Selfie from the top of the peak
The Mountain Bike he used for the day in order to make the climb
(loaned by a couple friends who are with him at the moment)
The Conservation Fund has been around since 1985 and they have protected 7 million acres of land in all 50 states (yes, ALL!). Since Dorian is currently in Arizona, I thought it might be fun to focus on some of the successes they've had in this state, where they have impressively helped preserve 974,993 acres of land! One of the more recent projects was with the Petrified Forest Naitonal Park. Between 2011 and 2013 The Conservation Fund worked together with the National Park Conservation Association to help expand the protected area by more than 30,000 acres. I've been fortunate enough to have visited this National Park when I was younger and to this day it has left such a huge impression on me. I remember hiking trails with my family through these painted areas where hundreds of stone-like petrified trees literally sat in front of my eyes. It is absolutely spectacular. In addition to the petrified wood, there have also been some pretty cool paleontological discoveries. In the area protected by The Conservation Fund in 2013, a 2 foot long phytosaur skull was discovered (an ancestor to the crocodile). If you want to read more just go here: http://www.conservationfund.org/projects/petrified-forest-national-park-arizona/
A sample of the petrified wood you can
see in this National Park
see in this National Park
Other projects completed by The Conservation Fund in AZ include the North Rim of the Grand Canyon where they worked with the Grand Canyon Trust to help purchase The Kane Ranch and Two Mile Ranch. This was the largest conservation project, in terms of acres, in the Fund's history. These once privately owned ranches connected 3 national monuments, 2 national recreation areas and 8 wilderness areas. Perhaps more importantly, they controlled grazing permits for nearly 900,000 acres of adjacent federal lands. Through this purchase they have not only been able to protect the wildlife areas and national monuments, but they have also been able to maintain the ranching integrity in these lands. They are now being run and operated by a third-generation rancher and the livestock is being grazed in the most ecologically responsible manner possible. Again, you can read more about it here: http://www.conservationfund.org/projects/north-rim-of-the-grand-canyon/
Kane and Two Mile Ranch
Hopefully this will help give a little more perspective on some of the other projects this organization has done. If you're hungry for more, check out the video below. It provides some other basic information about The Conservation Fund, what they do and why.
Alright, that's all for now. Your regular Biking For Birds broadcast will return tomorrow (hopefully) when Dorian is back in internet territory. Until then...