Environment under siege

The need to protect the environment from threats threats on many fronts is nothing new. There will always be those to seek to exploit the planets natural resources for personal gain. Individuals that attack, damage and destroy the environment with an almost gleeful attitude. Unfortunately a new enemy has taken the battle field. A man that is quite possibly the most dangerous combatant to take the field in the latter half of the 20th and early 21st centuries. In fact this man has the potential to do greater damage to the environment than the world has ever seen.

What makes this man so dangerous? He is none other than the President of The United States of America, Donald J. Trump. aka. That’s right, the leader of the free world. The man with the power to set the tone and example for the rest of the world to follow on matters of environmental protection.

What does he think of the environmental issues facing mankind? Let’s just say he is leans towards letting the planet take care of it’s own problems. He favors less regulation and more decision making in the hands of private industry. Because we all know how well this strategy has worked out in the past.

Environmental Enemy #1 has wasted no time in going to work on sensible regulation intended to protect the environment. His administration which is stacked with climate change deniers and EPA destroyers is diabolically well suited to doing damage. Just a few highlights include:

– Withdrawing from the Paris Accord

– Opening sensitive areas of the Arctic to further oil and gas drilling

– Opening oil drilling in areas of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans

These examples are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg so to speak. His administration has been steadily chipping away at regulations that protect the water we drink, the food we eat and the very air we breath.

Don’t believe me? Here is a running list compiled and maintained by National Geographic of ways the president is impacting the environment in just 20 months in office. This list is NOT all inclusive. There are more small and large maneuvers the administration is taking to eliminate regulations that protect not only American citizens, but humanity itself.

We can not take this lying down. This is a battle that will be fought and won by every day citizens from all walks of life. The best way we can all pitch in and help is by not being silent on the issues that affect all of us. So get out there and register to vote. Make your voice heard by electing officials that will stand up to the president on environmental matters no matter how small the stage.  It doesn’t make a difference if they are local, state or federal officials. More voices speaking out on these issues that louder the noise becomes and hopefully the harder that message becomes to ignore.

Short Family Trip To Toronto? Here’s how to find the Best Furnished Apartment

Who doesn’t dream of a fabulous city with world class attractions and amenities? It’s fairly safe to guess that most people would enjoy such a trip. Well, there is a city in Canada that is under the radar for the average traveler that fits this general description to a T, that city coincidentally starts with a T, Toronto.  Toronto has been known to savvy business and world travelers for years for it’s many fantastic amenities from world class dining and hotels to arts and entertainment.

Just because the city has everything you could desire in a destination does not mean a little planning is not in order. You need to have an itinerary for trip to reduce stress and squeeze the most out of your vacation. Let’s get down to some details shall we…

If you are planning to have a short family trip to Toronto, you should find the best apartments with furniture to rent there. Toronto furnished apartments are the first choice of most travellers instead of staying in hotels and house for rent. These apartments are cost effective, budget friendly and somewhat the amenities are like those of the hotels. Finding the best furnished apartments in Toronto is quite hard and stressful that is why you need to consider few things.

  1. LOCATION – Know where the apartment is located.

You should know where your prospective apartment is located so that you would know how to locate it and to avoid the possibility of getting lost. If you are new in Toronto, you should find a place that is near to where you are planning to stroll or visit; the nearer, the better.

 

  1. MONEY MATTERS – Know how much your budget is

Not all furnished apartments are cost effective. Some may look cheap but the real price is so expensive. By knowing your budget, you can focus on searching for the right apartment and not to those that are bit expensive.

 

  1. BE WISE – Use your sound judgement and good sense

Do not let your extravagant mindset eat you up. You should let your inner wisdom teach you on how to choose the right furnished apartment that suits your budget. It is not necessary to live in an expensive and lavish apartment most especially if you are a tourist. Most tourists are wise enough to spend more on strolling, experiencing adventures and eating at fancy restaurants rather than spending big on apartments for short stays. Choose those who offer good deals, however it would still be best if you just ask your friends who have gone to Toronto for an advice as to where would be the best place to stay.

 

  1. FINDING THE RIGHT ONE – Locate the one that fits

Most tourists go the traditional and easy way in finding furnished apartments; it is by searching the internet. It is now a trend to surf the net whenever we have queries. The reason why we always rely in the net most especially in finding the right place to stay in is that we are too lazy and tired to exhaust our energy in finding the right apartment. It is not bad, however, we always prompt to something which is convenient. Pictures of the room together with its facilities and amenities are one of the common strategies to acquire customers. But we need to be careful because not all details that are mentioned are true. There’s a big difference when you see it in person rather than in pictures. Some offers big discounts and rebates just to convince you to avail of their services.

