefit from going with people who know the territory. It can be rough going if you get weather, car trouble or ... dare I say ... lost ... But then that's also part of the lure of this landscape - remote, peaceful, dangerous, unforgiving ... WILD.

Environmental photojournalist and writer Morgan Heim, whose images appear below, has studied and photographed extensively in this area. She is extremely well versed on the issues surrounding oil and gas development in this landscape. You can see more of her work on the Red Desert at

Anyway, check out the BCA website for details on the Red Desert Caravan, Adobe Town, Powder Rim, Wild Cow Creek Backpack, and Ferris Mountains and Dunes excursions.

The scheduled outings are as follows:

May 23-25 - Red Desert Caravan.
A three-day tour to visit the units of a potential Red Desert National Conservation Area. This three-day auto safari will take in Adobe Town, the Kinney Rim, and Jack Morrow Hills highlights such as the Boar's Tusk, Killpecker Dune Fields, and Honeycomb Buttes. Auto tour with car camping and light day hikes.

May 30-31 - Adobe Town.
A two-day tour of Adobe Town, the crown jewel of Wyoming's desert wilderness. Car camping and light to moderate day hikes along the lofty Skull Creek Rim and among the pinnacles of the Adobe Town Rim, with a likelihood to spot wild horses and other wildlife.

June 6-7 - Powder Rim Tour.
A two-day tour of the Powder Rim, home to ancient juniper woodlands, a desert elk herd, and haunt of outlaws from the Powder Wash Gang. Enjoy bird watching for unique juniper obligate songbirds and wild horse viewing with light day hikes and car camping.

June 27-28 - Wild Cow Creek Backpack.
A moderately strenuous two-day over nighter through rugged country representing the last remaining wilderness along the Atlantic Rim.

June 13 - Adobe Town Day Trip.
Enjoy short day hikes among the spectacular geologic formations of Adobe Town.

June 20-21 - Ferris Mountains and Dunes.
An auto tour with day hikes among the Ferris Dunes, with forays to Whiskey Gap and the forested flanks of the Ferris Mountains, a BLM Wilderness Study Area.

The tours are free to the public but space is limited. Interested persons should contact Carmi McLean at (307) 742-7978 or to make reservations.

Friday, May 15, 2009

10 (easy) Ways to be a Greener Artist

By Kate Dardine

10. Reuse old canvasses and panels – gesso them and use them for studies or completely new paintings.

9. Donate unused art supplies to a local school or art association.

8. Use a “green” canvas manufacturer - like Signature Canvas. Signature Canvas is a manufacturer of premium quality artist canvas that sells directly to professional artists across the United States. They are the only canvas manufacturer whose product is developed and produced in the United States of America.

7. If you are an acrylic painter, consider using Golden Acrylic Paints. Golden acrylic paints are made with the highest quality pigments and resin. Golden has been on the forefront of environmental stewardship programs for their Columbus, NY facility. Golden also promotes safe use of their products through extensive safety information provided on their website,

6. If you are an oil painter, use Gamblin paints and mediums - Gamblin paints are manufactured in a safe, sustainable manner. With a wind-powered, energy efficient facility, they focus on reducing their carbon footprint, while making some of the world's finest artists' materials. Gamblin makes safety a priority, for the artist and the environment, at the same time maintaining the quality of the old Masters with color range of the modern artist's palette.

5. Think bulk when you purchase art supplies or place an order for prints. The more you order at once, the less you’ll pay in shipping. Buy the largest tubes, tubs, boxes, etc. that you can use to reduce the amount of packaging needed.

4. Wipe the paint off your brushes before washing them - less waste down the drain.

3. Use rags to clean brushes instead of paper towels. After drying, they can be washed and reused.

2. Use Murphy’s Oil soap for all cleanup – no toxic chemicals, so it’s safe for the environment, your brushes and you!

1. Use Fine Print Imaging, for all your printing and art copy needs. Through our 35 years of working with wildlife and nature photographers as well as artists, Fine Print has long held a special reverence for and commitment to the environment. As part of that commitment, we switched to 100 % green power for our energy needs as of May, 2007. In making this commitment, we have also become an EPA Green Power Partner and joined a growing list of companies across the country dedicated to reducing air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions through the use of renewable energy resources rather than fossil fuels. For more on Fine Print’s conservation efforts, visit our conservation website,

Friday, May 8, 2009

I've Got a Scooter

by Mark J. Lukes

OK, maybe this isn't earth-shattering - or even blog worthy - news. But it is to me. For my 60th birthday, my friends and family got together and bought me an Zapino Scooter - all electric! Sure, it's fun to ride. And yes. I feel pretty "green" tooling around town on my electric scooter. But we all know that there's more to it.

