International Day of Climate Action

See how‘s the International Day of Climate Action went.

On 24 October, people in 181 countries came together for the most widespread day of environmental action in the planet’s history. At over 5200 events around the world, people gathered to call for strong action and bold leadership on the climate crisis.

Learn about what 350 stands for, see photos of this event from around the world.

Bunea Vista, CO - celebration. Courtesy of video showing the worldwide support of 350 day!

Gates of Lodore on the Green River

Heading towards the Gates of Lodore on the Green River.

Headed Towards the Gates of Lodore

This was a really fun summer trip on the Green River through the Canyon of Lodore.  This was just after launching and we are still in the flats headed toward the Gates.  This is one of my favorite rivers because of the low volume and technical nature of it.  It’s really fun to be able to truly navigate a river around the bends, eddies, rocks, currents, etc.  It reminds me a great deal of the Arkansas River in Bunea Vista, CO, where I spent most of my river time…

Mid way through, the Yampa River joins it in Echo Park and increases the volume.  You can drive into Echo Park and camp, hike, climb, etc, but floating through it is the best.  On Steamboat Rock, you can see some old climbing gear (webbing mostly) hanging about halfway up that is rumored to belong to Layton Kor, but who knows.  Maybe he can confirm?

Grand Canyon Calm

Colorado River in the Grand Canyon nearing the end of a long day.

Colorado River in the Grand Canyon nearing the end of a long day.

I remember this moment really well. We were camping after what was always a long day on the river and where we were camping there wasn’t much beach.  Just one small soft, sandy spot that a couple people grabbed right away.  But that’s ok, they didn’t have quite this view. Anyway, so a bunch of us found some rocky ledges above the waterline to settle into.   The rocks were perfect for setting a thermarest into and having a very nice place to recline and watch the evening drift by.

We had broken up into different group for meals and my partner, Ed, had cooked a really good dinner and was mixing up the just-add-water cheese cake pie.  This was one of those luxuries that is easily overlooked.  You would NEVER get boxed, just-add-water cheese cake pie at home, but on a long river trip, it was HEAVEN and we easily made everyone else envious.

It was a good day! (as they all were)

The Colorado River Is Drying Up – Great info graphic on the Colorado River Compact.

The Colorado River compact is a complex legal agreement set in place years ago. The information and link below is good information that helps to simplify it and make it a bit more clear.

The Colorado River is the source of water for most of the southwest and southern California. All those states have to share the water from the river, and a complex set of agreements known as the Law of the River governs how much water they can take in a given year. Over at Grist, they’re doing a large series on the health of America’s rivers. For a piece on the Colorado River, we worked together on this infographic, in partnership with New Belgium Brewery, to see which states are closing in on their limits. With populations growing, the remaining water could disappear fast.

Click here to view the infographic in a larger size.

Killing Tamarisk along the Colorado River

The Tamarisk situation is also getting better with large swaths of dead Tamarisk . It’s really exciting to see them going away. I didn’t snap any photos of them, but if anyone has any, let me know.

Some more information about Tamarisk From and the Tamarisk beetle that’s eating them:

How long will it take for the beetles to kill off the Tamarisk?
To “kill off” a Tamarisk plant without chemicals or removal of the total plant and roots from the ground is difficult. However, repeated defoliation of the plant leads to a reduction in photosynthesis and thus food for the plant/roots. Each time the plant is defoliated should result in a decrease or dying off of some of the root mass. If this happens repeatedly and the plant isn’t allowed to grow new foliage and retain it for an extended length of time, it is possible to kill the plant. Estimates on die off of the Tamarisk due to defoliation via the beetle suggest 3 to 5 years, but this could be longer or shorter depending on the size of the plant and its root mass, how often it’s defoliated and how limited the time is that the plant retains foliage.

In short, killing Tamarisks is good because:

  1. They soak up too much water.
  2. They kill native vegetation like cottonwoods and willows.
  3. They create impenetrable barriers along the river for animals and people.
  4. They provide a lousy habitat for other animals.
  5. They constrict the river.

The efforts are working.  Keep up the good work!

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