Right, so my senior year of college, fall semester, I took an AmCiv course on American Bioregionalism. It was a literature-based foray into the ways that the geographical features of the United States shaped the religion, mindsets, and regional differences of the people who have lived here. We went from Puritans to Mormons, from Thoreau and the Transcendentalists to Edward Abbey. The professor was amazing, the course was extremely well put together, and it had a major impact on the way I think about ecology, identity, and activism. (The discussion about regional attitudes and the physical terrain are particularly interesting, by the way, now that I’ve left New England for the Pacific Northwest.) One of the most thought-provoking books was the Book of Yaak by Rick Bass. I recommend it highly. In addition to writing wonderful books, he also sends out a constant stream of letters to lawmakers, pleading for rational and sustainable environmental policies and for the preservation of corridors of wilderness. He is truly an advocate. It was after reading this book that I started regularly writing my lawmakers and papers about policies that matter to me.
I try not to veer into the political on this blog — I don’t have any relevant photos, and I feel like many others write well and effectively on the subject so there’s no need to add another voice to the debate. But, something comes along that’s easy to agree on, and it seems that this act is one of those. (See this and this if you want a bit of background, or this if you really enjoy reading Senate bills for yourself.) Take a look, and sign the petition, write your senator if you’re into that sort of thing, and then we can all go back to our fish and knitting. :-)