I read an article some time ago about changes in the definition of "being green". (I'd tell you where I read the article, but one of the problems of being 60 is that my mind does too good a job of filtering information). In the 80s, recycling aluminum, picking up your trash and turning down the thermostat made you green. In the 90s, you could add buying a more fuel efficient car, re-insulating your house and participating in Bike-to-Work day. In the 2000s, we saw a number of conservation issues get relegated to a back seat - or were kicked completely off the bus! We saw our country's leaders ignore the effects of climate change, neglect the needs of wild things and wild places and show a disregard for the welfare of third world cultures.

While all of this was happening, people who cared about our planet were mobilizing and redefining what being "green" meant. People all over the world began to "Get It"! No longer was it good enough to do the easy things that used to make us green. It takes effort, sacrifice - and it takes lots of people. That's certainly true with our efforts at Art for Conservation.

We've been conservation "activists" since 1985. And it seems like every year, our level of "activism" has increased. I put "activists" and "activism" in quotes because everyone has a different definition of conservation activism. Not only that, but as I mentioned earlier, with each year, the definition takes on new meaning, and in these trying time, even more significance.
To be honest, I had become a bit unsettled by using the word "activism". I wanted to make sure that we at Art for Conservation didn't alienate those who are still trying to make up their minds about climate change, about the need to protect wild things and wild places.

Then I attended a presentation by Robert Kennedy, Jr. After hearing him speak, what I already believed became obvious. We don't have time to sugar coat conservation messages. The threats to our planet are real. And the solutions are really more evident than most of us realize. Our job at Art for Conservation is to showcase the photographers and artists who are telling the conservation story. And to foster a dialogue about how all of us in the art community can be a part of delivering the conservation message.

I do love my electric scooter, and even though it's only one little step towards energy sustainability, I feel good riding it. But I know that I need to do more. If you want to do more for our planet, join Art for Conservation. Tell your story. Share your images. Become a part of the dialogue - and the solution.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Irreversible, Irreplaceable

The Irreplaceable campaign brings together four distinct groups — from the worlds of art, justice, science, and faith — to highlight the diversity of life we must protect from climate change. As you dive into these photos, be inspired, determined, hopeful. Help us protect these irreplaceable plants and animals.

Check out their most recent video and then visit their website to take action

Friday, April 3, 2009

IGES Earth Day Photo Contest Grades 5-8

Win a Digital Camera; Photos must be snapped April 22-29

Contest Web Site:

Earth is a system of connected parts -- air, land, water and life. Each part is constantly changing, and affecting and being affected by the other parts. Of all the seasons, changes are especially noticeable during spring. Birds migrate across the sky as the weather warms. Creek waters rise as melted snow trickles down from distant mountains. Spring showers give life to plants and wildlife. And thunderstorms and tornadoes are spawned as warm and cold air clash.

During the week of Earth Day (April 22), U.S. students in grades 5-8 can be part of a unique national effort to capture our changing world. Anytime from Wednesday April 22 through Wednesday April 29, 2009, take a photograph of something that is changing in your local environment. It could be a change occurring in your backyard, outside your school, in a local park, or off in the distance toward the horizon.

Then, research and write an explanation of the photograph (400 words or less) that answers the following questions:

· What is the change taking place in your photograph?
· What part or parts of the Earth system may be causing the change?
· Was the change expected?
· How might the change impact surrounding areas, including people?
· How might this picture look different in the future?

Entries will be judged by Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) staff based on relevance to topic (depiction of change in the environment), uniqueness and overall appearance of the photo, and thoroughness of the written explanation.

The top three winners will receive a digital camera, digital photo frame and digital photo keychain, respectively. The top 10 winners will receive their photograph in a special frame commemorating Earth Day 2009, and their photographs and accompanying descriptions will be featured along with selected honorable mentions on the IGES Web site,

Entries must be received by email or postmarked by May 9, 2009. Winners will be announced on the IGES Web site around June 2, 2009.

