Posted by Lara Klaassen (Endurance runner, Director of the Center for Environmental Education and Nature Conservation in Maastricht, also known as the Wandering Wolf)
Trail runners compete for nature conservation. That is the idea behind the Wolf Mountain Run (WMR), an event which took place in the beautiful Italian Abruzzo Mountains between 7th-9th September. The participants gathered sponsored money to help the work of PAN Parks Foundation. In return, they were taken through a breath-taking mountain wilderness in a three day trail running event. With their participation, they contributed financially to the protection of the wilderness area where they were running, the Majella National Park.
Posted by Mark Fisher (Research Fellow, Wildland Research Institute, Leeds)
It’s easy to plan a walking trip in the wilds of America. The wilderness areas, National Parks and National Forests (1) as well as State Parks and Open Space County Parks (2) are in public ownership and festooned with walking trails. It is especially easy in Colorado because of a series of books by Pamela Irwin on Colorado’s Best Wildflower Hikes (3). I used her first book in 2003 while walking the flatirons of the Front Range mountains, west of Denver, and in the Rocky Mountain National Park (4). I was back again in 2008, and her second book was my guide to the Park Range high country mountains of the continental divide (5). Her third book covers the San Juan Mountains of south-western Colorado, and it is inspiring me to plan a series of walks for next year that could take me into the wilderness areas of La Garita, Lizard Head, Powderhorns, Mount Sneffels and Weminuche, as well as the National Forests of Gunnison, Rio Grande, San Juan and Uncompahgre.
Availability and access to freshwater is a major issue in Italy. What is supposed to a basic right of mankind is becoming nowadays something to put a price and a barcode on. Few people have an idea of where the water we drink everyday is coming from and, more, even less realize the importance of mountain wilderness areas for the preservation of water resources.
It has been an outrageously long time since my last post. Autumn has been a very busy period for me and several duties took me to work away from my beloved "Montagna Madre", to places as far as the Indian Himalaya. But now I am finally back home and plan to get back to you with more stories and news very soon. Stay tuned!
Just wanted to share some of the nice press coverage of our project from the past weeks. Stories of Wilderness has been featured in Wanderlust magazine (UK) – see image above, National Geographic NewsWatch – click here to see the article, and the Huffington Post – click here to see the article.
Hope more and more such great articles are coming!
Wilderness nurtures the biodiversity of life. For me biodiversity is the marvellous kaleidoscope of forms, adaptation and behaviour of species around me in Majella. Listen to my introduction of the concept of biodiversity as I experience it in Majella.
After deciding on exploring Majella’s plateau at night I started walking on the trail at noon and met the last people at 5 in the afternoon: after that the mountain was all for me. I walked on and on; explored ridges and crossed saddles; looked down to the deepest valleys of the massif and up to the fast-moving clouds. When I took a break on a stone, a flock of loud white-winged snowfinches oblivious to my presence was combing the ground in front of me, searching for seeds among the dried out alpine plants.
August is vacation time for many. The usually-quiet mountain village where I live gets crowded. Woods and meadows serve as dining rooms for hundreds of people (and the garbage left behind often echoes their lively voices for a long time...). Even the highest mountain peaks become a common destination for the adventurous on vacation. But this doesn't necessarily mean that I dislike this time or crowds. It can be fun, just that it spoils a bit the atmosphere of many places I love and makes really hard to find that special intimacy with nature I am so often looking for. Besides, the heat in the central hours makes unbereable walking around in daylight.