 

Now, before anything else, think wisely. Plan ahead of time and try to consider the things mentioned above. Above all, be happy and savour the moment of having a vacation; enjoy the rest of Toronto. We hope this short primer on how to make the most of a trip to Toronto, Canada has been helpful. Safe Travels!

The obesity epidemic, time to be part of the solution

I randomly came across an article ( http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/the-current/raising-rippers/Kids-Lives-Depend-On-Playtime.html ) this morning that inspired me to bust out a quick post. There has been much press in the U.S about the spiraling obesity epidemic. To be sure it is a serious problem not only in terms of economic costs to us as a country, but in terms of human costs. Unfortunately, the debate has shifted into a blame game where personal responsibility is no longer part of the discussion. Like many issues where placing blame becomes the center of attention we are quick to lose sight of the where the focus really belongs. In this particular case that is what can we as individuals do to become part of the solution.
  • Where did we go wrong, how did we as a country get so far off the tracks with our habits to cause such a shift in obesity rates. I will not use this forum to go into detail about the statistics other than to offer the following quick points:
  • Approximately 34% of U.S. adults are obese.*
  • In 2008 the medical cost of obesity was 147 BILLION dollars. For frame of reference, that is a cost of $490 to every man, woman and child in the U.S.*
  • Obesity related health issues such as non Type 1 Diabetes are among the leading, preventable causes of death among U.S. citizens.*
  • No state had an obesity rate of less than 20%!*
  • In 1990 the obesity rate in the U.S. was less than 15%.**

So… Why the seismic shift? Experts argue many factors from eating and exercise habits to poverty levels are to blame. Some cities have even gone so far as to force businesses to limit portion sizes (soft drinks) and post nutritional and caloric information on menu’s. While these efforts may not be entirely off base, one thing has been conspicuously absent from the discussion, PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.

In my opinion this epidemic did not happen by chance, more so I believe that it is the sum total of a societal change in attitudes. I don’t believe that we can lay blame on any one aspect of the contributory factors that lead to obesity. This was more of a subtle shift. I would point to small things that at first may have seemed innocuous enough. For example, 1990 represents the start of the home video console sales explosion. The number of these units sold in the U.S. began to skyrocket. It was also in the early part of the 1990’s that the country went on an unprecedented period of economic growth leading to a gross increase in consumer spending. The late 1990’s to early 2000’s saw the arrival and explosion of the internet.

obesity rates

On the surface none of these things by themselves would jump out as the smoking gun. If however we look big picture it would be easy to see how these things might lead us to become more, shall we say “leisurely” as a population. More than ever before recreation moved indoors. Food because a convenience rather than a necessity ( note the rise in “competitive eating” events… I still have to chuckle at viewing these individuals as athletes. Sorry guys, I don’t see it. ). No longer did most children exercise their bodies. Let’s face it you can’t burn too many calories parked on your but utilizing only your thumbs. It is this perfect storm of factors that have been at the forefront of the exponential increase in obesity rates.

That being said, what can we do to help? This is where personal responsibility comes into play. If people are content to sit idly by while they wait for the government to solve the problem we are doomed. The government has consistently demonstrated a stunning ineptitude in dealing with most issues. The solution begins with each and every one of us. We have to begin to shift the landscape towards a healthier lifestyle. We need to once again become active participants in our children’s lives. Give the electronic babysitter a break. GET OUTSIDE, GET ACTIVE! Help young people see there is an actual life awaiting them outside. Encourage them to become participants instead of spectators.

For our own part as adults, the same can be said. We need to shut off the computers, put down the smartphones and just take time to reconnect with the outside world. We need to start to consider the choices we make with regard to our diets. I’ll be the first to admit sometimes I’m just flat out to lazy to cook a health meal. I get it, we are all busy these days. Putting in place better time management techniques where our eating habits our concerned can help. Cook larger portions of food that can be reheated over a period of days. Eat more leafy greens, a salad takes less time to make than a trip to McDonald.

At the end of the day, the march of the obesity (or slow waddle if you will) is apt to continue if we don’t take personal responsibility for our part in the solution. Take some time today to just consider what I’ve written here. I hope that it motivates at least one person to take action and make changes in their own life.

 

Sources:

* – CDC Website ( http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html )

** – Harvard School of Public Health ( http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/an-epidemic-of-obesity/ )

Skydiving In Miami This Weekend!