For submission instructions, entry form, and suggestions for using this activity in the classroom, please visit:

About IGES: Located in Arlington, Va., IGES was established in 1994 and is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization supported by public and private entities. IGES is a trusted leader in Earth and space science education, communication and outreach, and in fostering national and international cooperation in observing the Earth.

Sponsor a Student Contest: Is your company or organization looking for a way to support science education? Contact IGES at for sponsorship opportunities. In addition to the photo contest for grades 5-8, IGES offers a science-themed art contest for students in grades 2-4, and cash awards for grades 9-12 students demonstrating the best use of geospatial tools or data to study Earth.

EE Week Photo Blog Contest: Do you have a positive story of how you and your organization are bringing environmental education to students? National Environmental Education Week would like to hear about it. Upload your own photos and stories -- about activities either inside or outside the classroom before, during or after EE Week -- on the EE Week Photo Blog. Entries will be accepted April 20, 2009 through May 22, 2009. See for more information.

Dan Stillman
Institute for Global Environmental Strategies
(703) 312-7138 (Phone)
(703) 312-8657 (FAX)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Burning Hawk Wines - Combining Good Business and Environmental Consciousness

The story of Burning Hawk Wines goes like this:

In May of 2008, a news item catches the attention of Nick Popadopoulos and the folks at Windsor Vineyards. A hawk is electrocuted on a power line, catches fire and falls to earth, sparking a fire at the edge of a vineyard in Windsor, California.

From the ashes of this tragedy a vision was born - to create the Burning Hawk philanthropic wine brand dedicated to saving other birds from the same peril. With the enthusiasm and supportof dozens of birders, business executives, conservation organizations, vintners, friends and family, Nick and his collegues began studying the issues and networking to bring Burning Hawk Wine to market less than 3 months.

This endeavor is a perfect example of the marriage of good business and environmental action.

Visit the website, check out the video, buy the wine, support the concept, help the birds!

10% of all March sales of this wine go to support the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program - an organization near and dear to our hearts here in Fort Collins, CO.

Monday, March 9, 2009

EPA's Green Power Partnership Hosts Webinar

Renewable Energy Hedges: How they can save you money and reduce your carbon emissions

On March 31, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Eastern time, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Green Power Partnership will host a Webinar on renewable energy hedges. Participants will learn how “contract for differences” hedges work, and how an organization can use these financial agreements to reduce and stabilize energy costs while decreasing its carbon emissions.

The Webinar will feature a case study of Southern New Hampshire University’s renewable energy hedge contract, which guarantees a fixed price for 15 years for the 15 million kWh of electricity it uses annually. Webinar presenters will be Timothy Swanson from NextEra Energy Resources, Hunter Brownlie from Eco Power Hedge, and Roy Morrison from Southern New Hampshire University.

Register for the Webinar at

Friday, March 6, 2009

Environmental Film Festival Comes to Lyric Cinema

Environmental Film Festival
March 15th 11:00am to 9:00pm at the Lyric Cinema Cafe
300 East Mountain Avenue, Fort Collins, CO

The Rocky Mountain Sustainable Living Association presents its 2nd annual Environmental Film Festival on March 15th, featuring local and national short films on some of today's most timely topics of sustainable food, alternative energy, consumption, environmental and social responsibility and more.

This year's festival will be held at the Lyric Cinema Café in downtown Fort Collins. The Film Festival is dedicated to the education and awareness of the public about issues that explore the interconnectedness of our natural and human worlds. Audiences will have time to discuss films during intermission, offering the opportunity to connect, motivate and transform our ideas into action. Entrance: $5 donation, stay as long as you like. Seating is not reserved and is available on first-come, first-served bases, approximately 80 seats available. Beverages, beer, wine and snacks will be available for purchase.

To see the schedule:

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Fine Print Imaging Receives Environmental Business Award

On February 26th, 2009 our "mothership", Fine Print Imaging, was one of 5 area businesses recognized by the Fort Collins Chamber of Commerce as “Environmental Business of the Year”.
Awards were given to businesses based on their efforts in the areas of :
Education and Advocacy
Conscientious Purchasing
Commitment to Counter Global Warming
Green Building
Recycling and Solid Waste Reduction
Toxic Materials Awareness
Indoor Environmental Quality
Natural Area and Habitat Protection

The Fort Collins area is highly committed to environmental quality, conservation and protection of critical habitat and open space. Fine Print Imaging is proud to be an active participant in conservation efforts locally, nationally and globally through its day to day business practices as well as its rapidly growing Art for Conservation