ECO-Tours of Wisconsin Inc. is adding another prong to our strategy for reclaiming forests. In light of the fact that downstream areas always fall victim to conditions, “development” and mis-use in headwaters, that feed down to them, we are creating a land trust. This legal status for land both exempts it from taxation, and protects it from development in perpetuity. Instead of just recovering lands that have been denuded and in many cases no longer support an integrated forest system, we will be branching out into protecting relatively pristine areas as well. As I have written about before, much of my adult life presented to me a subtle but pervasive quandary. The issue of ecological triage…
In my youth, I was violently opposed to this concept. Think, for a moment about saying straight out and forever, “We will cede this land, (or that,) to the dust bin of history.” This is what is being done far below the surface of the Earth to liberate “natural gas” through fracking. It is what has been done in many Superfund sites and is being done in hundreds of thousands of areas that have been toxified beyond recovery. Just like finding someone more dead than alive, occasions arise that we have to turn our attention to places that could potentially recover, if we carefully and strategically allocate our resources. As a young man, who realized that Mother Earth is sacred, each of her elemental forces and each of her creatures and plants are sacred as well, I could not accept writing off a single acre, perhaps not even a single square foot, (.09 square m) to mistreatment by humans. Sadly, we do not have that choice. Certain areas have been despoiled to the point that no life can inhabit them, only poisonous plants can grow in them and for centuries, they will continue to blossom with fruits of taint. Just as many of our brothers and sisters find, on the field of war, some will always be lost, with no hope of recovery. Mother Earth and her landscape share this eternal truth. Even though the proud young man that has strong ideas about ecological triage still lives within my aging skin, his views have been tempered by half a century of seeing blatant destruction across the face of the Earth.
I have lived, for moons on end within the concrete and steel gorges of NYC (New York City) I have breathed my fair share of petroleum distillates and carcinogenic substances. I know that my own body, more than likely, will fall victim to them some day. The value of triage is allocation of finite resources. Our efforts can be shifted to places where they do the most good.
In addition to planting trees, as we will continue to do, we are adding to our mission. We will purchase and protect relatively pristine areas, converting them to land trust status. We are targeting headwaters that have significant impact on downstream riparian (Stream-bank) ecology and will help, as all of the acres that we reclaim do, by protection and improvement of water quality. We ask everyone who reads this to share a link with others, because we spend no money on advertizing and none on administrative costs. All of our efforts are through volunteer time spent by those who are committed to our mission. Many of the ECO-Tourists who plant trees with us are paying to cover their own expenses and meals, as well as a bit extra to help our organization to buy more trees. Our Paypal account link is in the sidebar or you can use our street address and send checks snail mail to: 1445 Porlier street Green Bay, WI 54301-3334 USA. We have three distinct projects so let us know if you want your donations to go to trees, land or our capital program. This will be used creating our school of sustainability. Our visioning for the school this year is to create a place that is a hybrid between a summer camp and a spa, a resort that encompasses both retreat center and an eco-tourism destination. We will use several modalities to address the need for an integration between ourselves and nature. To find out more about our structure and process, it helps to read about The Natural Step, No Trace Camping, Transition Towns etc. We do encourage all of our guests to read both, How To Shit In The Woods and a little known book called Thinking Like A Mountain. Although they are not prerequisite for taking ECO-Tours with us, they will go a long way toward helping you understand where we are coming from. We are gardeners, cooks, healers, herbalists, fortune tellers, shamen, foresters and guides. We work to unleash the magic in others by sharing the magic that we have found all around us.
It has taken nearly fifty generations to estrange the vast majority of us (humanity) from our true nature, but we have far less time to get things right. In the process of learning how to build sustainability into every aspect of our lives, massive dislocation and trauma will be felt all around the planet, but those who know how to plant and harvest a garden, heal the sick or care for a whole community will have the best chances for building the new culture. Saving as much land as possible, protecting it from the dangers of exploitation, oppression and desecration, is the only way to stem the tide of destruction and begin the recovery that we need to undertake. For the first time this year, we will be planting in the headwaters of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. We ask for donations to plant as many trees as possible. Appreciatively, Tony, Director ECO-Tours of Wisconsin Inc.