Bucket list item about to be checked off! I made arrangements to do a tandem jump with the Miami Skydiving Center ( http://www.miamiskydivingcenter.com/ )tomorrow.

I am super pumped about this jump… I’ve been wanting to do this for years and finally got a few friends to take the plunge, LITERALLY, with me. I’ve been snowboarding off piste in the Rockies, Sierras and the Wasatch Range, Taught Scuba in the Caribbean for a year, free dove to 100 feet in the Blue Hole in Belize, shark diving in the Bahamas and bungee jumped off the Royal Gorge Bridge in Colorado. I’ve done countless other hazardous and flat out stupid things, but this is the one I’ve been waiting for.

Have a great weekend and don’t forget to come back to visit on Monday for the full update and of course pictures from the jump. Wish me luck! 🙂

#tandemskydiving #miami #firstfreefall #neednewunderwear

About the Snake River Headwaters

The Snake River Headwaters are a mecca for Wyoming water activities. Famous for its pristine waters and unique geology, the river’s banks and surrounding wilderness also attracts a great many wildlife enthusiasts and bird watchers for the abundance of rare animals that call it’s shores home. For example, some approximately 700 pairs of raptors makes nest in each spring along the miles of river canyon. Aside from the raptors, other species include the Northern Harrier, Golden Eagle, American kestrel, Owls, Prairie Falcons not to mention many of our four legged friends as well. Despite the incredible abundance of natural beauty surrounding the  Snake River Headwaters, the preservation of it’s beauty was not always secure. That is until grass roots efforts combined with the legislative efforts of the late Senator from Wyoming Craig Thomas pushed the government to act. While it did not happen during his lifetime, Senator Thomas’ vision was realized with the designation of the Snake River Headwaters as part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System in 2009. President Obama made this possible when he signed an Omnibus Public Lands Act which included the Snake River Legacy Act of which Thomas was the author.

Here is a video discussing the designation that included the Snake River Headwaters and 387 additional miles of the Snake River:

Wild and Scenic Snake River from Jim Stanford on Vimeo.

The newly designated protected river begins at its source in Yellowstone National Park and flows thru Grand Teton National Park, Alpine Canyon, Bridger-Teton National Forest ending approximately 31 miles away at the Palisades Reservoir. The designated, protected area also includes major tributaries; Buffalo Fork, Gros Ventre, Hoback, and Greys River, along with a number of smaller tributaries which make up this unique watershed.

While the area surrounding the Snake River Headwaters is well known for the abundance of outdoor activities  what is not well known is the area was also once the home of the Nez Perce and Shoshone Tribes. Oral history has it that the name of the river comes from an encounter of a white explorer with the local tribes. While asking a local tribe member what they called the river, they used sign language by moving hands in swimming motion which was interpreted as snake, hence came the name of the river. Whether this is accurate or not is anyone’s guess.

Well over 100,000 visitors come to run the rapids of the Snake River and its tributaries which include some of the nation’s most outstanding whitewater resources. However, as a result of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers designation some portions of the river are now off limits to paddlers. These areas include the portions of the river which run thru Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Despite these restrictions the area still offers many outstanding opportunities to tackle this sometimes challenging river. If you are traveling to the area you can visit sites like http://www.gtlc.com/headwaters/activities/raft-trip.aspx for more information on booking rafting trips. Keep in mind water levels will dictate the availability of whitewater excursions.

If you aren’t the adventurous type, don’t worry. The area surrounding the Snake River Headwaters provides many an opportunity for more serene pursuits. Fishing on the river is world class and as previously mentioned the abundance and variety of wildlife is unmatched. So whether you are looking for some pulse pounding whitewater running  or a peaceful hike in the wilderness the Snake River Headwaters will fit the bill.

If you want to find out more about the Snake or any of the other National Wild and Scenic Rivers, click HERE to visit the governments website.

 

 

 

 

SnakeHeadWaters.Org re-launches!

It is perhaps appropriate that as the summer months come to a close we re-launch this site. It has not been a smooth process to get this site up and running. We underestimated the work it would require and the amount of work it would take to operate the site once we did get things ironed out. Despite the challenges we are ready to go! We will be updating the site regularly with articles and posts we feel reflect our passion about conservation and enjoyment of outdoor activities. The site we envision will be both informative and entertaining. There may be a hiccup or two along the way but we will press on and create a website that you will enjoy. We hope you will visit often and that you enjoy the site.